I’m a bourbon fan – it’s the first thing I ask for when I’m out, and likely the first thing I reach for when I’m home. I’ve tried all different sorts – high end, low end, big distillery, craft distillery and lots of things in between. When I first heard from the folks that market Berentzen Bushel& Barrel, I was very curious how my favorite spirit would mix with apple liqueur. They graciously sent me a sample bottle so I could tell you about it. Let’s find out how apples and bourbon go together (spoiler alert: very well!). Here are my tasting notes – sláinte!

Nose: opening the bottle, you get a huge whiff of apples. Not apple flavors from a lab, but a true apple juice/cider aroma. It definitely smells like fresh fruit and something you want to drink. Right away.

Color: medium amber in the glass, with hints of gold. The bourbon darkens the naturally lighter apple liqueur.

Taste: the first taste is pretty sweet, I won’t lie. But the sweet gives way to the bourbon, that has a long, warm finish (ie, you know you aren’t drinking apple juice). It balances the sweet pretty well. If I hadn’t known it was blended with bourbon, I’m not sure I would’ve picked that up immediately. Because of the corn, bourbon tends to be a bit sweeter as well, but in a different way. All in all, I’d say it’s nicely blended. While it may not sell a hardcore bourbon-only drinker, I can see it fitting well into the flavored whiskey category.

Other comments: I tried it first neat, and then in their Signature cocktail, Bushel & Barrel and Ginger (2 oz B&B, 4 oz ginger ale – in my case, an Aussie version called Buderim Ginger, over ice). It’s a pretty refreshing drink – the ginger adds a dimension to the apple flavor which is quite nice. Since the proof’s also a bit lower, I can see this being a great cocktail for a hot summer day.

Price point: $21.99

ABV: 30% or 60 proof

Availability: Nationally available, inquire with your local retailer or call Berentzen at (201) 223-2929.

7.5 pancakes out of 10 – tasty!

Article by: Jeanne Runkle


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