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Wine-Finished Bourbon

Another piece by me in today's Chronicle:
Bourbon with a Chardonnay chaser

Over in Scotland, wood-finished whiskies are all the rage. Most Scotch ages for years in barrels that previously held bourbon or sherry, and recently several distillers have been transferring the whisky in its final years to barrels that held Port, Madeira or Burgundy, where it picks up additional flavors. Now American whiskey producers are giving it a try.

Jim Beam released Port and Cognac-finished whiskies several years ago as part of their Distillers' Masterpiece collection. This month, Woodford Reserve bourbon is rolling out a limited-edition Master's Collection Sonoma-Cutrer finished whiskey that first aged for five years in new charred American oak barrels, then four more months in used Sonoma-Cutrer French oak Chardonnay wine barrels from which it picks up more fruit and citrus notes. It's available in California stores for $89.99.

-- Camper English

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