Laws Whiskey House out of Colorado recently announced the second release of its Cognac Cask Finished Bourbon, first introduced in 2017 as one of the brand’s first projects in their Special Finish series.
The new Laws Whiskey House Cognac Cask Finished Bourbon, according to those behind it, is “the second annual release of a living and evolving blend. Through several years of trial and experimentation, Laws created a distinctive solera process where only a portion of their Cognac Cask Finished Bourbon is released at a time, leaving the remainder to marry with future blends of this whiskey.”
More specifically, the process starts with Laws Four Grain Straight Bourbon that has been aged for a minimum of two years in new American oak barrels. Select barrels are then chosen to rest in Cognac casks for secondary aging. Finally, the Cognac Cask Finished Bourbon is combined in a 50-year-old French oak blending vat known as a foeder.
Each year, only a portion of the foeder is harvested, meaning each annual release contains whiskey from prior years’ vintages and maintains style continuity from batch to batch. After harvesting for each annual release, the foeder is immediately topped with Cognac Cask finished Four Grain Bourbon and the cycle continues.
Laws’ process was developed with help from sixth generation Cognac producer Alain Royer. Alain provided technical expertise on cask finishing and blending and also helped the Laws team source the foeder.
“This whiskey is about process and patience,” said Al Laws, founder of Laws Whiskey House, in a prepared statement. “Like the Cognac blenders that inspire us, we are seeking harmony and depth from this whiskey. The flavor notes are so rich, balanced, and complex and that can only be achieved by following our process and by giving it time to mature.
“The foeder is really crucial. Not only does it enable our solera process, it also allows for the Cognac cask influence to gently integrate over time. The French oak foeder staves also lend elegance and finish to this whiskey.”
This year’s release contains a blend of whiskeys aged between three and eight years in three different types of wood casks, and should be available now in key markets across the country for around $80. Consisting of just 2,340 750ml bottles, limited official tasting notes make mention of “aromas of stewed fruit and black tea on the nose. The spirit boasts flavors of spiced apple butter, toasted wood, and raisin leading to a rich and luxurious finish.”