I have been hesitant to try the Amburana finishes. Strong cinnamon characteristics are low on my personal preference list, and all of the reviews for the various Amburana finishes have indicated that they feature assertive cinnamon profiles.
The best place to start for me would be my favorite blender's Amburana expression: Barrell Bourbon Cask Finish Amburana. Barrell blends 5, 6, 7, and 10-year-old Indiana bourbons with a 5-year-old Kentucky bourbon.
Yup, there it is, cinnamon, but a less robust version of the red hot cinnamon candies I grew up with. I was pleasantly surprised by what I found next. The nose was fruitier than I anticipated. A layer was also below the fruit, incorporating caramel and other baking spices, particularly allspice and clove. Of course, the cinnamon spice is what endures.
I have to admit, the palate is engaging. To remind you, overt cinnamon is typically not my profile. There's almost a praline, pumpkin, and spicy hot cinnamon mix to the taste. Hmmm, what is that? There are some other very distinct tastes that I can't quite identify, like a sweet candied licorice combined with cardamom and clove. There's also a banana nut bread characteristic but without the banana. The palate is a little on the spicy hot side, but there is an excellent level of sweetness to balance out those spicy notes.
The finish is warm and lingers while the notes from the palate hang around.
Barrell Craft Spirits is releasing this at the right time. This taste profile has the holiday season written all over it. As mentioned earlier, the cinnamon profile does not typically appeal to me, so I am shocked at how much I have enjoyed this tasting.