Updated December 6th, 2017
By April Manning
Average Rating: B
Taconic Distillery (known as Millbrook Distillery up until May 2015) is located in the historic rolling hills of the Hudson Valley in New York. The name is Native American meaning “in the trees,” and reflects their beautifully scenic location in the Taconic mountain range.
Their bottle logo features the American foxhound. Hunting imagery often appears on American whiskey, and it turns out this is the perfect symbol for a bottle of bourbon for other reasons too. During the misguided times of Prohibition, the American foxhound and its prominent howl were fundamental in the making of moonshine. Bootleggers used them as lookouts trained to howl when they were approached by government agents. This gave bootleggers time to skedaddle before getting caught. Really gives a whole new meaning to the phrase “Man’s best friend,” doesn’t it?
Taconic’s newest creation, Double Barrel Bourbon Whiskey with Maple Syrup, comes from teaming up with Catskill Mountain Sugarhouse. The distillery sends used bourbon barrels to the Sugarhouse, who fills them with maple syrup. After a few months aging, the contents are then bottled as bourbon barrel maple syrup. Taconic Distillery in turn fills those same maple syrup laced barrels with bourbon. After a few months in the barrels, soaking up the maple sweetness, Taconic has a batch of Double Barrel Bourbon Whiskey with Maple Syrup.
This is a 90 proof bourbon that has the rich color of clover honey. The heady smell of the barrel’s wood comes through along with the pleasing maple aroma. You experience the barrel’s contributions all the way through to the taste.
The initial encounter is definitely the maple and this sweetness lingers pleasantly on the lips. However, the sweetness is not overpowering and the earthiness of the barrel wood balances it out nicely. Because of the dominant maple that Taconic is going for there is not the customary bourbon essences of vanilla or caramel. The finish is peppery with a slight after burn at the back of the throat that lets you know this is still 90 proof bourbon…even if it does make you want pancakes!
This is delightful bourbon that is perfect for sipping in front of a fire and I recommend keeping the bottle at room temperature and not chilled.
Addendum by Randall H. Borkus
This bourbon has the rich dark amber honey color that pleasantly clings to the glass. The fragrance dances up my nostrils leaving hints of oak and a beautiful maple aroma. The barrel’s contributions of maple and charred oak fill my pallet with unique maple sweetness. The whiskey holds an infused maple sweetness that opens into an earthy fresh grass essence that balances with the oak nicely. The finish is sweet and a bit spicy with a delightful burn.
At first I was concerned with the maple experiment as I feared it would be no more than perfectly good bourbon being over sweetened with the addition of maple syrup, I was mistaken. This is a unique bourbon whiskey experience chock full of flavor that is perfect neat on a cool night.
Pricing on this item has risen to between $50 and $70 a bottle.