Double Gold (San Francisco World Spirits Competition 2021)
Rye spice is a double-edged sword. The deeper you cut into the flavor opportunities, the spicier the palate. You can easily 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 dynamic as possible.
We started with herbaceous, 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.
The resulting whisky tests the outer limits of the spicy rye kick, presenting a simmering tannic profile. If you search just beneath the layers of spice you’ll find fruit, grain, earth and wood.
Batch 001 is initially defined by the spiciness. The first impression is hot cinnamon and cayenne. The second pass reveals all of the fruit-forward undertones. The third act exhibits all of the wood character -- vanilla, caramel and tannin. The finish is lengthy, very warming and surprisingly berry-forward and sweet.
Grain Profile: The rye is prominent. You get classic black pepper, earthy hay notes and very faint cereal tones.
Spice Profile: The spice is intense. It is dominated by cinnamon, cayenne, jalapeno, peppermint and black pepper but on the second take there are also cooking spices like basil and bay leaves as well as green tea.
Wood Profile: The wood adds some oaky sweetness, caramel, vanilla bean and even creamy irish butter.
Fruit Profile: The whisky is defined by the secondary and tertiary fruit notes which include blackberry, apple, sweet melon and raspberry.
Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is dominated by the warm spicy heat on the back and roof of the palate, but it has nice complementary tannic drying on the sides of the palate and it is oily in the midpalate with a little sweet tingling.
With Water: A few drops pulls out more caramel and vanilla, more tea notes and a lot more red and orchard fruits, strawberry and peaches. Additionally, it enhances the savory notes, giving it a slightly burnt sugar and fried dumpling quality.