Pinhook Vertical Series 8-Year-Old Single Barrel – JJ’s Edition

Today is the eve before Christmas Eve. In the last ten years or so, this is the day that I have marked on my calendar to get ready for all hell to break loose as folks secure their last minute gifts and needs before the Christmas holiday.

I don’t expect today to be any different as I write this blog piece, so forgive any typos as I rush to get this done.

But, before we get into today’s entry in the 2023 Spirited Holiday Countdown Calendar, I want to talk a little about my team. 

“Unmistakable Stars”

Last Sunday, we had a going away party for a departing team member. While Taylor was only with us for a short period of time, he has left an indullible impact on our culture at JJ’s. For this we needed to celebrate, so we decided to do just that. The photo above was captured at this event. The photographer was Anastasia and, by chance, she captured the perfect caption on the TV in the background. These guys are certainly “unmistakable stars”.

From left… Brianna, Jessica, Julie, Kayley, Kailie, Sarah T., Marli, Noah, Joe, Carrie, Taylor, Jill, (Me), Barry, Anne, Tyl and Brayden. Not pictured, but in attendance – Jean, Barb, Ted (not sure where he went) and Anastasia (photographer).

Also not pictured, but equally important… Kaleb, Kate, Cara, Dani, Amanda, Angela, Annie, April, Bailey, Barry K., Bree, Brittany, Cami, Codey, Danielle, Dean, Dylan, Jolene, Kelly, Lea, Lindy, Margie, Mary, Paula, Sarah B., Sevin and Zach.

As I looked around the room at our extended family, I began to realize something. None of these people have to be here. They all came, on their days off, to spend time together and say goodbye to a friend and family member.

Then as the evening rolled on, I realized how close all of these “kids” have gotten over the course of the last year and it filled my heart with a sense of joy that I hadn’t felt in some time.

A few years ago I was convinced that we needed to realign our corporate structure. As the business grew after the move to our current location, it felt a bit chaotic. It was determined that we need to evolve from the Mom & Pop shop structure we had been for years into more of corporate hierarchy. Less of family business, and more of a business.

We tried. And it was moving in the direction we expected, but it just didn’t feel quite right. Then the pandemic hit. And in that time it was decided that this IS a family business, and doubling down on that Mom & Pop cultural strategy was what was going to give us the stability we needed coming out of the pandemic to hit the ground running.

The last three plus years have not been easy. But, we have managed to get through it with a very bright future on the horizon. I will take some of the credit for steering us through the muck of the pandemic and everything that has occurred on the back side of it, good and bad. But the majority of the good can most certainly be credited to the family culture we have devleoped in our business and the people Jean and I have assembled.

On to today’s entry…

We started selling Pinhook whiskies early in 2022. Joe had been a big fan of Pinhook for some time and spent a lot of time and money acquiring a fairly large collection of Pinhook whiskies from all over. So, when we were provided the opportunity to acquire a single barrel of Pinhook, it didn’t take much convincing.

We were not able to do a trip to select this barrel, so samples were provided and the think tank went to work on selecting the perfect barrel. Further, we were offered a single barrel from what is known as their “Vertical Series”, making this unique barrel even more special. Not to mention it was the first and only Pinhook barrel to be offered in the South Dakota market.

Every Pinhook label pays homage to a horse. Providing details of the horses paired with each label on the label itself. Bourbon War is the horse depicted on the Vertical Series label.

Pinhook is a non distiller producer with a majority of their offerings in the well-aged portion of their portfolio coming from MGP. Their more recent and younger expressions are now being produced at Castle & Key distillery in Woodford County just outside of Frankfort… the heart of thoroughbred racing in Kentucky.

We will be traveling to Kentucky to select more Pinhook barrels in the near future. Joe is marrying his partner in life, Anastasia, in September and we will be selecting a couple of Pinhook’s to celebrate the occasion and share some really good whiskey with you.

I hope you enjoy!

  • Name: Pinhook Vertical Series 8-Year-Old Single Barrel – JJ’s 1st Edition
  • Country of Origin/Locale: Frankfort, KY by way if Lawrenceburg, IN
  • Proof: 114.5
  • Glass: Glencairn or Double Old Fashioned glass over ice
  • Temperature: Room or chilled
  • Cocktail Options: Makes an excellent Old Fashioned
  • Available: Yes, Also in JJ’s Bar for pours.
  • Price: List Price – $114.99 JJ’s VIP Price – $91.99

Tom’s Tasting Notes: This whiskey is classic MGP. Big, bold, expressive and spicy. The aromas are sweet caramel, toasty vanilla, baking spices and tobacco. The flavor is rich and mouthfilling with a heavy component of caramel and toasty oak. The finish is long and spicy with cinnamon and white pepper.