Review: Puncher’s Chance The Unified Belt

Review: Puncher’s Chance The Unified Belt

This is our fifth round with a Puncher’s Chance whiskey release, and this time out we’re getting something different from the brand’s creators at Wolf Spirit: The Unified Belt is a blend of three whiskeys — two bourbons and an Irish whiskey. This is the first transcontinental blend from the brand, though Irish-American combos are increasingly common, with recent offerings from Brothership and Keeper’s Heart gracing our pages of late.

Here’s what’s in the mix:

First into the ring is a four-year-old high-rye base Kentucky Straight Bourbon distilled with a proprietary yeast and aged to four years in barrels featuring a #4 alligator char aged at a traditional rickhouse in Danville, KY; the mash bill being 70% corn, 20% rye, 10% malt. That is married to a four-year-old Irish Whiskey crafted from 100% malted barley and proprietary yeast, then aged in former Bourbon barrels in a palletized warehouse in Ireland. To add further complexity and depth, a third cask joins the lineup, this being a 14-year-old Bourbon finished in first-fill Pedro Ximenez and Oloroso Sherry casks for up to 15 months. The mash bill of this precious liquid is 84% corn, 8% rye and 10% malt.

Let’s give it a try.

The Irish is strong in this one, and the honeyed, cereal-heavy base immediately pops in the glass. It’s slightly musty at times, with notes of mushroom and oxidized wine driven by the sherry-finished bourbon, turning increasingly earthy over a while.

As with many complicated blends along these lines, the palate strikes the drinker as quite unusual, mixing a sweet base of toffee with a slight savory edge that recalls sherried mushrooms and a touch of leather. Time in glass brings things back around to the sweeter side, with elements of coconut, brown butter, baking spices, and some mint all in appearance. The finish is mostly clean and balanced among the components, with chew caramel and vanilla dominant, sprinkled with baking spice once again.

All told, it’s less a battle in the boxing ring and more a nice little journey across three divergent styles of whiskey.

96 proof.

A- /  $150 /

Puncher's Chance The Unified Belt




Christopher Null is the founder and editor in chief of Drinkhacker. A veteran writer and journalist, he also operates Null Media, a bespoke content creation company.

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