American Straight Whiskey Finished in Mezcal Barrels


What happens when a mezcal barrel meets a 7 ½-year-old Kentucky American Whiskey for 1.5 years…

The result – a perfectly balanced blend of Kentucky and Oaxaca flavors that highlights the dark, rich oak of aged whiskey and the bright vanilla and citrus notes of mezcal – with just the right amount of smoke.

Bottled at barrel proof proof, El Jefe balances strong, smooth, and sweet.

Shortbarrel is proud to bring to life this unique blend of flavors that pushes the boundaries of finished whiskey. Consisting of only 4 barrels, this super small batch American Whiskey is a blend of 7 ½-year-old Kentucky Straight American Whiskey (91% corn, 9% malted barley) finished for a year and half in ex-reposado mezcal barrels.


New for 2024. 

Introducing El Jefe Tres, a one-of-a-kind bourbon whiskey that pushes the boundaries of flavor. This unique blend combines a Kentucky American Whiskey and MGP aged in mezcal, sotol, and tequila barrels for an average of of 2.3 years. The result is a perfectly balanced fusion of Kentucky and Oaxaca flavors, showcasing rich oak, vanilla, citrus, and a hint of smoke.


Bottled at barrel proof (126.6), El Jefe Tres offers a strong, smooth, and sweet taste experience. Shortbarrel is proud to present this super small batch bourbon whiskey, consisting of only 6 barrels. This exceptional blend of 9-year-old Kentucky Straight American Whiskey and Indiana bourbon is sure to delight whiskey enthusiasts looking for something truly special.

EL JEfe Tasting Notes


Sweet American Whiskey upfront with a gentle hint of smokey mezcal (almost woody) on the first nose. Slight notes of vanilla, charred orange, pepper, sweet corn, and herbal background.


Smooth creamy vanilla, honey, cinnamon spice, very bright citrus keeps going and going. Even with the proof, this offers a buttery taste because of the 91% corn in the mashbill. The smokey flavor is not overpowering and shows up more with an ice cube in the glass, enhancing the mezcal finish you would expect.


The extra time in the barrel helped here and so does the proof. This is one of those finishes that will make you want to grab a second/third glass as you try to figure out the nose and mouthfeel on this. The finish is long as you would expect from a barrel  proof whiskey but it’s not a punch in the chest. This finish whiskey is creamy, almost buttery at times, the mezcal impact becomes increasingly evident as the warming finish develops, adding nuance to a palate that finds room for all the tasting notes.

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