The Best Wine-Barrel-Aged Booze

Raise your home bar game with these wooded sips.

Scotch and Sherry have been aged in spent wine barrels for centuries. Now, several New World distillers are using the flavored staves to finish their stiff stuff, which imparts  subtle fruit and oak notes.

Here are five of our favorites:

Dad’s Hat Pennsylvania Rye 

This robust rye clocks three months in Quady Winery’s sweet vermouth casks, creating a distinctly ruddy hue, a lovely raisin aroma and rounded notes of honey-soaked dried fruit. Try it in a Manhattan; $50.

Dulce Vida Extra Añejo Tequila 

This limited-edition Tequila matured for five years in Merlot and Cabernet barrels from Rombauer Vineyards. The result: a burnished gold hue and remarkable complexity, with honey, caramel, orange and red berry notes and a lick of peppery heat; $169.

Angel’s Envy Bourbon

Several Angel’s Envy whiskies are finished in ruby Port pipes, including this velvety toffee sipper, which has hints of rounded red fruit on the long finish. Pair it with dark chocolate; $46.

DownSlope Distilling Wine Barrel-Aged Rum

This rum spent a year in Napa Valley Cabernet barrels. It pours tawny, has a rich mouthfeel, and boasts deep butterscotch and dried apricot flavors; $35.

Woodford Reserve Sonoma-Cutrer Finish

The time in Pinot Noir barrels give this whiskey a rosy tinge and a surprising earthy flavor—a rarity in Kentucky Bourbon. Coconut and vanilla overlap with a touch of dark fruit on the finish; $100.

Published on May 5, 2015
Topics: Barrel-Aged Booze, Drinks, Spirits Trends
About the Author
Kara Newman 
Spirits Editor

Kara Newman reviews spirits and writes about spirits and cocktail trends for Wine Enthusiast. She's the author of Shake.Stir.Sip.: 40 Effortless Cocktails Made In Equal Parts (Chronicle Books, 2016) as well as ROAD SODA: Recipes and techniques for making great cocktails, anywhere (Dovetail Press, 2017). Email: spirits@wineenthusiast.net




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