A product exclusively made in the Madeira region of Portugal, Madeira wine ranges from dry to sweet and can resemble a tawny port. It’s a very specific type of wine, and as a result there are far less Madeira finished bourbons versus other wine finished bourbons being produced.
Bourbon finished in ex-Madeira wine casks has been hit or miss so far, and Barton’s Thomas S. Moore edition hits both high and low notes. While the aroma is a bit light, the whiskey opens up nicely on the palate, exhibiting an array of sweet fruit notes that combine with caramel and oak to form a pleasant and complex sip. Unfortunately, it transitions from the enjoyable fruit notes to a dry astringency that doesn’t completely ruin the experience, but pulls the whiskey back from its full potential. Most likely a result of its extra long finishing, catching it just right seems a difficult task, as the flavors hit so well in the palate but take a downturn in the finish. The whiskey will please those who appreciate a stronger wine finish, and don’t mind the dryness at the end.