Laws Whiskey House, the award-winning grain-to-glass distillery in Denver, announces the release of their Cognac Finished Bourbon.
Introduced in 2017 as one of the brand’s first projects in their Special Finish series, this new Cognac Finished Bourbon has been thoughtfully aged for more than four years and is finally ready to share. This limited release will be available in key markets across the country starting November 2021.
Laws’ new Cognac Finished Bourbon is the first release of a living and evolving annual blend. Through several years of trial and experimentation, Laws created a distinctive solera process where only a portion of their Cognac Finished Bourbon is released at a time, leaving the remainder to marry with future blends of this whiskey.
The process starts with Laws Four Grain Straight Bourbon that has been aged for a minimum of two years in new American oak barrels. Select barrels are then chosen to be finished in 205L and 400L Cognac casks for secondary aging. Finally, the Cognac Finished Bourbon is married together in a 50-year-old French oak blending vat known as a foeder. Each year, only a portion of the foeder will be harvested meaning each annual release will contain molecules and style continuity from this first batch.
“We love not only the taste and end result of this whiskey, but also the intricate process it takes to get here,” says Al Laws, founder of Laws Whiskey House. “That’s why we turned to Cognac for inspiration. Cognac producers are masters of the blending process, creating some of the most amazing styles and depths of flavor with their techniques.”
To learn more about Cognac, Laws called on sixth generation Cognac producer Alain Royer. Alain helped provide technical expertise on Cognac cask finishing and blending, and also lent a hand in sourcing a blending vat. Similar to Cognac production, the right blending vat is necessary for creating a distinctive style beyond what the distillery had done before. French oak, in particular, is prized for adding elegance and finish to spirits.
“We needed something that would softly add to the flavor and continue to promote maturation. It’s easy to source stainless steel tanks, but we knew this wouldn’t add to the flavor of the whiskey and enhance the process like an organic vessel would,” notes Laws. “Fortunately, Alain came through with exactly what we needed.”
Through Mr. Royer, the Laws team purchased a 50-year-old, 60 hectoliter French oak Cognac foeder. The foeder is the perfect vessel for maturation and is what enables the solera process. After a portion of the blend is harvested for each annual release, the foeder is immediately topped with Cognac finished Four Grain Bourbon and the cycle continues. The Laws team expects the whiskey’s flavor to evolve with time, making it a collectible whiskey from year to year.
This first release consists of 2,220 750ml bottles. This distinctive whiskey has aromas of stewed fruit and black tea on the nose. The spirit boasts flavors of spiced apple butter, toasted wood, and raisin leading to a rich and luxurious finish.
“We pride ourselves in continually learning and improving our craft,” says Laws. “We’re excited to have you join us on this delicious and incredibly fun taste journey as we experience how this whiskey evolves over time.”
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