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Traverse City Whiskey Co. was founded in Traverse City, Michigan in 2012 by friends Chris Fredrickson, Jared Rapp, and Moti Goldring. Fredrickson’s grandfather had a license to distill on the family’s cherry farm. When the friends happened upon the old distilling license, it inspired them to create a new distilling venture in Northern Michigan.
Traverse City Whiskey Co. began like many modern whiskey operations have; they sourced a portion of their initial brands from MGP in Indiana. They have created a diverse line of products over the past decade, including bourbon, rye, flavored whiskey, and even gin. Demand for the products from this Northern Michigan distillery has grown since its founding. So in early 2023, they broke ground on a new distilling operation to help expand their offerings.
The new facility will be a serious upgrade from the current capacity of Traverse City Whiskey Co. The current distilling operation can produce three barrels a day. When the new distilling campus opens in 2024, it will expand capacity to produce seventy barrels a day. This increase in production will be a blessing as many of the current products have become hot ticket items.
In 2023 multiple Traverse City Whiskey Co. brands won Double Gold at the San Francisco World’s Spirit Competition. Those brands were the Barrel Proof Bourbon Whiskey, Barrel Proof Rye Whiskey, and Sherry Barrel Finished Bourbon. The Sherry Barrel Finish is one of the Finishing Series; a limited edition offering of whiskeys finished in a selection of wine casks.
The Finishing Series, which I’m looking at here, includes three brands; Cab Franc Barrel Finish, Port Barrel Finish, and, as previously mentioned, the Sherry Barrel Finish. These whiskeys have all been crafted to bring out the differences between the whiskey and the barrel used in the finishing process.
Today I’m reviewing The Port Barrel Finish, a five-year-old Straight Bourbon whiskey that spends nine months in Ruby Port casks.
Vital Stats: Five-year-old Straight Bourbon whiskey finished for 9 months in Ruby port barrels. 100 proof (50% abv), 750ml, $59.99 MSRP
Appearance: Gives off hues of dull rust and bold copper
Nose: Immediately hit with big aromas of orange zest and caramel. Nectarine fruit comes in after the first nosing.
Palate: Flavors of cherry skin and orange peel mix well with nutmeg and caramel. Finishes with cocoa and coffee notes that linger briefly and then diminish completely