Broken Barrel Whiskey Finished in Mizunara and Maple Barrels, Taster’s Club Exclusive and Limited Edition Feature
We like to be on the lookout for really interesting bottles that might be hard to find just by going to your local liquor store. Part of what makes Taster' Club so unique is that we offer curated bottle features to our club members each month- hand-selected just for you! But we like to take it a step further and find one-off bottles we think you'll really love. Now that we've re-opened our Bottle Shop with hundreds of new spirits options, we can offer you even more great finds. Broken Barrel Whiskey offers some of the most innovative whiskeys we've tried, and this one is no exception- but it's the rarity of it that makes it so special. Read on to find out what makes this selection so unique and how you can get your hands on one. There are only 66 bottles available though, so read fast!
Intro to Broken Barrel Whiskey
We all know that whiskey has a mash bill, but is it possible to also have an Oak Bill? That’s what Seth Benhaim has created at Broken Barrel Whiskey. Instead of finishing whiskey inside of barrels, he and his team explore what happens if you do the exact opposite- put wood into the whiskey. You read that right- Broken Barrel Whiskey finishes their whiskey with broken barrel staves with their signature Oak Bill. The innovation doesn’t end there, though. They’ve come up with some really fantastic whiskeys, one of which we snatched up as soon as we heard about it.
Super-limited bottles for a super-limited time. If you’re not already intrigued, keep reading, and we’ll share all the reasons we’re so excited to share this bottle with you.
Broken Barrel Whiskey’s Unique Story
Broken Barrel Whiskey began with a man, an axe, a barrel, and a dream. From its inception, the brand was intended to be different from all other whiskeys. Broken Barrel’s founder Seth Benhaim, had already found success with his first liquor brand of single bottle infused vodkas, Infuse Spirits. At age 29, Seth sourced his first barrels of bourbon from Owensboro, Kentucky to produce what would later become Broken Barrel Whiskey Co. The experiment involved sourcing used bourbon barrels, French oak barrels, and sherry casks from Spain – all to be used in the first ever Oak Bill™.
Ok, so what exactly is an "Oak Bill"? Unlike traditional methods of simply barrel aging and bottling a whiskey, Broken Barrel’s process involves additional steps of smashing used barrels and combining the staves from ex-Bourbon, Sherry, and French oak barrels in a specific ratio. Besides being a therapeutic way to exert some energy, breaking the barrels helps to create layered, complex flavors not commonly found in your everyday bourbon.
The Absolutely One of a Kind Broken Barrel Whiskey: Straight American Whiskey Finished With Japanese Mizunara & Quarter Cask Maple Barrels
And yes, we got our hands on it!
Due to unforeseen circumstances, 20 cases of Broken Barrel’s 2019 Single Oak Series Mizunara Whiskey were undelivered to their intended distributor early on in the pandemic. But this is where the innovative spirit of Broken Barrel founder Seth Benhaim came alive. He had just acquired two quarter cask (15G) ex-bourbon Maple Syrup Barrels around this time, inspiring him to make something brand spanking new!
Seth poured all the Mizunara into the quarter cask, and after 21 months, a distinctly uncommon combination of flavors has morphed together into one wildly exceptional whiskey that has never been crafted before. We were lucky to get our hands on it and we are SO excited to be able to share it with you!
The whiskey boasts clear maple and sweet sugar notes on the nose, and surprisingly warm wooded flavors of cedar, and an alpine taste reminiscent of tree sap. Balanced wonderfully with maple, toffee, and roasted almond flavors.
It's absolutely a one-of-a-kind whiskey. Get your bottle while we have them!
Why We Love the Original Broken Barrel Whiskey Mizunara
Remember that the Maple Mizunara came from the Original Mizunara Whiskey, which combined 4 to 5-year-old corn whiskeys, finished with 100% Mizunara cask staves. The winter release in 2019 was bottled at 100 proof, but the Maple Mizunara was bottled at 99 proof.
Mizunara literally translates to “water oak.” It’s become a popular choice for aging whiskey, but it’s a rare wood, now sourced in Mongolia, and there are some challenges with using it. Mizunara has a high moisture content and is much more porous than other commonly used oaks for barrel making, which means it’s prone to leakage.
But because Broken Barrel Whiskey uses the staves, or pieces of the wood in the finish, they’ve eliminated the leaking risk, creating a rich, harmonious blend that is both American in sweetness and character, while still notably Japanese-styled in its mellow smooth finish. It’s exceptionally flavorful and unforgettably clean tasting - a whiskey meant to be sipped, savored, and most importantly - shared.
“Maple Mizunara is an absolute first in the whiskey world and a testament to the imagination and creativity of what Broken Barrel does – push boundaries and go where others won’t in the exploration of new and exciting oak combinations.”
What are Other Whiskey Fans Saying About Broken Barrel Whiskey?
