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Pascale’s Private Barrel Selection: The Process, Recent Trips, and Example Bourbons

Wed, Jun 14, 23
The Art of Whiskey Barrel Picks
Whiskey connoisseurs and enthusiasts alike know that a truly exceptional whiskey is more than just a drink – it is an experience, a sensory journey that tells a story as unique as the distilling and aging process that created it. Pascale's Liquor's Store, located at 7401 Oswego Road, Liverpool, NY 13090, has proudly embarked on numerous bourbon picks, venturing to iconic distilleries and locations, all in pursuit of the perfect private barrel selections for our whiskey minded customers.
The Barrel Selection Process at Pascale's
The general process for procuring a barrel pick involves us reaching out to distributors and producers that we feel confident our customers will love, especially those in the whiskey allocation program. Once accepted, sometimes this involves going to the distillery, however occasionally samples are shipped directly to Pascale's. The team is generally presented with between three to six different samples and we choose the most exceptional one and receive between three to six months later (dependent on producer).
Distillery Trips: Uncovering Exceptional Whiskeys at Iconic Distilleries
Pascale's Liquor's Store's quest for unique whiskies has led us all across the United States to renowned distilleries from vibrant New York City all the way to the heart of bourbon country, Kentucky.
2023 NYC: Penelope Bourbon and Kings County Distillery
The Pascale's team sought another Penelope Bourbon Architect Barrel Pick after the first one, a 99% corn mash bill, sold out almost instantly! This Penelope Bourbon offered an experimental, exceptional flavor at 6 years old– "mellow corn on steroids", mentions a Pascale's team member. This remarkable barrel is destined for Pascale’s Liquors in Liverpool, NY.

During our visit to Kings County Distillery in New York City, the team appreciated the original architecture, steeped in history, and located within the iconic Navy Yard. The Pascale’s team tasted six different barrels and settled on a remarkable 5-year cask strength bourbon at 131 proof, offering complex flavors and depth. This exceptional pick will be available at Pascale’s Wine & Liquors in Fayetteville, NY.

Fun Fact: Kings County Distillery started with filling 15-gallon barrels but has transitioned to filling 53-gallon barrels to keep up with production. The smaller yield creates a drastically different flavor profile (our upcoming pick one of the original 15-gallon batches).
2022 Kentucky: The Heart of Bourbon Country
During our action-packed three days, we visited multiple distilleries, picking the following six different barrels to bring back home:

1. 11-year Knob Creek Bourbon
2. 8-year Buffalo Trace
3. 7-year Sazerac Rye
4. Yellowstone Cask Strength at 119 proof
5. 5-year Old Ezra Cask Strength at 120 proof (sourced from Heaven Hill)
6. 5-year Rebel Yell Cask Strength at 120 proof (sourced from Heaven Hill)

Visiting Buffalo Trace Distillery was akin to "whiskey Disneyland," as the team was treated to an exclusive, behind-the-scenes all-access experience. During our visit, we were able to see the original OFC Distillery wall exposed during a recent flood, OFC barrels in the process of aging, and even caught a glimpse of the production of this year's Eagle Rare 17 (though we know no details unfortunately)!

This unforgettable experience involved a private tasting in Warehouse H, which is not part of the regular tour. Warehouse H is where Blanton's and Rock Hill Farms are produced and the team saw production first-hand! Pascale's 8-year private barrel pick from Buffalo Trace stands out as a unique find. The average age of Buffalo Trace is around 7 years (rumored), and the additional year added further depth and character to the whiskey.

At Knob Creek, the team participated in a private barrel pick that used a unique sampling technique. Instead of numbers, colors were used to avoid associating quality or preference with numerical values.

The Pascale's team also visited the Bardstown Whiskey Library, which holds one of the three only remaining entire chess piece sets of Old Crow ceramic decanters from the 1980s.

Two of these barrels (7-year Sazerac Rye and Yellowstone Cask Strength) were selected in partnership with the Syracuse Bourbon Society, and are expected to arrive in early summer 2023.

Showcasing Recent Private Barrel Selections

Buffalo Trace
8-Year Private Barrel Bourbon

Buffalo Trace Distillery, located in Frankfort, Kentucky, has been producing exceptional bourbon whiskey for over 200 years. The distillery is renowned for its long history and tradition of fine craftsmanship, and is now owned by the Sazerac Company.

Our 8-year Buffalo Trace Private Barrel Pick is distinct due to its additional year of aging, which enhanced the whiskey's depth and character. The usual age for Buffalo Trace is not recorded, however rumors place it at between 5-7 years of average age.

*This barrel pick was released as a whiskey allocation program exclusive. To become a part of the whiskey allocation program, ask any of our friendly employees in-store!
Southern Tier Distilling
7-Year Barrel Strength
Another exceptional pick is our Southern Tier 7-year barrel strength bourbon, limited to only 162 bottles. Boasting a robust 116 proof, our Southern Tier 7-year barrel strength bourbon offering can be found exclusively at Pascale’s Liquors in Liverpool, NY.
Woodford Reserve
Single Barrel
Our Woodford Reserve Single Barrel Bourbon offers a harmonious fusion of over 200 flavor notes, embodying depth, richness, and complexity. This timeless Kentucky classic captivates with its enticing aroma, vibrant palate, and smooth, lingering finish.
Clyde May's
5-Year Single Barrel
Our Clyde May's Single Barrel Bourbon at 102-Proof is a distinguished whiskey, imbued with rich flavors and a velvety finish. This striking spirit captivates the senses with its alluring aroma and well-balanced palate, perfect for discerning bourbon enthusiasts.
Tres Agaves
Reposado Single Barrel
Beyond bourbon, our recent Tres Agaves Reposado Tequila store pick spent 8 months and 22 days resting in a Four Roses OBSK bourbon barrel, resulting in a unique, organic reposado tequila that is perfect for tequila aficionados and bourbon enthusiasts alike.
Curious and craving more? Sign up for Pascale's newsletter, download our app, and join the whiskey allocation program to stay updated on future Private Barrel Selections and other whiskey-related news! Visit us at 7401 Oswego Rd, Liverpool, NY 13090
By Alden Morris