Review of Duchess Private Reserve Finished in Cabernet Casks Straight Bourbon Whiskey by Taconic Distillery

by Colonel Steve Akley


Taconic Distillery           (           Stanfordville, New York                    

Age: Straight Bourbon Whiskey (3 years old)                                          

Bottle Size: 750 ml                      

Suggested MSRP: $50

Proof: 90                                 

Interesting Note: This is 3-year-old Dutchess Private Reserve Bourbon from Taconic finished an additional 6-months in Napa Cabernet wine casks. Goes on sales March 1 in New York and rolls out to other markets starting in July.       

"Drinks like a bourbon, finishes like a wine, warms you like sunshine."                      - Colonel Steve Akley

The Review - Paul Coughlin keeps the innovation and creativity coming with his latest release, a Straight Bourbon Whiskey finished in Cabernet casks. This is the seventh offering from Taconic (4 bourbons, 2 ryes and a rum).

I was excited to receive this one because thus far, everything from Taconic has been fantastic. That includes not only the distilled spirit offerings, but the maple syrups and coffees I have tried as well. 

The initial look of this bourbon is solid. The packaging aligns with the rest of the lineup (a complete collection on your shelf would look like it was created by Andy Warhol with the color/style they are using). Inside the bottle, the bourbon is a dark bourbon, a very deep amber color.  The nose yields notes of allspice, cheesecake and cabernet.

What's so nice about the cabernet offerings I have tried is the fact the second barrel really smooths it out and adds complexity. I am happy to say this one follows suit with what I have found with other wine barrel-finished bourbons. The taste hits you right at the front of your tongue with notes of caramel, oak, bananas foster and vanilla, The finish is full-on cabernet and the heat is much warmer than you think a 90 proof bourbon would deliver.

This is a solid addition to the Taconic lineup and definitely worth seeking out if you are a fellow wine barrel finished bourbon fan!