Bhakta 2013 Vintage Armagnac Cask Finished Straight Bourbon Whiskey (Vermont) - [USC 97] [WE 96]

Bhakta 2013 Vintage Armagnac Cask Finished Straight Bourbon Whiskey
(Vermont) - [USC 97] [WE 96]

Limit: 1 per customer
Regular price $195.99 Sale price $149.97 Save $46.02

USC97 WE96

About this spirit:

Bold American Bourbon Meets Ancient Armagnac Brandy—France’s Crown Jewel.

An exceptional coupling of our French and American Cellars, BHAKTA 2013 Bourbon unites two spirits in celebration of a shared legacy. After harvest and distillation in the American heartland, this complex 99% Corn Bourbon underwent a secondary cask finish in French Oak barrels selected from Château BHAKTA’s finest stock. 

Single Vintage; Unparalelled Complexity

In the first bourbon whiskey Raj Bhakta has ever released, experience a 2013 Vintage Bourbon that has seen ten years of barrel aging before its signature finish in an Armagnac cask that had been aging vintages dating back to 1868.

Years Aged: 9.5

Proof: 100.6

Tasting Notes:

Aspect: Deep, rich amber

Nose: Vanilla, biscuits, and toasted oak

Palate: Very spicy; notes of nutmeg and hazelnut

Finish: Stewed Pears and Apples

Awards & Reviews

Best Of Show - LA Spirits Awards 2023

Best Of Show - North American Bourbon & Whiskey Awards

Gold - Ascot Awards 2023

97 Points, Finalist, Top 100 - Ultimate Spirits Challenge 2023

"The captivating nose entices with black tea, dried tropical fruits, and toasted wheat. A powerhouse of flavors unfolds on the palate, featuring charred cherry wood, savory umami, ripe yellow plum, and caramelized nuts. Complex and lasting, this whiskey leaves an indelible impression."

96 Points - Wine Enthusiast

"What's in the bottle is a nearly 100% corn bourbon distilled in Indiana in 2013, aged about nine years, finished in ex-Armagnac casks and bottled in Vermont. That translates into robust caramel plus an unusual explosion of orange peel and orange oils on the first sips. Add a splash of water to draw out hints of hazelnut, pecan and mocha. Salted caramel and a hint of prune frame the long, mouthwatering finish. Sip or mix a drink with minimal adornment, like an Old Fashioned."

10/10 - The Whisky Wash

"This whiskey was everything I hoped it would be and more. Too often I try a whiskey with a lot of hype and a fancy bottle, only to find an incongruously unsatisfactory and weak flavor. This whiskey is the opposite. Rich without being harsh, spicy without being single-minded, and holding tremendous depth, it justifies every dollar you pay for it. This whiskey absolutely explodes with flavor I can only describe as a warm summer night in New York city in the 1940s. Vintage, timeless, and utterly magnificent."

Grade: A- (Drinkhacker)

"The barrel finish makes itself known on the nose with significant oak influence, but it’s not overpowering. This noses similarly to some toasted barrel-finished bourbons. That woody sweetness is coupled with nuts — specifically walnuts — plus sugar cookies and maple syrup. There’s also some fruit here, berries that have been cooked down into a dark compote. It’s a rich, sweet, and fascinating nose that had me eager for more.

That multifaceted sweetness on the nose immediately gives way to something more balanced on the palate. Again, there’s an immediate reminder of toasted oak finishes, with a similar sweetness I sense comes from lots of wood influence. There’s that nuttiness again, though it’s tough to pin down exactly which this time: Walnut? Hazelnut? The palate comes with slightly more spice than one would expect given the nose and mash bill. Return sips yield a pop of that berry compote, sweet and fruity without the sharpness of fresh berries. Then tobacco and very dark chocolate start to round out the profile, and being familiar with some of Bhakta’s Armagnacs, I draw a beeline line from these flavors to that finish. Whatever the ultimate influence on the spirit, this bourbon tastes significantly older than its 9 years and 5 months, with a viscous mouthfeel that carries layered flavors across the tongue.

The finish is bread pudding with apple chunks, drizzled with caramel and fruit syrup all the way down. There’s also a touch more toasted tobacco. It’s a finish with significant length and flavor that, again, implies a whiskey older than its actual age. At this point, I stopped trying to pick apart where the whiskey influence ends and Armagnac finish begins (or vice versa). On the finish, they’re both working in impressive harmony. This is bourbon kissed by Armagnac, not swallowed by it."