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Expand Your Palate With These 6 Finished American Whiskeys

Finishing, also known as double maturing, is a process in which whiskey undergoes a secondary aging period in a different container than the one it was initially aged in. Some of the most common finishing barrels are those that were previously used to finish fortified wines like sherry, port, madeira, red burgundy or chardonnay, although finishes in ex-spirit barrels (like rum, whiskey, tequila, etc.) are fairly common, as well.

Well-known finished whiskeys include Balvenie’s “Doublewood”; Angel’s Envy bourbon finished in port and rum barrels; Glenlivet’s “American Oak Finish” and “French Oak Finish”; the Glenmorangie range of sherry, port, Madeira and burgundy finishes; and Diageo’s line of “Distiller’s Edition” whiskies.

Finishing was introduced by scotch distillers, but the practice has since been adopted by distilleries across the globe, including the U.S., giving rise to some of the best American whiskeys available today.

Here are six of our favorite finished American whiskeys.

Barrell Seagrass

Finished American Whiskeys

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Barrell Seagrass is a blend of Canadian and Indiana rye whiskey that underwent finishing in Martinique Agricole Rum, Madeira and Apricot Brandy casks.

Bottled with an ABV of 59.2%, This complex blend features bold notes of spicy rye and grassy notes with lemon-lime, apricot and Madeira wine. Powerful rye spice marries with understated pepper and oak for an intensely dry, fruity back palate.

Barrell Seagrass can be found for $90 at most major liquor retailers.

Jack Daniel’s Twice Barreled American Single Malt

Finished American Whiskeys

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Jack Daniel’s Twice Barreled American Single Malt is the brand’s first single malt. Distilled from a mashbill of 100% barley, passed through Jack Daniel’s classic charcoal mellowing process and aged in new oak barrels for at least four years, this whiskey underwent a two-year finish in Oloroso sherry casks.

This whiskey is rich on the palate and is deceptively drinkable; it drinks like a 90-proof dram but clocks in at 107.8. It features notes of malt, cherry, cocoa, honey, tobacco, pepper and raisin bread.

For whiskey connoisseurs looking to try a really good bottle, this whiskey is a must-try — if you can find it. This limited-edition whiskey dropped in November with a suggested retail price of $70, but good luck finding it for that price this long after its debut. Unless you get really lucky or want to spend at least a couple hundred bucks, you might have to wait for the next batch.

Basil Hayden Red Wine Cask Finish

Finished American Whiskeys

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Basil Hayden Red Wine Cask Finish is a Beam-distilled bourbon that was partially finished (meaning some of the blend was finished, but the rest wasn’t) in red wine casks before being bottled at 40% ABV in 2022.

This is an interesting finished whiskey because only part of it was finished in wine casks, but there is no disclosure on how much of the whiskey was finished. However, we’re inclined to deem that the partial finish was a success. Oftentimes, red-wine-finished whiskeys end up tasting far too winey, washing out much of the bourbon’s flavor. That’s not the case here despite the whiskey’s lower proof — a sign that the partial finishing process has done a good job. This is a nicely balanced dram.

While this whiskey is thin on the palate (no surprise for an 80-proof expression) it packs rich flavors, with caramel, honey and light sweet oak and cherries among the most prominent notes. Stewed fruits, blackberry and faint currant add to the whiskey’s sweet complexity.

Basil Hayden Red Wine Cask Finish provides an easy-to-drink experience with approachable flavors.

Basil Hayden Red Wine Cask Finish can be found easily online and in select retailers for around $70.

Penelope Valencia

Finished American Whiskeys

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Penelope Valencia is a 48.5%-ABV bourbon distilled at MGP, blended by Penelope and finished in barrels that once contained Vino De Naranja — a sweet wine macerated on orange peels. The finish provides an interesting, flavorful twist.

The taste features a medium mouthfeel with nice viscosity. Bold flavors of maple, honey, orange peel, zest, ginger and marmalade create an enjoyable balance of fruit for a rich and sweet — but not too sweet — profile.

Penelope Valencia retails for about $75. It can be a bit tricky to find, since it was a limited release, but it can be had from some online retailers.

Thomas S. Moore Port Cask Finish

Finished American Whiskeys

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Thomas S. Moore Port Cask Finish is a 2021 bourbon distilled by Barton and aged for an undisclosed period and finished in Port wine casks.

The taste is dry initially on the palate before the port wine kicks in to bring jammy berries, blackberry, currant and sweet cream. Apricots, honey and slivered almonds add complexity to the dram.

This can easily be found online at prices ranging from $70-$85.

Rabbit Hole Dareringer

Finished American Whiskeys

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Rabbit Hole Dareringer is a 46.5%-ABV bourbon produced by Rabbit Hole in Kentucky and finished in PX Sherry casks.

The palate features a medium mouthfeel with notes of caramel, praline and juicy fruits such as cherry, blackberry, currant and a hint of peach. If you have a sweet tooth, this well-composed sherry-finished bourbon will not disappoint.

Rabbit Hole Dareringer retails for $80 from any major liquor store.

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Madison Kopta is an editor at Whiskey Raiders. As a Northern California native and mom of four, Madison spends much of her time enjoying the great outdoors with her family. From camping to keeping an eagle eye out for Bigfoot, you can find Madison in nature, enjoying a glass of whiskey with her husband.