Double Gold (San Francisco World Spirits Competition 2021)
Batch 001 is a 3-whisky blend that started with an herbaceous, feisty and deeply flavorful 16 year old rye aged in Hungarian oak. We blended in fruit-forward, 17 year old rye aged in ex-Speyside scotch casks. The combination revealed a smoldering symphony of spice. Last, we lengthened the finish and increased the viscosity by adding double-distilled corn whisky aged for 20 years in refill and level-2-char virgin oak.
Batch 001 is defined by its spice profile. The first impression is hot cinnamon and cayenne mixed with earthy jalapeno, black pepper and peppermint. The second pass presents lively and herbaceous spices of green tea, basil and bay leaves. While the initial profile is all spice, there are layers of fruit and butterscotch lying in wait, especially in the mid-palate, including red fruits, blackberry, apple and sweet melon. The finish walks an endless tightrope with dry spice on one side and chewy tannins on the other.
We created Batch 001 in order to demonstrate the dynamism of aged rye and shatter the misconception that rye shows its best spice profile when bottled young. That said, rye spice is a double-edged sword. The deeper we cut into the flavor opportunities, the spicier the palate. You can try to smooth the spice out with new oak or water it down through proofing. Batch 001 exemplifies the third option -- forget about making it “smooth” and instead make the whisky as robust and multifaceted as possible while finding the careful balance between astringency and tannin.