To fully enjoy the complex flavors of whiskey, first inhale the aromas with your mouth slightly open. Take a sip and hold it in your mouth a few seconds before swallowing. You’ll notice different nuances depending how you drink it – try it neat, on the rocks, or with a bit of water which can take the edge off the alcohol and make it smoother.
1. TINCUP American Whiskey
Copper in color, TINCUP smells quite spicy and dusty – I can’t help but picture walking into an old saloon with shafts of light falling through the windows – but as the whiskey opens up in the glass there’s a hint of sweet corn and just a touch of oak that gives it structure. The flavor is all rye spice with just enough caramel for balance. It’s a full-flavored whiskey that doesn’t pull any punches.
The finish is warm, oaky and surprisingly smooth for such a robust and spicy spirit. While technically a bourbon, TINCUP drinks more like an easygoing rye – perfect for a no-nonsense-puts-hair-on-your-chest whiskey fan, hold the grimace and the burn. I’d say it’s closest relative is Bulleit Bourbon, but TINCUP is a little more aggressive and less sweet.
2. Woodford Double Oaked Bourbon
Woodford Double Oaked Bourbon was awarded the Double Gold Medal for Best Special Barrel Finish Bourbon in the 2014 San Francisco World Spirits Competition for good reason. Its deep amber color develops from an innovative approach to twice-barreled bourbon. It is uniquely matured in separate, charred oak barrels, and the second barrel is deeply toasted before a light charring.
It offers aromas of dark fruit, caramel, sharp honey, chocolate, marzipan and toasted oak. The full-bodied taste is a mix of vanilla, dark caramel, hazelnut, apple, fruit and spices, and it has a long and creamy finish with lingering hints of honeyed apple.
3. Breaking & Entering Small Batch Bourbon Whiskey
Breaking & Entering is not a St. George distillate, but you will taste the influence in every sip. Dave and Lance of St. George’s Spirits blended barrels from Kentucky’s most venerable bourbon distilleries to create the layered flavors of Breaking & Entering. It is a bright, spicy, not-too-sweet bourbon characterized by warm breakfast notes of maple, banana, butter, cinnamon and cloves. Cherry cola and eucalyptus/menthol are also present.
4. Monkey Shoulder Whisky
This “triple” malt combines single malts from three of Speyside’s finest distilleries. The result is an elegant, stylish nose of marmalade, Crema Catalana, cocoa and malt. A sprinkling of winter spice (nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon) adds an extra dimension, alongside a mouth-watering hint of anise.
It has a very malty, creamy delivery which offers up a palate redolent of berry fruit, juicy toasted barley, cloves and butterscotch. A hint of of Manuka honey, hot buttered toast and dried apricot develop. The medium length finish is super smooth, with clove-studded oranges, creamy vanilla and peppermint on the tail.
5. Bernheim Wheat Whiskey
Bardstown, Kentucky Bernheim
Original Kentucky Straight Wheat Whiskey is the first truly new variety of American straight whiskey introduced since Prohibition. Bernheim is also the first whiskey to use winter wheat as its primary grain, creating a soft-sweet flavor and medium finish. It is brilliant copper in color, with a mildly sweet aroma of vanilla and honey. The taste offers hints of toffee, berries and spice with refreshing mint, finishing with elegant and warm soft toasted oak.