I love tradition. I love the fact that we have products that people feel a real responsibility to produce a product in the manner unchanged to preserve not only quality but a sense of time and place. Despite labor saving technologies, the endless need to one-up the next competitor for a little market share some continue along a path out of persistence and love of craft. That being said, innovation usually is what leads to the development of these products we love so much in the first place. Although the early Americans understood distilling and whiskey our country offered different climates, crops and financial means so innovation and a desire to create led to a truly unique American product that honors the old but embraces the new.
Tonight I have finally given in on a new product. This happens 2-3 times a year. All the internet pictures and posts promote something rare, new, amazing or unique and often at a premium price. This bottle is one I have seen a lot of lately. When I found one randomly at a reasonable price I decided why not.
(Note: this tasting took a few sessions. The first tasting really put me off but this is a tasting after some air and a few days of the bottle being open). I bottled many sample bottles and shook the whiskey in the open bottle to really aerate it on the 3rd day.
hot alcohol oak (the heat calms after a few days of air in the bottle), some vanilla & old bananas. Very clean. A touch of citrus & oak.
A quick sour bitter note with some dry wood & minerals immediately followed by a lot of alcohol burn (again, heat calms after a few days) & some brine. Some fresh melon and cucumber keeps it light as it develops. A little vanilla & sweetness with a mild cardamom and pepper. Not much. Very thin mouthfeel and short to medium clean finish with a touch of brine & alum again at the end.
Water and 10 Minutes:
Still with the bananas, oak & alcohol. It now arrives with less heat although still pretty notable. It has a brined character with a touch more sweetness. A little oak. It develops some clove & cardamom later on with a longer bitter pepper finish that hints of some burnt sugar.
Well – that was different. I did give it a chance and I’m glad I did. Very interesting take on the wood contributions. I think this is down more to preferences. Scotch drinkers will likely take to this more quickly although it is not very complex and it does not offer a long complicated development. I’ll keep a 3 ounce sampler for future reference but probably not my daily drinker.