As another year comes to a close, I can’t help but reflect on the passage of time and the changes it brings. Time is an essential ingredient in making whiskey. This quarter’s selection is the latest in a series that shows the effect each year of aging has on a whiskey. If you’ve been following Pinhook for a while, you’re well aware of their unique approach. If you are new to them, this bottle should serve as an excellent introduction to their whiskeys. Here’s wishing you a happy and healthy holiday season!

Sam Crocker
Spirits Buyer

Pinhook Vertical Series 8 Year Bourbon

Location: Frankfort, Kentucky

Pinhook was founded in 2010 by 3 friends of disparate backgrounds: an acclaimed restaurateur and certified sommelier, a television producer, and a businessperson. On a whim and with no real plan in mind, they purchased 20 barrels of young bourbon from MGP in Indiana. 13 years later, they are now producing their own distillate at Castle & Key Distillery in Frankfort, KY in addition to releasing their stock of MGP Bourbon and Rye.

The Vertical series is a limited series of nine consecutive annual vintages that explore the true impact of age on a whiskey’s character by following a group of 1,350 MGP barrels as they mature from 4 to 12 years of age. Different proofs are set each year to best express the unique attributes of that vintage’s blend. Blended from only 120 barrels, the 8 Year is the fifth release in the series, and the most limited to date. Like all of Pinhook’s whiskeys, it is unfiltered.

The vintage approach allows Pinhook to appreciate and savor the nuances of each year’s barrels, which are naturally shaped by the barrel oak, the climate, and the storage environment. Rather than following the traditional whiskey process that replicates flavor profiles, the vintage approach means that each vintage is blended and proofed to release the best whiskey every year.

The name Pinhook comes from the old Kentucky term for buying baby thoroughbreds, seeing them through to maturity, and selling when they are ready to run. Successful pinhooks, much like whiskey, are made on instinct, experience, an appreciation of quality, a little luck, and a lot of patience.

Price: $104.99

ABV/proof: 57.3%/114.6

Tasting Notes:

A bright nose of orange curacao, oloroso sherry, clove, and brown sugar that leads to a full palate of dark cherry, plum, cinnamon, and burnt sugar.


75% Corn

20.5% Rye

4.5% Malted Barley

More stories

November Beer of the Month

While having a pilsner or ale is nice any time of year, these shorter days and crisp weather always has me reaching for something darker and richer...

Champagne Club December '23: Pehu Simonet-Fins Lieux #7 ‘Les Chouettes’ Extra Brut 2013

What were you up to in 2013? Me? Well since you asked, I was living on Brooklyn’s loudest avenue (Flatbush), watching the construction site across ...