Sunshine Reserve American Whiskey Review Header

Sunshine Reserve American Whiskey Review

In American Whiskey Reviews by Luke Castle2 Comments

Sunshine Reserve is a truly special Whiskey, crafted from the ground up to be the smoothest, friendliest Whiskey on the market, with a complexity of flavor that would delight any connoisseur.Sunshine Reserve American Whiskey
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Sunshine Reserve American Whiskey

  • DISTILLER: Manhattan Moonshine Company
  • MASH BILL: 4 grain mash bill built around oats, the remaining 3 grains are rye, spelt, and malted barley
  • AGE: At least 1 day – per the whiskey’s label (distiller put the legally required minimum age statement as the whiskey less than 4 years old and they don’t believe the age statement is meaningful)
  • YEAR: 2017
  • PROOF: 85 (42.5% ABV)
  • MSRP: $50.00
NOSE: Malt | Chocolate | Smoke | Vanilla

TASTE: Green Apple | Malted Barley | Cinnamon | Oatmeal

FINISH: Short without much depth.

SHARE WITH: Cocktail fans and folks that want to support craft distilling. I wouldn’t share with hardcore bourbon fans.

WORTH THE PRICE: I wouldn’t call this a bad whiskey, but $50 is certainly a stretch. It makes a good Manhattan but is too underproof and thin for a standalone pour. There are plenty of brands including craft distillers making young whiskey for a lot less money. The bottle is designed as a decanter and will work well for that.

BOTTLE, BAR OR BUST: I won’t be reaching for this again for a pour of neat whiskey, but I will gladly mix in a cocktail. Can’t call that a bust since I can see this being a nice addition for well-crafted cocktail enthusiast’s, but I would recommend trying at a bar first.

OVERALL: The notes from the distiller tell us that they bake the barrel staves instead of charring. That explains the Malty flavor and nose. The 4 Grain Mash bill primarily made of Oats also adds a fair amount of sweetness. It was a little too sweet for my taste and underproof. It benefitted from air time in the glass (20-30 minutes) but not enough to cover the Green Apple taste I always get with young whiskey.

I appreciate the variety of flavors and styles being created in the craft distillery explosion. Sunshine Reserve is well made so I would be curious to try it with some additional aging time. It lacked the depth I prefer, and I think that comes with patience in the barrel.

Learn more about Luke’s whiskey preferences and check out more of his reviews…

Disclaimer: Manhattan Moonshine Company 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.

About the Author

Luke Castle


Growing up in Minnesota gives a person a great appreciation for anything that warms the body and soul. Whiskey and wine have been helping to warm Luke for many years. Jim Beam and coke morphed into whiskey waters and eventually Bourbon. Two buck chuck led to several trips to Napa Valley and a love for most varietals of wine. He is fortunate enough to have traveled most of the US through his career in financial services. A beautiful and understanding wife mostly tolerates his other hobbies including golf, hunting, and reading. 2 young kids keep them busy as well. Appreciation for the subtle differences that each decision a distiller makes keeps him coming back for more and has him excited for the future.


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    Nice review of an interesting product. I would never thought of using oats as the backbone of an American Whiskey. I would imagine that it would be a bit on the sweet side. I have always thought that a low proof covers a lot of roughness in the taste.

    Thanks again for the nice review. If I see this on the shelf, I will know what it is now and be able to make an informed decision.

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