Universal Fine Wine & Spirits, located in Johnson City, TN collaborated with our team and The Brotherhood of Bourbon to hand select one of our private barrels. Our team interviewed Scott Snapp, of Universal Fine Wine & Spirits, to learn more about the Club’s wishes for their private barrel selection. Read more below:
Did you work with a local club or a group of VIP customers to taste through the barrel selections?
Yes, I had about 10 members of The Brotherhood of Bourbon over to my house. We had eight samples to go through. We did it bracket style sampling until we were down to the last two samples. From that point we voted and decided a winner. There was no wrong answer, both were delicious.
What do your customers look for when they ask you for private barrel recommendations?
We make our recommendations on a customer-to-customer basis. Not everyone is going to like the same barrel because everyone’s pallets are different. We ask questions, listen to what the customer is saying, then provide an educated answer. We also encourage sampling barrels so you know what you are getting.
How many barrel picks do you do every year?
Between group picks, and barrels just for the store, we will do anywhere from 15-20 barrels a year. Although most group picks almost never see the shelves, unless there are a few unclaimed bottles.
What has the feedback been from customers?
The Joseph Magnus private barrel was one of the few barrels we have done that was the absolute total package. Everyone wishes they would have bought more when it was available. When people talk about a barrel you selected a year later, that’s when you know it was special.
What makes Universal Wine & Spirits a unique shop in your community?
When you shop at Universal, whether it’s your first time in or you are a loyal customer, you will always be greeted with a smile. We have a knowledgeable staff that can point you in the right direction no matter what your needs are. We listen to our customers and are adding products on a weekly basis. We also try and give back to our community in the form of sponsorships, or donating to events.
Joseph Magnus Private Barrel Selection tasting notes:
152 total bottles
Color: Deep amber
Nose: The nose is deep and rich. Notes of caramel, vanilla, and dark fruit are most prominent.
Palate: The first sip has an oily viscosity. Notes of oak and vanilla are present, the second sip coats the entire mouth. Red licorice transitions into chocolate covered cherries and peppered oak. The third sip is an intensified combination of the tasting notes above.
Finish: The finish is long and pleasant. Notes of caramel, oak, cherry, and vanilla are present.
Many thanks to our friends at Universal Fine Wine & Spirits and The Brotherhood of Bourbon for their support of our team and our craft. Our team is looking forward to launching a new Private Barrel Selection Program later this year. Join our mailing list to stay up-to-date on this program, new releases, and more in the coming weeks and months.