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Focused on finishing, Broken Barrel Whiskey Co. delivers whiskey worth its weight in oak

LOS ANGELES, Calif. – Broken Barrel Whiskey Co., whose portfolio of premium whiskeys showcases the impact of a non-traditional cask-finishing practice on flavor, has officially reintroduced its core line of whiskeys now exclusively Kentucky Straight Bourbon & Rye , which are distilled by eighth-generation Master Distiller Jacob Call at the historic Owensboro Distilling Co., Kentucky.

While most whiskeys are aged in barrels and then bottled, Broken Barrel Whiskey Co. Founder and CEO Seth Benhaim felt there was a missed opportunity in traditional barrel finishing – namely the reliance on a type of cask used to finish a type of whiskey. He created Broken Barrel to extend the concept of barrel finishing, involving not only broken barrel staves (vs. intact barrels), but also the combination of multiple barrel types all finishing bourbon aged in tandem.

“We always say the truth is in the barrel,” Benhaim said. “The contact with the oak gives the whiskey its character and charisma and defines the final whisky. It is responsible for 80% of the flavor savored in every sip, which is why we age and finish our whiskeys using various combinations of cask types.

After the Broken Barrel whiskey has aged for a minimum of two years, the casks are carefully selected, poured and collected into a large tank. Broken barrel staves from several different cask types are then added to age and finish the whisky. While most whiskey enthusiasts are familiar with a mash bill, or a combination of grains used, Benhaim coined the term Oak Bill™, to refer to the combination of barrel staves of different barrel types used in each expression, as indicated on each bottle. Individually, these types of oak casks are typically not used on 95% of all bourbon or rye whiskeys produced, and rarely, if ever, are three types of oak used at the same time to finish a whisky.

The core product portfolio, which features a new premium look, includes:

  • small batch ($35) – A bold, 95-degree oak-proof KY straight bourbon with a spicy finish. Notes of vanilla cake batter and a candy corn sweetness
    • Mash Bill: 70% corn, 21% rye, 9% barley
    • Oak log: 40% ex-bourbon, 40% new French oak, 20% sherry cask
  • California oak ($35) – An 88-proof KY Straight Bourbon meets California’s Central Coast, using Cabernet Sauvignon barrels as the prominent oak finish. Balanced caramelized sweetness, with dates and black fruits, and a tannic finish
    • Mash Bill: 70% corn, 21% rye, 9% barley
    • Oak Bill: 80% California Cabernet, 20% new French oak
    • Awards: Gold Medal, 2020 San Francisco World Spirits Competition, Tasting Panel 2022 (91 points)
  • Heresy Rye ($35) – A sherry-influenced, double-oak, 105-proof straight rye whiskey, with baked sweet vanilla, freshly made batter, with traces of charred oak, sweetness of marzipan and a classic spicy rye finish
    • Mash Bill: 95% rye, 5% barley
    • Oak log: 40% ex-bourbon, 40% new French oak, 20% sherry cask
    • Awards: Gold Medal, 2019 San Francisco World Spirits Competition, Tasting Panel 2022 (93 points)
  • barrel strength ($45) – An unapologetically big bourbon at 115 Proof with hints of fresh blackberries, caramel, hints of orange, corn and cinnamon on the finish.
    • Mash Bill: 70% corn, 21% rye, 9% barley
    • Oak log: 40% ex-bourbon, 40% new French oak, 20% sherry cask
    • Awards: Tasting panel 2022 (94 points)

Limited Edition Special Editions

In the spirit of experimentation, Broken Barrel regularly releases special releases that allow the team to further flex their creative muscles and incorporate barrel staves from various unique barrel combinations from around the world. They are currently stepping up their Los Angeles whiskey warehouse by regularly collecting and breaking barrels, experimenting with aging and blending, and tasting and bottling new limited-release and single-barrel projects.


Broken Barrel products are sold online through Caskers, Flaviar, Reserve Bar and Wine.com and at select outlets in 33 US states. The Broken Barrel Stave House & Bottle Shop, located at 2332 East 8th Street in Downtown Los Angeles, is open Monday through Friday from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Limit yourself to three bottles per person per day.

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About Broken Barrel Whiskey Co.

Founded in 2017, Broken Barrel Whiskey is a portfolio of premium whiskeys from the historic Owensboro Distilling Co. in Kentucky. Base expressions exclusively include Kentucky Straight Bourbon and Rye Whiskey, which are then aged and finished using various types and combinations of barrel staves.

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