There are many ways of finishing bourbon after it has reached maturity. Some distilleries will take their bourbon and place it in a wine cask to impart some of the fruity sweet notes of the wine, like we did with our first installment, the Marquette Cask Bourbon. Finishing a bourbon has become a more common practice in the distilling world in recent years, and our Special Finish Amaro Cask Bourbon is just one example of how this technique can be used to enhance a bourbon.


To get started on the process, we will start with our high proof spirit and start soaking an array of botanicals in it (chicory bark, wormwood, and orris root to name a few). We will let these soak for a day before adding fresh orange peel to the mix. That will soak for couple of days before the botanicals are pulled out and the coffee from Madcap Coffee is added in. We will take this and place it in a used oak barrel. We allow this to age for 3-4 months to impart the flavors of the Amaro Pazzo to the barrel. We will remove this and then refill this barrel with another hand selected Straight Bourbon barrel. This refilled barrel is allowed to age another 8 months and 19 days before it was emptied, bottled, and passed to you as our Amaro Cask Bourbon.


The Amaro Cask Bourbon is a unique take on a barrel finish. At the end of the day though, we just really wanted to stick some coffee in a bourbon as an afternoon pick-me-up.

Imagine savoring the rich vanilla, toffee and caramelized pecan notes of Long Roads’ bourbon while being enveloped in the zesty embrace of bright citrus notes and well balanced herbal tones that are found in our Orange Liqueur. This delightful fusion of flavors is exactly what you’ll experience with Long Road Distillers Orange Liqueur Cask Finished Bourbon, which has been released in limited quantities today. 

**A Necessity Turned Innovation**

Long Road Distillers’ makes all of our spirits from start to finish. It is not negotiable, it is who we are. We utilize Michigan agriculture as the base of our spirits, and finish with high quality ingredients from around the world. We source ingredients, not spirits. This commitment to the Long Road is not only true for our spirits but also our cocktail bars. Everything that goes into our cocktails begins with a spirit made in our distillery or in our dedicated cocktail kitchen. It became clear early on, to excel in making exceptional cocktails, we would need a world class orange liqueur. Starting with a red winter wheat distillate, our distillers then used two different varieties of orange peel and a blend of complimentary herbs to achieve a bright citrus, slightly herbaceous and pleasing dryness to our offered orange liqueur. 

**The Cask-Finished Bourbon**

But the innovation didn’t stop there.  Once we aged and emptied our Straight (meaning aged a minimum of 2 years in first use white American oak barrels) Bourbon barrels, we then seasoned them with our Orange Liqueur. Finally we put the bourbon back in the same barrel to soak up the bright citrus notes of orange liqueur, to offer the finished bourbon a distinct, yet subtle nod to our orange liqueur. Just to recap. 

As you sip this bourbon, you’ll be captivated by its rich, nuanced tones. Make no mistake, this spirit sips like a well-balanced bourbon, but with the addition of a distinct finish .As you exhale, and are hit with a wave of fresh orange zest that lingers on your palate, for just the right amount of time. It is like your favorite party guest, who stays for one more joke, but knows when to go home. 

**Limited Edition Rarity**

Long Road Distillers Orange Liqueur Cask Finished Bourbon is a special release that promises to elevate your bourbon-drinking experience through the bright notes of our Orange Liqueur. It is our honor to release only 20 cases of this finished Bourbon, and we hope you enjoy each sip of it as much as we enjoyed making it, and drinking it. 

Month 2: Absinthe Cask Finished Bourbon Whisky

In the heart of New Orleans, where the vibrant rhythms of jazz fill the air and the aroma of Creole cuisine tantalizes the senses, there exists a spirit of celebration unlike any other. It’s a city where tradition and innovation intersect, where the past is honored and the future embraced. And at the center of it all lies Mardi Gras, a festival of revelry and indulgence that captures the essence of the Big Easy’s soul.

