Last October I reviewed the first whiskey offering out of Wonderland and really enjoyed it. I like it when smaller distilleries try to do their own thing, rather than try to copy the big boys and beat them at a game they’ve perfected. The idea of blending three straight whiskies together that are all aged separately is not 100% novel, but is unique enough to give the folks at Wonderland a niche in the market. The only critique I had in my review last year was that I felt it had been proofed down too far and that a bottling at 90-100 proof would allow it to really shine. I’m not sure if they were paying attention to little-old-me when they decided to create this cask-strength offering, but I certainly jumped at the chance to review it when given the opportunity!
Holy shit, this stuff doesn’t suck! Seriously, if you’re a listener of the Bourbon & Banter Podcast, you know that I have very little tolerance for celebrity whiskeys & ZERO tolerance for marketing bullshit, particularly when it comes to barrels being “sonically enhanced.”
I have made no secret of my love for independent bottlers and recently wrote an article for Bourbon & Banter where I lamented the fact that no one is doing with American whiskies what independent bottlers are able to do with Scotches. Just a few months later, a sample of Lost Lantern, Edition 1 appeared on my doorstep. I want to open this review with an admission: I really wanted to like this.
Every Little Book release is, to my palate, unique and extraordinary. Fans will recognize they’re Beam whiskeys, but no standard Beam whiskeys. Hearing Noe talk about the effort required to make them adds to their complexity, and conversations about them reminds me just how hard mingling whiskey really is—especially when using a brown rice-accented bourbon. It’s that bourbon that Noe said, “that anchors the complexity of the blend but not the majority of the blend.” I agree. The sweet, round and
On the initial nose, I would have assumed this was a pour of Brenne Whisky. Those French staves must be the culprit on the bubblegum nose on both products. On the initial palate, I would have assumed this was Traverse City American Cherry Whiskey. I was surprised that the cabernet stave influence managed to tame the youth of the underlying product to an enjoyable experience.
I have a goal of drinking a whiskey from every state in the union and so jumped at the chance to try this offering from Michigan. This first expression by Wonderland is a really interesting take on a blend in that each component is a straight whiskey and then those straight whiskies are blended together. To me, the rye is most noticeable on the nose and the wheat certainly takes center stage on the palate.
In full disclosure, this isn’t my first run-in with Virginia-Highland Port Cask Finished Whisky. I’ve served previous batches at whiskey appreciation classes I’ve hosted and it always went over well. As such, I was excited for the opportunity to try Batch 10 to experience how it has held up.
This is a marriage of a Highland Scotch from an undisclosed distillery and American Malt whiskey from Virginia Distillery Company. It was then aged in ex-Port casks from King Family Vineyards for an additional year.
he American Single Malt category continues to experience popularity and growth. While it isn’t meant to mimic its Scotch or Irish counterparts, they do start with the same basic ingredient: 100% malted barley. Billed as a limited edition release for early 2020, Virginia Distillery Co. presents Prelude: Courage & Conviction in a rich-looking, attention-grabbing package. Virginia Distilling Co. takes an interesting route by using three different types of barrels to age their whiskey: ex-Bourbon barrels, ex-Sherry casks and ex-Cuvee casks. The latter, in particular, is not something I’ve experienced.
Rolling Standard Midwestern Four-Grain Whiskey is a very interesting approach to creating a four-grain. Instead of using all four grains together in the same mash, Union Horse Distilling distilled a wheated Bourbon and distilled an American Single Malt, aged both for five years, and then blended them together. After the blending process, the whiskey is then returned to those barrels another 18 months together before being blended again as a small batch. It is non-chill filtered and bottled at 92°.