Let's have a tasting and a chat.
Need some guidance on which BARREL.338 Bullets work with different brands of bourbon or whiskey? Check out some helpful guidance and our favorites below.
Before we list our favorites, let's be sure we're fully appreciating the colors, smells, flavors and finishes of bourbon properly. Secondly, let's ensure the legal stuff is taken care of. We aren't affiliated with any of the listed brands. We don't believe any of them "need fixing" or modification to be enjoyable. The BARREL.338 is about enjoying different finishes on your favorite libation, not about "fixing" bad bourbon. We can appreciate all of the brands for their uniqueness, and don't suggest one over the other. In no particular order, these are the brands we've enjoyed with The Bourbon Bullet.
We're MARINES! Of course we used to chug whiskey, but now we're a bit more refined (older and wiser). So, we recommend a Glencairn glass as pictured. The glass is developed to push aromas outward when placed against the nose and to minimize the alcohol burn on the nose when one takes a sip. The concentration allows one to smell all of the nuances in the bourbon, ensuring you get the full character. The Glencairn also ensures you tip your head back when you take a sip which opens the palate allowing for more flavors to be experienced. It helps one appreciate bourbon slowly as you're only supposed to fill it 1/3rd of the way full.
Moving On to Flavor:
Each brand of whiskey or bourbon has its own unique flavor, color, heat, and character. They range in flavors from woody, spicy, sweet, grainy, and floral. The mash bills, barrel selection, proof and production methods all offer different flavors. Modern Thirst has put out a nice flavor wheel that you can reference here. You can also check out the Bourbon Flavor Graph outlining several brands and potential flavors.
Charred - Oak:
The Oak Bullet is the original BARREL.338 and works just like a barrel leaving smooth sweet flavors of toffee, caramel, and buttery vanilla with a slight hint of woody oak. It's by far the most universal and makes everything we've tried smoother and even more enjoyable. (You can leave the Oak in as long as you like, however it will give off a woody oak flavor if left in for several weeks.) We LOVE the Oak with the following brands:
- Eagle Rare
- Buffalo Trace
- Wild Turkey
- Woodford Reserve
- Black Grouse Scotch
Toasted - Cherry:
The Cherry is exceptional on the nose and finish. Strong florals are enjoyable and strong, but not over powering on the palate. It has a really nice finish with cherry, rose, and peach without losing the originality of the spirit. The Cherry compliments the following really well:
- 4 Roses
- Knob Creek
- Elijah Craig
- Henry McKenna
- Basil Hayden
Toasted - Maple:
SUGAR COOKIES! Hard Sugar Maple is pretty bland when untoasted, but when the heat releases the sugars in the wood, the aroma fills the air with what we can only describe as sugar cookies. It offers a SLOW finish and takes a bit longer than Oak and Cherry due to the density of the wood. Maple offers flavors of buttery vanilla, maple syrup, and honey. Our favorites have been:
- Maker's Mark
- Weller Special Reserve
- Canadian Club 12 Year
- Jameson Irish Whiskey
- Luksusowa Vodka (Any Vodka works really well)
Well, there you have it. We get paid to have bourbon tastings, tell war stories, turn BARREL.338 Bullets and cause shenanigans. It's a tough gig, but someone has to do it.