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Pinhook Bourbon Heist

We all try to look for good deals when we're shopping - you know, to find something on sale or to find something at a bargain that's a great value. The Pinhook Bourbon family seeks to do just that - find great bourbons and age them to maturity and release exceptional bourbon.



Pinhooking Horses and Bourbon


"Pinhook" refers to a thoroughbred racing term used to describe the process of purchasing young thoroughbred horses, raising them until maturity, and selling them to become racehorses. Pinhook founders Sean Josephs (who serves as Master Blender), Jay Peterson, and Charles Fulford have been taking the same process - except with bourbon barrels. Until 2020, they had been pinhooking select barrels from MGP in Lawrenceburg, Indiana (check out our thoughts on the 2018 and 2019 releases).


Beginning with the 2020 release, the product has been produced, barreled, and aged at the Castle & Key Distillery (the site of the former Old Taylor Distillery). If you tour the facility, you might even spy some Pinhook barrels aging in the massive 534-foot-long Warehouse B – the longest of its kind in the world.


The 2021 Release is appropriately titled Bourbon Heist, sired by Practical Joke and Elusive One. Foaled April 16, 2019 and owned by nearby Bourbon Lane Stables, this 16.1 hand colt has 5 starts, with 2 places and 5 shows.



The Tasting


The 2021 release continues to build on what is becoming the standard Pinhook mash bill of 75% corn, 15% rye, and 10% malted barley. The label, adorned with the thoroughbred Bourbon Heist, states that the bourbon contained in the tall wax-dipped bottle has been aged more than 3 years and is bottled at 98 proof. From the website, we learn that this bourbon showcases bright aromas of orange blossom, nutmeg, and fresh-roasted coffee. These transition to a vibrant palate of butterscotch, toasted coconut, almond, and sassafras.


Eye: Light amber


Nose: Very butterscotchy on the nose - like those hard butterscotch candies. Also some English toffee and fresh baked bread.


Palate: Light with vanilla, orange zest, followed by some slight grassy notes (like an Irish whiskey).

Finish: Medium with sweet vanilla, followed by rye and toasted oak.


Overall: Thumbs up on another strong contender from Pinhook. This is a good product in and of itself, but as I shared in past reviews, I'd love to see how a couple more years of aging would deepen the flavor profile.


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