One of our favorite distillers is Whiskey Del Bac. Located in Tucson, Arizona, Whiskey Del Bac has established itself as one of the best single malt makers in the US. Don’t just take our word for it. Whiskey Advocate gave Dorado, a mesquite-smoked single malt, a score of 90. Wine Enthusiast recognized the Classic, the non-smoked single malt, as one of its Top 100 Spirits. Given our affinity for Whiskey Del Bac, we were excited to get our hands on the most recent batch of Whiskey Del Bac Frontera.

The Frontera’s rich flavors make it unique. Whiskey Del Bac starts with its Classic Single Malt recipe, aged in new white oak barrels for an undisclosed amount of time—according to Whiskey Del Bac, it’s about a year, give or take.

After aging in the white oak barrels, Frontera is transferred to Pedro Ximenez Sherry casks and aged for an additional 13 months. Pedro Ximenez grapes produce the sweetest and richest sherry, so we were excited to see how the sherry finish would meld with the flavors of the Classic to create Whiskey Del Bac Frontera.

Whiskey Del Bac Frontera Tasting Notes

The 2024 release of Whiskey Del Bac Frontera is bottled at 97 proof. It packs a little heat, which we happen to enjoy. Whiskey Del Bac suggests adding an ice cube to balance the heat and flavors of the Frontera. A splash of water changes the tasting experience. We recommend you try it with and without water or ice to see which you like the best.

On the nose, I picked up a touch of raisin and plum. Alie noticed a touch of apple along with ethanol. We both agreed that pleasant and sweet notes on the nose make you want to try the Frontera.

On the palate, I noticed a touch of sherry and overripe plum. This was followed by a touch of vanilla, then oak, before settling into a warm spice. Although it was a little hot, I liked the intense, lingering warmth of the finish. Adding a touch of water brought out more sweet flavors and lightened the finish. If that whiskey burn gets to you, you’ll want to add a touch of water or an ice cube.

Alie noticed a tang of bright citrus and the notes from the sherry cask in the Frontera. She also picked up notes of leather and wood. We both loved the balance of the Whiskey Del Bac Frontera. We found some traditional whiskey-tasting notes and an expanded sweetness with the sherry cask finish.

Our Ratings

Drinkability: 4.5

It has fantastic flavor and is easy to drink.

Intensity: 4

Frontera has a bit of a kick, which we enjoy. Add a little water or ice for a more mellow experience.

Personal Preference: 4.5

Whiskey Del Bac Frontera is hand down one of our favorite pours.

Beginner Friendly: 2.3

The heat might be a bit much for a new whiskey enthusiast.

Availability: 1

Only 1200 bottles were produced from the 2024 batch. We picked up a bottle directly from the distillery. According to the Whiskey Del Bac website, shipping inside Arizona and to select states is still available.

Closing Thoughts

Whiskey Del Bac Frontera has become an exceptional American Single Malt special release, especially if you enjoy sherry or port-cask-finished whiskey. Sherry cask finishes are one of my favorite expressions, so I was automatically drawn to this release. I was thrilled to visit Whiskey Del Bac and find a few bottles of Frontera left to purchase.

We enjoyed the 2024 release and look forward to picking up another bottle next spring. We recommend snagging a bottle while you still can. However, if you miss the Frontera window, you can still try several excellent offerings. We loved the 2023 Distiller’s Cut Spring Release, which is still available. The 2024 Distiller’s Cut Spring Release also rolled out on March 31.

Otherwise, you can opt for one of their core expressions. We personally love the Dorado. If you love a smokey single malt, check out our review here. Then, get a bottle from Whiskey Del Bac for your collection.

Happy Exploring!