A bottle of Pine Barrens Single Malt Whisky, batch 3

Pine Barrens Single Malt Whisky

Pine Barrens Single Malt Whisky

  • Oak and sweet esters
  • Hot! Sweet with vanilla tones
  • That fire spreads out. Warm and malty.

Limited release. Reviewed version was batch 3. Expensive for us unemployed types. They spell it whisky, not whiskey.

From rumor to first taste at the Long Island Spirits (LIS) tasting room, I wanted a bottle of Pine Barrens single malt whisky. It’s got a Long Island pedigree, from the distiller to the choice of malt, which is made from Blue Point Old Howling Bastard, a local barleywine, and aged for less than four years in oak casks. I’d like to be more of whiskey (or whisky as LIS spells it) fan, but I don’t know much about them as singularly, and I know even less about single malts. That’s because I’m much more of cocktail kind of guy. But I know what I enjoy, and Pine Barrens is downright enjoyable.

A bottle of Pine Barrens Single Malt Whisky, batch 3

Some bottles, I own for years. I went through this one in a month.

It’s a bit pricy, though, and notoriously hard to find. I’ve been looking for a bottle for over a year, and finally found one at the excellent Empire State Cellars out in Riverhead. They sell liquor, wine, and beer from New York State, and the 375ml bottle of Pine Barrens, batch three, was just under $50. Of course, that is around the same price of other artesanal, regional whiskeys, but for a schlub like me, it’s just a bit beyond my price range, especially since I ended up treating most of the bottle as an ingredient for cocktails. Still, I wasn’t going to pass up this rare opportunity.

Pine Barrens is highly sippable on its own. It brings a lot of heat and a lot of sweet. Cooled down with a nice large ice cube, it’s a tasty unwinder. I can’t help but experiment; so, I made some expensive, top-shelf cocktails.

It makes a great Manhattan. It keeps the heat, but works well with the sweet port I combined it with. The recipe I used was a bit different than the one in our article on the Manhattan, so I’m including it here:

The Pine Barrens

  • Servings: 6oz
  • Difficulty: advanced
  • Print


  • 1-½ oz. ruby port
  • 4 oz. *Pine Barrens Single Malt Whisky*
  • dash of cherry bitters
  • two frozen cherries
  • fill ⅓ shaker with ice cubes


Put cherries in [old fashioned glass][old]. Combine rest of ingredients in a shaker cup, and shake until the outer cup gets frosty. Strain into the glass what with the cherries.

Pine Barrens makes an amazing, simply super whisk(e)y sour. The vanilla notes in the whisky weren’t too strong for the lemon in the sour, and the sweetness inherent in the whisky just sent the cocktail into orbit. I could make one of these to drink every night, if I worked on Wall Street or something.

I’ll have to update my research into the Old fashioned, which at the time of the last article, I hadn’t quite gotten the hang of. I think I’ve got it down, but Pine Barrens brought a bit too much heat in my new and improved recipe. While the whisky sour worked perfectly, the Old fashioned had some elements that tasted out of place, so I’ll stick to the blended whiskeys with that one.

I’ve heard that LIS is up to batch four of Pine Barrens. I hope it becomes easier to find, because LIS done a great job with its first whisky, and everyone who is interested deserves a bottle. Plus, the more people who demand it, the more likely it is that Long Island Spirits will update their website! Sadly, I’m down to my last drops of Pine Barrens, and I can’t see how I can talk Mrs. Ferment in buying me another bottle, so if anyone gets hold of a bottle, let me know, and I’ll make the happy owner a killer whisky sour, for two.

Update 5 Jan 2013: The original recipe for the Pine Barrens Manhattan inadvertently did not include any Pine Barrens whisky. We’ve fixed this oversight.