Recently Released Whiskeys That We Definitely Recommend Chasing Down
O.H. Ingram River Aged Whiskey
Released: November 2020
Historically, whiskey maturation occurs in a massive, dusty barrelhouse in a long line of barrelhouses that’s reminiscent of the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark. Casks or barrels sit stacked on top of each other for years, slowly aging until they hit a certain milestone, or the distiller deems them ready. This is pretty much the industry standard for whiskey from Tullahoma to Taipei.
In November, the aptly named Brown Water Spirits introduced its first whiskey, called O.H. Ingram River Aged Straight Whiskey. This is the first-ever whiskey to be aged in a floating rickhouse (another name for barrelhouse) moored on the shore of the Mississippi River.
While aging whiskey in a foating barrelhouse sounds like a gimmick, the brand swears there’s more to it. Moored in Ballard County, Kentucky, the whiskey is exposed to the varying climate conditions of the river as well as the constant rise and fall of the water level. The distillers believe this creates unique flavors and barrel exposure for the juice inside.
You’ll be greeted with notes of caramel corn, baking spices, charred oak, and sweet vanilla on the nose. The first sip yields buttery treacle, dried cherries, allspice, and buttercream. The finish is long, warming, and ends with a nice mix of spicy and sweet.
A fun conversation bottle and more affordable than most everything on this list. Having tried it, it’s hard to be sure if river aging really is an exceptional technique — but we are willing to state that the bottle quality is worth tracking down and trying.