- DISTILLER: Cutwater Spirits
- MASH BILL: Undisclosed, but a blend of Straight Bourbons
- AGE: No Age Statement
- YEAR: 2019
- PROOF: 90 Proof (45% ABV)
- MSRP: $54.99
- BUY ONLINE: Wine-Searcher.com
NOSE: Honey | Sawdust | Candied Fruit | Vanilla
TASTE: Caramel | Char | Oak | Pepper
FINISH: Long and Peppery, with Candied Fruit
SHARE WITH: People enjoy heavier-oaked whiskeys.
WORTH THE PRICE: Potentially.
BOTTLE, BAR OR BUST: This is one to try at a Bar before committing to a bottle.
OVERALL: Everyone is new at some point. When new whiskey brands come about, they have two choices: Source a whiskey now so you have something to sell (and help pay off the cost of the still), or distill now and sit on the product while it ages, and not recoup any money in the meantime. Both are very expensive, one requires a bit more patience and a lot of faith.
Sourcing is no big deal. I do prefer when a brand is transparent regarding who it sources from, I can appreciate a brand wanting to hold some cards close to the vest, especially if they’ve sourced from a less-than-famous distiller. Cutwater Spirits sources theirs from an undisclosed distillery, citing they’ve “meticulously selected, curated and blended” their whiskeys to create Black Skimmer Bourbon.
In the end, what matters is the tasting experience. I’d like to thank Cutwater Spirits for providing me with a sample for a no-strings-attached review. Time to #DrinkCurious!
In the glass, this Bourbon had a bright amber appearance. It left a medium-thick rim on the wall of my Glencairn that to fat legs that quickly slid back to the pool of liquid sunshine.
When I held the glass in the various nosing zones, an aroma of honey dominated everything else. As my olfactory senses became used to the sweetness, I was able to pick up notes of sawdust and oak. The sweetness returned, but this time in the form of candied fruits. When I inhaled through my mouth, all that sweetness morphed to rich and thick vanilla. It made my mouth water.
The mouthfeel was very thin and airy, giving an opportunity to concentrate on the flavors instead of the texture. Up front, caramel came but left almost as quickly. In the middle was a blend of barrel char and oak. Behind that was black pepper. There wasn’t much in terms of complexity.
The finish was long and peppery, but didn’t create much in terms of “burn.” After many minutes, the finish changed from spicy to sweet, reminiscent of that candied fruit from the nose. The finish was easily the most impressive part of the tasting experience and kept me coming back for more. Repeatedly waiting for a finish to transform is not something I’m used to doing.
I enjoy unusual whiskeys. That’s not to say that more traditional ones are boring, but I like it when a brand does something to differentiate itself from the crowd. Black Skimmer Bourbon absolutely did that with the finish. I wish there was more to the palate than what I picked up, and as such, this is going to earn a Bar rating.
In full transparency, I had to go through the tasting process twice. When I first tried it, there was a very unpleasant sour and bitter note that I kept picking up on the palate. With the nose and the finish being so good and that offensive quality on the palate, I allowed the whiskey oxidize for a week. That oxidization process made a huge difference. I recommend when tasting a whiskey that if it is unappealing on the first pour, set the bottle aside and revisit it again before passing final judgment. Cheers!
Building on our tradition of award-winning spirits, and in concert with some of our favorite whiskey distillers, Cutwater Spirits proudly introduces Black Skimmer Blended Straight Bourbon Whiskey. A blend of straight bourbon whiskeys with notes of honeysuckle, caramel, and vanilla. Born from our curiosity, creativity, and unconventional open-minded spirit, this smooth drinking bourbon was meticulously selected, curated, and blended. Enjoy it with the best of friends.
Disclaimer: Cutwater Spirits provided Bourbon & Banter with a sample of their product for this review. We appreciate their willingness to allow us to review their products with no strings attached. Thank you.