By Jake Emen
Flavored whiskeys are continuing to emerge these days – can’t you just hear the sorority girls two bar stools over clamoring for another round of Fireball shots? – and they’re coming from small and large brands alike, both new entrants in the world of whiskey and long-standing companies.
From a range of cinnamon whiskeys, including the aforementioned Fireball, to grandaddy of the category, Wild Turkey American Honey, to noted maple whiskeys like Knob Creek Smoked Maple Bourbon and Tap 357 Canadian Maple Rye, and many more besides, there is an ever-growing collection. Now add to that list the new Berentzen Bushel & Barrel.
If Kentucky bourbon is America’s signature liquor and apple pie is America’s signature food, then this is their offspring. And just like those pesky millennials we keep hearing so much about, it’s perhaps not as strong as its forebears, not as bold or feisty, but nonetheless, it has a clear American lineage.
The folks at Berentzen have sourced Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey to utilize in their latest endeavor and blended it with their signature Apple Liqueur. The result is an intriguing combination, one which is very sweet and easy-drinking.
On the nose Berentzen’s Bushel & Barrel absolutely bursts with apple. Alternately smelling of apple juice, sauce and cider – yes, those things do indeed smell differently – Bushel & Barrel also showcases swirling hints of its bourbon backbone in the form of caramel, oak and vanilla. Take a sip and what you’ll notice is all crisp, ripe red apple flavor. The bourbon itself shows up most strongly on the finish, where you get a hint of spiciness as well, and a lasting warmness.
Berentzen suggests enjoying Bushel & Barrel on the rocks, in shots, or in a variety of cocktails. I’d add to that keeping a bottle on hand for next fall, and enjoying a new take on a hot toddy.
For those who aren’t fans of flavored whiskeys, and don’t have the time or tolerance for them, certainly you won’t be compelled to try Bushel & Barrel. But for those who do indeed enjoy the latest flavored concoctions, it merits a shot.
Berentzen’s Bushel & Barrel 60 proof (30% ABV) will retail at $21.99 for a 750 ml bottle.