Category Archives: American Whiskey

Michter’s US*1 American Whiskey


Michter's US*1 American Whiskey Visual Taste Profile

Stats – 41.7% alcohol, small batch unblended american whiskey, aged in used bourbon barrels, KY.
Price – $40
Color – Deep reddish amber
Nose – Sweet corn and cereal
Palate – A bourbon must be aged in new white oak barrels, since this whiskey was aged in barrels previously used it doesn’t qualify to be named a bourbon. But as Shakespeare noted “a rose by any other name would smell as sweet”, and in spirit this whiskey holds up to most any bourbon. Sweet and citrusy right up front. The body fills out with floral heather and grassy notes. This has a little rye spice rounding out the profile at the back end. A slight astringency dries out the finish. This has lots of bold and well rounded bourbon flavors. Parting is such sweet sorrow…

Michter’s US*1 tastes like:

  1. Buffalo Trace (94%)
  2. Aberfeldy 21 Year (94%)
  3. Singleton 12 Year (92%)

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Tincup


Tincup Whiskey Taste ProfileStats – 42% alcohol, MGP whiskey bottled in Denver, CO
Price – $27
Color – Mid amber
Nose – Light and sweet, slighty fruity and melon
Palate – The whiskey news has been bringing a few things to the forefront in the last couple of weeks as well as raising a few questions to whiskey consumers, like: “Who’s making this stuff?” Unfortunately many new craft distilleries are concentrating on marketing more than distilling. Brands like Templeton have come under fire for sourcing there booze from large industrial distilleries (MGP is a large eaxample) and reselling it under their own label. This is exactly what Tincup does as well. While adding “pure rocky mountain water” and bottling it in Denver passes as making it a Colorado product, it was still distilled in Indiana. But, I think this draws some undue focus, after all I think savvy consumers will agree that they are more concerned with how a whiskey tastes than its pedigree.

On that note, Tincup has figs and brown sugar that make it warm and sweet. There’s also a good dose of cinnamon sticks. Dried apricots and cherries round out the fruity side with dry oak tannins and citrus peel keeping everything in balance. A sherry sweetness and an oily nuttiness add some dimension. The low alcohol content keeps this whiskey easy to drink and the price tag makes it easy to enjoy!

Tincup Whiskey Tastes Like:

  1. Jefferson’s Reserve – Very Old (91%)
  2. Sullivans Cove – Double Cask (91%)
  3. Four Roses – Single Barrel (86%)

 


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Black Canyon Corn Whiskey


Black Canyon Corn Whiskey Taste ProfileStats – Sour mash corn whiskey, Longmont, CO
Price – $30
Color – Straw
Nose – Sweet and floral
Palate – Another of Colorado’s expanding collection of distilleries, Black Canyon is spice forward with hints of anise and clove. While a sour mash corn whiskey, it has some flavors reminiscent of rye, but still remains sweet as you would expect. It’s also grassy and slightly rich. The spice heats up again at the finish, but it is lighter to the touch. This is a very drinkable whiskey, which makes it a great session whiskey. Not bad for those trying to track down some of The Centennial State’s unsung whiskeys.

Black Canyon Corn Whiskey Tastes Like:

  1. Teeling – Small Batch (92%)
  2. Bowman Brothers – Small Batch (89%)
  3. Templeton Rye (87%)

 


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Smooth Ambler – Old Scout Rye


Smooth Ambler - Old Scout Rye Taste ProfileStats – 49.5% alcohol, 95% rye mashbill, aged at least 7 years, Maxwelton, WV
Price – $40
Color – Brown and red amber
Nose – Floral and spicy
Palate – Craft distilleries often have to find ways to bridge-the-gap of production to profit. This is particularly tough for those making whiskey since it has to sit in a barrel for at least 2 years before it can be bottled and sold. Rather than sitting on their hands and waiting it out, most distillers make gin and vodka (which can be sold immediately after distillation) to carry the company along until its whiskey matures. Another popular option is to buy market-ready whiskey and bottling in house. The “Old Scout” moniker over at the Smooth Ambler Distillery is in reference to their independent bottling of whiskey they’ve scouted and sourced from other distilleries. Smooth Ambler Old Scout Rye is rich and sweet like a buttery caramel. A good, yet subtle, spice starts to warm this up with cinnamon apples with a touch of clove. A hint of fruity black cherries hangs just out of reach in the background. The finish has some dry oak and a licorice and aniseed spice with just the faintest amount of fresh peppermint at the tail-end. While it spicy like you would expect from a rye, it still has a good dose of rich brown sugar sweetness. Even though this is adopted from other producers, you can taste the pedigree of quality and care in producing this rye.

Smooth Ambler – Old Scout Rye Tastes Like:

  1. Sazerac Straight Rye (91%)
  2. FEW Rye (85%)
  3. Hudson Manhattan Rye (85%)

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Copper Fox Rye


Copper Fox Rye Taste ProfileStats – 45% alcohol, 2/3 rye and 1/3 barley, Sperryville, VA
Price – $45
Color – Deep and bright brown
Nose – Strong spicy rye, oak, cinnamon, and cardamon
Palate – Some may argue that constraints drive innovation. Having fewer options forces you to be creative and find new solutions. Craft whiskey makers have found that the constraint of only using fresh white oak barrels to age their whiskey has forced some new thinking in the last couple of decades. Some transfer their whiskey into secondary barrels (like ones previously used to age wine or rum) to finish aging. Copper Fox instead decided to add apple wood and oak chips into the main barrel. Changing the type of wood used alters the flavors contributed and increasing the area of wood in contact with the rye speeds up how quickly it ages (read more on the science of barreling whiskey on Scientific American). They claim “Sometimes older is better, sometimes it’s not.”

Using local Virginia grains this rye has a mashbill of 2/3 rye and 1/3 malted barley which are dried with apple and cherry wood smoke (rather than the traditional peat smoke). Grainy and oaky with lots of complex spices running through cloves, cinnamon and other baking spices. There’s also some green apple and young pears at the mid-body. The finish is very dry, almost musty, with oak, leather, and a bitter tobacco – the aforementioned wood chips in the barrel are the likely culprit here. Also, the rich ashy quality of hard wood smoking gets lots in the shuffle somewhere. While this one is not quite bold, it is no wallflower either.

Copper Fox Rye Taste Like:

  1. Old Potrero Rye – 18th Century Whiskey (85%)
  2. Redemption Rye (85%)
  3. Templeton Rye (84%)

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