Review: Broken Barrel Honey Smoke Reserva American Whiskey

Review: Broken Barrel Honey Smoke Reserva American Whiskey

We’ve been chronicling the releases of Broken Barrel Whiskey Co. for years — with plenty of winners and losers recorded over that time. This latest limited edition of 1900 bottles is an update to its 2022 Honey Smoke release, a single barrel expression of Kentucky-distilled American whiskey (99% corn, 1% malted barley), aged for 6 years and finished for 5 months in barrels featuring added staves taken from both honey barrels and Texas sotol barrels.

The honey does a lot of the heavy lifting here, giving the nose a clear but sharp sweetness that has the distinct touch of earth that evokes honey, plus an herbal quality that provides a savory element that evokes rosemary and thyme. Peppery and forceful, the tequila-adjacent sotol element makes its presence known without ever overwhelming the rest of the experience.

As expected, the whiskey is quite sweet on the palate, with the honey barrel again dominating: sultry with that inimitable earthy sweetness, lightly grassy amidst its stronger notes of citrus peel and crumbled, charred wood. Light on its feet and only gently touched by the barrel, an engaging but somewhat haphazard mix of baking spice, toasted coconut, milk chocolate, and petrol all come into focus — before a finish redolent of peanut shells, dusted with cinnamon, slowly takes over.

There’s plenty to enjoy here, but ultimately it’s the honey barrel that dominates the experience from start to finish. Not a thing wrong with that, of course. If ever there was a way to guarantee a crowd pleaser in a whiskey, honey’s the move to make.

110 proof.

B+ / $80 / brokenbarrel.com

Broken Barrel Honey Smoke Reserva American Whiskey

$80
8.5

Rating

8.5/10

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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