Lonerider Spirits is a new company from the same people who created Lonerider Brewing, inRaleigh, North Carolina. The Sherry Finish Cask Bourbon is their first release. They didn’t distill the spirit – it comes from Indiana (likely MGP, given the mash bill: 60% corn, 36% rye, 4% barley). It clocks in at 90 proof.
Sherry cask finishing is all the rage, and it can be delightful, adding sweetness and depth, and taking the edge off a high rye blend. But more of a good thing does not always make a better thing. That’s the case for this honey-sweet sherry bomb.
The color is pure gold, without a hint of brown or red. Honey, marzipan, and sweet candied fruit come through on the nose, with the barest hint of pepper. The palate is young whiskey and sherry, and sherry, and sherry. It tastes like a whiskey and sherry cocktail, rather than a sherry finished spirit. A hint of vanilla here, some toffee there, peek out, but then hide again behind the sherry. There is a light alcohol bite and a bit of rye tingle.
This is the first try, and I’d be happy to see what Lonerider Spirits does next. They have access to a broad collection of craft beers and will be using them as the base for some future products. Those will be all Lonerider, so pass on this one and wait to see what they do next.