Castle and Key Distillery
75% Corn, 15% Rye, 10% Malted Barley
More Than 3 Years
History – “The standard approach to American whiskey uses blending and a fixed proof to replicate an established flavor profile batch after batch. Breaking with this tradition, Pinhook treats each set of barrels as a new vintage, shaped by the natural variations in the ingredients and the elements. Working in small batches, we craft each vintage to express the best whiskey rather than the same whiskey, and set the proof to optimize the unique attributes of that group of barrels.
To differentiate these expressions from each other and to help identify the same expression across multiple vintages, we have developed a visual language, inspired by jockeys’ silks. Here’s what each component signifies.” – Pinhookbourbon.com
Each label on for the Pinhook brand is unique and has three components that allow consumers to identify the bottle.
The Colors – “Pinhook makes two styles of whiskey— bourbon and rye—in four different expressions of each. Every one of those eight total expressions has its own dedicated color of dipped wax, which always remains the same, year after year.”
The Geometry – “Each vintage has its own geometric shape, which appears on the label of every expression released that year.”
The Horses – “The horse on Pinhook labels denote a lot of barrels from which that blend comes. Every year Pinhook selects two up-and-coming thoroughbreds with our partners at Bourbon Lane Stable one with a Bourbon name and one with a Rye name.” – Pinhookbourbon.com
Value – At $30 I cannot complain in the department. It’s a great bourbon at a great price that adds something very different and unique to your bourbon cabinet.
Appearance – Light Copper. This bottle is a classic wine shaped bottle that tells the subconscious that this bourbon is fruit forward. By its orange labeling, shape and orange top it definitely screams ‘Summer Drink”.
Nose – Orange, clove, honeysuckle and cherry on the nose after a few pulls. It’s light and soft that really makes you feel like you want to come back for another nose. Impressive and can really smell the fruits that it lets out.
Palate – Very forward with heavy fruit tastes such as a strong peach flavor and light cinnamon. Something thin and has a little bit of licorice in there that really goes a long way. This is a great sip for a 100 proof bourbon that is light on the tongue and heavy on the flavor.
Finish – The finish has what you would expect from a 100 proof bourbon and is very even on its linger. It’s refreshing to be honest with you and is one that you can sip on from time to time leaving you totally relaxed as you await the next pour.
Summary – Pinhook is very unique in that it has a focal point around horses that really grabs you and brings you to the roots of bourbon in Kentucky. Much like Woodford Reserve does as they focus around the Kentucky Derby this brand is an up and coming competitor for that audience. At this price this bourbon can stand out among some of the best in its category. Focusing on more of a fruit forward side it is slightly different but appealing.
“While this bourbon is thin and shows that it is still a young bourbon it provides you with a taste profile that is light and extremely enjoyable!”
– Andrew Workman
Uniqueness – 1-10 – 3
Appearance- 1-10 – 10
Nose- 1-20 – 15
Palate- 1-20 – 13
Finish- 1-20 – 11
Value- 1-20 – 20
Andrew Workman on 10/7/2022
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