91 points, Best Buy, and Top 100 by Wine Enthusiast
94 points, great value by Ultimate Spirits Challenge
93 points, double gold by Beverage Tasting Institute
Amador County is a sleepy Northern California region best known for its production of zinfandel wines. For its first whiskey release, Amador produced their own hop-flavored whiskey in conjunction with our friends at Charbay. With this second release, Amador has looked to the east: Kentucky, where it sourced some straight bourbon and shipped it back to California. After maturing in new oak, the whiskey is finished in used Napa (not Amador) wine barrels, though the type of wine that was in those barrels is not disclosed.
The release is technically a No Age Statement bottling, but the company says the 280 barrels it sourced from Kentucky were variously between three and ten years old and the finishing regimen adds another six months to that.
Double Barrel’s nose evokes classic, wood-driven bourbon notes. Barrel char and sawdust find secondary notes in modest vanilla and a cinnamon-raisin character, almost like a toasted slice of buttered raisin bread. The body plays up some of this, with fruity notes coming on strong up front. Notes of rum raisin, vanilla ice cream, baking spice, and classically toasty, burnt caramel-focused bourbon character come together to make for a relatively straightforward spirit with just a touch of variety. The finish is sweet, returning to that raisiny-fruity character for a relatively quick denouement.