Broken Barrel Whiskey has earned numerous awards for its line of spirits.
The Mizunara Whiskey is part of this Single Oak Series which has earned several awards, including a Double Gold Medal in the Wheat Whisk(e)y category for Isle of Peat at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition, and a Silver Medal for Cask of Amontillado in the Other Whisk(e)y category.
The WhiskeyWash had this to say about Broken Barrel Whiskey Single Oak Series:
“I most enjoyed this delicate whiskey neat. It’s simple, but not boring, and an easy, light sipper.”
We were already fans of the Mizunara Whiskey from Broken Barrel Whiskey. But you don’t have to take our word for how good it is. It earned 95 Points Gold Medal 2020 USA Spirits Competition, and Whiskey Consensus had this to say about it.
“The Broken Barrel Mizunara Whiskey is unique and interesting. This whiskey was uniform throughout the tasting. Oak spice and corn are the dominant notes in this spirit. The Japanese oak adds in interesting characteristic to this take on American Whiskey.”
And about their Signature Oak Bill? Whiskey Pop says,
"They take the broken staves of other barrels to make what they call their Oak Bill... I think what they're doing is a neat idea. It's working; I think it's executed well."
You can read more about what other whiskey fans and media outlets are saying about Broken Barrel Whiskey here.
How to Drink Broken Barrel Whiskey
Ok, so you’re definitely getting a bottle, and we bet you’re the generous type who will even share with friends. If not, hey, we understand- this is a pretty rare whiskey that you wont find anywhere else! Once your package arrives, what’s the first thing you’ll do? We hope you’ll shoot a quick unboxing video and tag us on Instagram, so we can share it with other whiskey lovers like yourself. Then you’ll look at the clock and think, “Well, it’s 5 O’Clock somewhere” and you’ll go ahead and open the bottle. Before you pour it though, take a moment to examine the bottle, designed especially for this expression. You might notice it’s dark matte in color, unlike Broken Barrel’s other bottles, which are generally transparent glass. The black bottle helps pique your curiosity about the liquid inside. We love the label too, embossed in silver and gold, giving us a hint of the clean and sophisticated quality of the whiskey.
Grab your favorite whiskey glass, and if you have a Glencairn, even better. The shape of this glass helps to enhance the aromas and flavors, and believe us, you’ll want to savor every note you can. Glencairn glasses are also good for swirling your whiskey, and if you’re not a pro, well, this glass is great for practicing- it’s less likely to splash out over the side, and spilled whiskey is never a good thing.
A standard whiskey pour is 1.5 ounces for a shot, 2 ounces for a neat or rocks pour, and 3 ounces for a double. We recommend pouring it straight at first and letting it aerate for a couple of minutes to release more of the aromatic compounds. If you prefer, you can add a splash of water to open it up even more and let the nose and body dilute just a tad. This helps to cut some of the alcohol burn and lets you enjoy the flavors as you sip it. Notice the color of the broken Barrel Whiskey Mizunara- it’s an amber brown color straight, but will soften in color if you add water or ice.
Alright, now you're ready for your first sip! Give your glass a swirl, put your nose into the glass (not all the way in) and then back out again. You can also hover your nose above the opening of the glass and move closer slowly as the aromas unfold. You’ll detect strong maple and sweet sugar notes on the nose, which might remind you of eating pancakes on Sunday mornings as a kid. Except this is better because… it’s whiskey.
Sip a very small bit, and let the flavors be experienced with the least amount of alcohol possible. Give your palate a chance to adjust to the alcohol levels for a few seconds by rolling it around on your tongue or swirling it around in your mouth. If you think look funny, then you’re doing it right!
You’ll pick up warm wooded flavors of cedar and an alpine taste reminiscent of tree sap. And it’s deliciously balanced with maple, toffee, and roasted almond flavors. After a few seconds, notice the supple honey and maple sweetness, followed by a mild spice, and wooded finish. Now how incredible is that?!
If you prefer to drink your whiskey in a cocktail, founder Seth Benhain recommends a Whiskey Old Fashioned.
Maple Mizunara Old Fashioned
- 1.5 oz Maple Mizunara Whiskey
- 1 Sugar cube
- 2 dashes Angostura bitters
- 1 tsp spring water
- Garnish: Orange peel
- Add the sugar and bitters to a rocks glass. Add the water, and stir until the sugar is nearly dissolved.
- Fill the glass with large ice cubes. Add the Whiskey, and the bitters, and gently stir to combine.
- Squeeze an orange wedge over the glass, then drop in a piece of the orange peel.
Keep enjoying it, of course! Remember that this is a super rare opportunity, and you’ll want to explore all the flavors and nuances in this bottle. We’d love to see a photo of you pouring it, drinking it, or sharing it with friends. We knew you’d share!