Straight Edge

"Smart combination of good wine and bourbon that works, albeit slightly one-sided and lacking depth"

(Photo from Whiskybase)

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Straight Edge Bourbon Whiskey is produced by The Splinter Group Spirit, a collaboration between Vintage Wine Estates, the Wilkinson Family and winemaker Bob Cabral (who made the first Pinot Noir that scored 100 points in Wine Enthusiast). They specialise in “mellowing” whisky in wine barrels. They also release a wine-finished American Whiskey (“Slaughter House”) and rye (“Whip Saw”). I wonder why they use these creepy names and labels, they probably are very fond of horror movies. This bourbon is finished in ex-Cabernet Sauvignon barrels from Mercury Head in the Napa Valley in California.

Nose

Balanced, slightly thin, but it gets more powerful and definitely fruitier over time. The wine dominates in the notes, but not disturbingly. Blue berries, black berries, fudge, blue berry muffins. It does find a better balance with the bourbon come more to the front. Nice note of blue berry-filled croissants. 

Taste

Polished wood, fudge and 90% chocolate. Slightly bitter, definitely not sweet, and also a bit closed. There is indeed a tannin-rich wine in the back, but it does really come to the front. Not bad obviously, because we have had Scotch that was just drenched in wine. More tannins in the development, cassis-flavoured wine gums, blue berry jam and a hint of basil. It does get better and better, I must say. Again those nice blue berry muffins, jam, fruit compote with some added raspberries and maybe one strawberry. I also get honey-drizzled biscuits and a hint of lemon zest. Pretty long aftertaste where the wine dominates.

Overall

I am very pleased with the balanced they have accomplished for this bourbon. The wine is good and it works with the bourbon. Smart choice to combine these, which probably shows the knowledge of the winemaker and whisky drinker. On the other side, the bourbon does not show much complexity, so for a bourbon it is slightly underpowered. It tends to get a little tiring after a glass, but I am not a regular wine drinker either.

  • Review 2019-059
  • Bourbon
  • Sourced from Kentucky and Tennessee (70% corn, 17% rye, 13% malted barley)
  • The Splinter Group Spirits
  • Blend of 5, 7 and 8 years old
  • Unknown bottling date
  • New American oak barrels and finished in seasoned wine barrels from the Napa Valley
  • Natural colour
  • Chill-filtered
  • 42
  • Undisclosed number of bottles
  • ±50
  • Difficult to find
  • Whiskybase #66201

What others say

Whiskybase: 81.50 (10 votes) * @TheWhiskeyWash: 86/100 * @Distiller: 92/100
Read for yourself

Big thanks to for sharing the sample!

Scores

these are my personal views, so do not take them too seriously… nothing beats tasting these for yourself •

Cask influence
55%
Sweet <-> Spicy
40%
  • Blue berries
  • Muffins
  • Chocolate
Nose 86%
Taste 85%
Balance 86%
Depth 84%
Finish 84%
Score