For Long Road Distillers, known for our commitment to tradition, curiosity and excellence, Mardi Gras serves as a fitting backdrop for our latest release: Absinthe Finished Bourbon. This bold and innovative spirit, infused with the seductiveness of absinthe and the richness of bourbon, embodies the spirit of celebration and tradition that defines Mardi Gras in New Orleans.

The journey of Long Road’s Absinthe Finished Bourbon begins in the distillery’s home in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where local corn, wheat, rye and barley is distilled and aged for 2 years, 1 month and 5 days to become Long Road Bourbon, developing a depth and complexity of toffee, vanilla and sweet corn that serve as the perfect canvas for the finish of absinthe.

But what sets Long Road’s Absinthe Finished Bourbon apart is its finishing touch. This batch of bourbon is transferred to oak barrels that have been seasoned with absinthe, where it undergoes a 7 month transformation, absorbing the essence of Long Road’s Grand Absinthe and acquiring new layers of flavor and character. The result is a Bourbon that captivates the palate, with notes of anise, wormwood and caraway traveling alongside the rich, toffee and vanilla flavors of Long Road’s bourbon. Bottled at 46.5%ABV or 93 proof, this Bourbon offers the unapologetically bold flavors balanced with nuance and delicacy that defines Long Road spirits.

Whether sipped neat, mixed into classic cocktails like the Sazerac, or savored alongside traditional Mardi Gras fare, Long Road’s Absinthe Finished Bourbon adds a touch of magic to any celebration. It’s a spirit that embodies the spirit of Mardi Gras – vibrant, eclectic, and unapologetically bold.

As the sun sets over the French Quarter and the sounds of Mardi Gras fade into the night, one thing remains certain: the spirit of celebration lives on in every bottle of Long Road Absinthe Finished Bourbon. So here’s to Mardi Gras and to the timeless tradition of raising a glass in celebration of life’s rich tapestry.

Month One: Marquette Cask Finished Bourbon Whisky


We’re excited to introduce Long Road Distillers’ 12-month special finish bourbon series. Each month of 2024, we’ll be releasing a unique cask finish bourbon whisky. We’ll pair each release with an in-depth look at how these spirits have been produced right here on our website, written by someone on our team. 

This first release in the series is the Marquette Cask Bourbon Whisky, something we’ve been working on for years. This Straight Bourbon has undergone a carefully controlled aging process: initially matured for two years, three months, and eighteen days in charred and toasted new American oak barrels, followed by a secondary maturation for one year, two months, and seven days in ex-Marquette red wine casks, sourced locally from a Michigan winery. This dual-phase aging method enhances the bourbon’s complexity and introduces nuanced flavors.

Central to this bourbon is its mash bill, comprising locally sourced Michigan corn, red winter wheat, rye, and malted barley. This selection of grains not only highlights Long Road Distillers’ dedication to regional agriculture but also plays a critical role in defining the bourbon’s flavor profile and chemical composition.

On the palate, this bourbon presents an intriguing array of flavors. It starts with a fruity, bright, and juicy profile, a result of the esters and congeners developed during fermentation and initial aging. The finish is notably dry, a characteristic influenced by the tannins and other compounds imparted by the red wine casks.

At 93 proof (46.5% ABV), this bourbon offers a robust yet balanced bite, indicative of its careful distillation and aging processes.

This series is more than a collection of unique bourbons; for us, it’s a monthly study in the variables of bourbon production and aging. Each release will demonstrate a different aspect of Long Road Distillers’ curiosity in spirit creation, with casks previously used to age products as varied as honey to our Grand Absinthe. Join us as we explore the impact of these variables on flavor, aroma, and mouthfeel.

Stay tuned for our next release: Grand Absinthe Cask Finished Bourbon, where we’ll continue to enjoy the spirit aging and special finishing. In the meantime, we invite you to experience the complexity and craftsmanship of Long Road Distillers’ first release in this exceptional series: Marquette Cask Finished Bourbon, now available at our tasting rooms and select Michigan retailers.

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