Whiskey Hotline Handpicked Sleepers - Barrel to Bottle Samples Hidden Gems

Most of the time when a Binny’s Handpicked Single Barrel comes in, it’s gone within a few weeks.  Sometimes even quicker. The good news is the Whiskey Hotline picks hundreds of barrels every year, and because of there are a lot of hidden gems that get lost in the shuffle. Pat brought Joe, and a box of hidden Irish Whiskey, Bourbon, Rye, Armagnac, Rum and Scotch gems.

The Binny’s name goes on these bottles because the Whiskey Hotline is excited about them. They turn down barrels all the time if they don’t meet their standards. And contrary to internet chatter, the Whiskey Hotline samples everything before buying a barrel, they don’t just let a Master Distiller picks a cask and then slaps a Binny’s logo on it. Sometimes there are so many Handpicked bottles in stores that it can become overwhelming, and they slip out of consciousness.

Check your local Binny’s for all these hidden gems

Kilbeggan 16 year old Single Grain Select Batch # K05/218 Binny's Handpicked – a small batch blend of a couple barrels, which is why we have so much around still. It’s hard to beat for the price though.  This is textbook single grain Irish with a ton of bourbon barrel character.

Teeling 15 year old Single Malt Finished in Amburana Cask # 6203 Binny's Handpicked – Amburana is a famously pungent Brazilian hardwood. It has a lot of sweet cinnamon and floral wood notes. It’s very intense, so usually distilleries will only keep their liquid in an Amburana cask for a few days. This one spent 4 years in an Amburana casks.

Teeling Pure Pot Still Virgin American Oak Cask # 58518 Binny's Handpicked – Virgin American Oak means it is not ex-Bourbon or ex-anything. Normally malted grain doesn’t like virgin oak, but there is also unmalted grain in here, which cancels that out.

Teeling Pure Pot Still ex Sherry Cask # 67909 Binny's Handpicked – Candy lovers will love this sherry-finished Teeling. It has some classic fig candy notes.  

Pinhook Bourbon Small Batch Binny's Handpicked Distilled at Castle & Key – If you’re a bourbon lover that loves Binny’s Handpicks, you’ll want to seek this out.  It’s not quite corn pudding, but it’s definitely got some corn notes in it, along with a lot of fruit.

Jack Daniel's Single Barrel # 22-1519 Binny's Handpicked – Jack Daniel’s often gets overlooked by Whiskey Nerds, but they need to start paying attention to their single barrel offerings, especially the barrel proof ones. It has some of those classic bubblegum notes from Jack, but with more oak balance.

We buy a lot of Lux Row barrels, which often overwhelms customers. The inside secret is that these bourbons are sourced from a certain famous Bardstown Distillery that is located on a heavenly hill. 

Rebel Distiller's Collection 120 Proof Wheated Bourbon Single Barrel # 7655464 Binny's Handpicked  
Rebel Distiller's Collection 120 Proof Wheated Bourbon Single Barrel # 7784813 Binny's Handpick – These are both around 5 years in age, wheated bourbons.

Ezra Brooks Distiller's Collection Barrel Proof Single Barrel # 7851151 Binny's Handpicked
Ezra Brooks Distiller's Collection Barrel Proof Single Barrel # 7849788 Binny's Handpicked – These are rye mash bourbons, with the same mash bill as a bourbon named after a famous pastor who may have invented charring barrels.

Huber's Starlight Distillery Bourbon Finished in White Port Barrel # 21-2190 Binny's Handpicked – There aren’t a ton of white port barrels out in the world, but Huber’s is a small distillery and they’re able to take in these kinds of casks and put distillate in them. There’s a lot of stone fruit in this but a lot of other fruit too. It’s a whole produce section jammed into this whiskey.

Huber's Starlight Distillery Bourbon Finished in Apricot Brandy Barrel # 21-2240 Binny's Handpicked – There’s a lot of juicy apricot here of course, but there’s more than just that. There’s some sweetness here too. Sometimes the Whiskey Hotline tastes a bourbon that already has apricot character, so they doubled down on this one by aging it in the Apricot Brandy barrel.

WhistlePig 18 year old Straight Rye Single Barrel Sir Oinks-A-Lot Binny's Handpicked – There are still a few bottles of this one hanging around, but it’s a treasure worth seeking out. This is an elegant, layered delight.

Delord 12 year old Single Cask # 2130 Binny's Handpicked Vintage Armagnac 2009 – Armagnac gets proofed down as it ages, and aerated. That’s how you end up with a natural cask strength of 40 or 41%.

 l'Encantada Domaine du Pouy Cask # 100 Binny's Handpicked 1998 – l’Encantada is an Armagnac that really caters to bourbon drinkers. In fact, some of the early barrel samples sent to the Whiskey Hotline were rejected because they didn’t taste enough like Armagnac.

Chairman's Reserve Rum 15 year old ex Bourbon Barrel # 24012000 Binny's Handpicked 2005 – This one is getting a little too dundery for Greg. There’s a lot of overly ripe fruit esters in this one.   You don’t find rums like this everyday, especially at this price.

Trois Rivieres 14 year old Single Cask Rhum Agricole 2005 ­– This rum is smoother than the previously one. The fruit is more tamped down, which is probably from the French Oak, it tames the grassiness of the Agricole.

Signatory Edradour 10 year old Refill Sauternes Barrel # 127 Binny's Handpicked 2011 – Greg can never get over the high end chemical taste on both Scotch and Sauternes. Everyone is getting fruit and butter.

Compass Box Gold Standard Binny's Anniversary Selection – This was a special blend the Whiskey Hotline did with Compass Box for the 70th anniversary of Binny’s. Most of this is gone, but there is some floating around. It’s a bangin’ blended scotch that highlights the grace and complexity that can only be achieved through blending.

Highland Park 11 year old Refill European Oak Sherry Butt #6249 Binny's Handpicked – This more what Highland Park is like as a whiskey and less about the Sherry Butt, although the Sherry notes are still there. It’s also over 130-proof, which makes it a Whiskey Hotline Dangerously Drinkable.

That brings us to the Q&A Portion of Barrel to Bottle (yes, we still do these). Listener Kym wants to know if light can damage spirits bottles.

If you have a question for the Barrel to Bottle Crew, email us at comments@binnys.com, or reach out to us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. If we answer your question during a podcast, you’ll get a $20 Binny’s Gift Card!

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