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Old Elk Cognac Cask Finish Bourbon

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Old Elk Cognac Cask Finish Bourbon Review

Cognac Cask Finish
Straight Bourbon Whiskey Finished in Cognac Barrels
Old Elk
109.7 Proof
MSRP: ~$100

Please enjoy our Old Elk Cognac Cask Finish Bourbon Review!

Old Elk Cask Finishing Series

Old Elk Distillery has announced the latest releases in their Cask Finishing Series! This release will include two prior favorites, Old Elk Straight Bourbon Whiskey Cognac Cask Finish & Old Elk Straight Bourbon Whiskey Port Cask Finish. They are joined by the new Old Elk Straight Rye Whiskey Rum Cask Finish!

Old Elk Cognac Cask Finish Bourbon

Today we will focus on the Cognac Cask Finish. Old Elk’s High Malt Bourbon serves as the base for this finished whiskey. The High Malt Bourbon uses Old Elk’s standard mash bill of 51% corn, 34% malted barley and 15% rye. The bourbon is matured for at least 5 years, then finished in 72 gallon Limousin Oak cognac casks for another 10 months. It is bottled at a barrel proof of 109.7, which is a much higher proof than is used for their standard 88 proof bourbon.

Old Elk Cask Finishing Series - Cognac Cask Finish Bourbon, Port Cask Finish Bourbon & Rum Cask Finish Rye
Old Elk Cask Finishing Series
(photo courtesy of Old Elk)
Tasting Notes

Let’s taste it:

🛏 Rested for 15 minutes in a Glencairn

👉🏻Nose: Apricot leather candy, tart grapefruit, purple Concord grape juice, raisin, caramel, honey, relatively mild oak; light alcohol
👉🏻Taste: Raisin, caramel, honey, apricot leather candy & oak
👉🏻Finish: Quite a bit of dry ghost pepper spice builds rapidly and lingers; the cognac is also noticeable in the long dry finish; fruit and sweetness, as well as some oak, are subtle and in the background; moderate burn

The complex fruit flavors in the nose do carry on to the taste. However, the finish is a bit of a surprise, with considerable spice and a dryness crescendoing rapidly. That was unexpected! As the spice wains a bit (but only a bit!), the fruit flavors and a mild sweetness and some oak all reappear. All the flavors continue to linger into the long finish.


This is a very enjoyable pour! The cognac adds plenty of flavors to the base bourbon, and the extra proof bumps them up a notch. I am not sure where the fairly hefty dose of spice in the finish comes from, though. Maybe from the Limousin Oak? The flavor reminds me of mango-habanero jelly beans, one of my favorites. Those initially tease with sweet fruit, but then rapidly remind one that there’s a hot pepper in there too! Regardless, if you enjoy finished bourbons and these flavors appeal to you, give Old Elk Cognac Cask Finish Bourbon a try!

We hope you have enjoyed our Old Elk Cognac Cask Finish Bourbon Review! If you would like to learn about other Old Elk Whiskeys read our Old Elk Blended Straight Bourbon Review and our Old Elk Wheated Bourbon Review.

Thank you to Old Elk Distillery for graciously providing this sample!

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