Red Line Elements Amburana Finished Bourbon
Is this the year of the honey barrel? Or year of the amburana barrel?
Amburana is a Brazilian wood that imparts a ginger and/or cinnamon spice. Until now, I hadn't seen it outside of cachaca - Brazilian rum - production. So, cool, a new wood to finish in? But, how does it taste?
This initial release of Elements features a blend of 5-year-old MGP sourced bourbons finished in Amburana barrels (though it's unknown if they are new barrels or have been used to age other spirits). We are just starting to see Amburana finished bourbons, and I’d expect to see a lot more in the future. The impact of finishing in Amburana casks isn’t subtle, the wood adds a tremendous amount of unique flavor. The same herbal undertones are present as I’ve tasted with other bourbons finished in Amburana casks such as Starlight’s Cigar Batch Bourbon, but there are massive amounts of cinnamon and gingerbread notes here that I haven’t noticed before. This is especially true as the base component is a blend of MGP’s 75% corn, 21% rye, 4% malted barley mashbill, which is merely the foundation for this whiskey and doesn’t show through in-and-of-itself, instead allowing the Amburana finish to really steal the show. Elements is a cinnamon and gingerbread-forward whiskey that really highlights the Amburana finishing barrels, giving a taste of the extremes of what might be to come for this line. Like other Amburana finished whiskeys I’ve had, I expect this particular release to be polarizing.