I spent over half my life growing up in the bold new city of the south, Jacksonville, Florida. When I lived there it sadly didn’t have a distillery downtown but recently that changed with the opening of Manifest Distilling. Like most distilleries, while they’re waiting on their whiskey to age they’ve put out a gin and a vodka… as well as a special whiskey project.
The men at Manifest teamed up with another Jacksonville local, Blake Riber from Bourbonr to release The Manifest Whiskey project, a set of special single barrel offerings and a small batch blend. Instead of traditionally sourcing some whiskey, they purchased twelve barrels of 9 year old high rye bourbon from the old Seagrams distillery in Lawrenceburg, Indiana and then drug them all the way back to Florida to finish aging in the south.
Of the 12 barrels selected, five of which tasted by Blake & the Manifest Distillery crew, were turned into single barrel releases [of which I have barrel #12.] The remaining seven were blended in varying degrees to comprise the small batch release. So let’s see how my barrel fares, here’s the review:
Nose: A fair amount of vanilla, a little astringency like a fresh black Sharpie marker, some mint, and a bit of what I want to say is graham cracker or pie crust.
Taste: The high rye spice hits you straight out of the gate with cinnamon, which moves on to bitter green apple, a bit of cardamom floral notes, then fading to oak, and nutmeg. It’s quite a warm whiskey, there is no vanilla like on the nose.
Finish: This is where the bourbon really shined for me. Despite being high rye the finish is far more reminiscent of a wheat whiskey, oak and soft sweet wheat and cereal linger on the tongue. A bit of orange as well.
Overall this is a very complex whiskey. It pulls together what all three main variations do well, the heat and oak of bourbon, the spice and complexity of high rye, and the smooth savory finish of a wheated whiskey.
The Manifest Distilling and Bourbonr Whiskey Project does not disappoint in any category. The single barrel is priced at $90 and comes in at a respectable 112.4 Proof [56.2% ABV] and based on the folks behind it, really hits the mark when it comes to value, complexity, and quality of both the product and packaging [my photo doesn’t do it justice.]
Now I guess I’ll have to get a bottle of the small batch to see how it holds up to it’s single barrel brother. Have you had or reviewed any of the other barrels? If so, what did you think?
960 East Forsyth Street
Jacksonville, FL 32202
Hours of Operation:
Thursday – Friday 2-7