Rich Report Recommends: 'Bourbon Pursuit's' Blended Whiskey
What was Ryan Cecil's and Kenny Coleman's experience with their first blended bourbon?
Art critics, as well as whisky experts, often become their own creators. François Truffaut and Peter Bogdanovich both wrote about movies before creating their own. In a move not quite as lofty, but still noteworthy, the guys behind the popular Bourbon Pursuit podcast, Ryan Cecil and Kenny Coleman, have been releasing single barrel bourbons sourced from a variety of distilleries for the last few years under their Pursuit Spirits brand.
It is true that picking barrels is not as straightforward as creating whiskey, but it does require a lot of skill, knowledge, and taste, just as it does when creating whiskey. I just wanted to let you know about Episode 44 of this series, a seven-year-old bourbon from Finger Lakes Distillation which was released in July. Picking barrels isn't an easy task. In recent years, the guys have been creating a blend of straight bourbons and have been very pleased with the results. Pursuit United is a blend of straight bourbons that have recently been released, and they are extremely enthusiastic about it.
It has been a year since the first Pursuit United release was released, and this is the fourth in a row and will be the last release for 2021. Pursuit United's first release was released in January, and this new release was released in July. In this blend, there are three different states: Kentucky, New York, and Tennessee, and an undisclosed distillery, but not Tullahoma, which eliminates Cascade Hollow as a usual suspect.
There are about four to five years of age in this liquid, it has a 108 proof, and it has not been chill-filtered, which gives it “more barrel character,” a statement from the team. With 40 barrels in the blend, this release is four times bigger than the first, yielding just over 9,000 bottles that can be found at select stores and online for $65. This is a larger release than the first.
The nose of this whisky opens with hints of butterscotch and creamsicle ice cream shells. Cecil and Coleman did a good job in choosing the barrels and deciding what blend they wanted. After this, the palate is full of oak, orange, caramel, and rich chocolate syrup flavors. Towards the end of the bourbon, it fades into a warm, spiced finale of cherry pie, toasted pecan and a sweet, smooth finish. Overall, it is an interesting bourbon and is a testament to the thought and skill that goes into blending whiskey from a variety of distilleries.
As with most things, it is not simply a matter of finding barrels that you enjoy and mixing them together. It is a matter of matching complementary flavor profiles as well as determining the right proof for bottling. It is good to see and even better to taste a small batch blend of barrels from different distilleries that has been carefully blended together, because the number of small batch blends of barrels coming to market each year is on the rise.