This hybrid of bourbon, rye, and blended malt scotch is the dusty trail made liquid flesh. Smoke and cooked meat up front, balanced by sizzling rye spice, red fruit, and dark chocolate. Seaweed, salt spray, and peat are happy to share the spotlight. Barbecue ribs dry-rubbed with paprika, chili powder, and clove, with a smoldering finish. Hot, powerful, and beguiling. A great improvement over earlier releases (2016 batch).
High West has changed the recipe for Campfire to include its own-make rye, along with sourced rye, bourbon, and peated malt whisky from Scotland. The nose is sweetly spiced and subtly smoky, with Lapsang souchong tea, kelp, beach bonfire, cigar box, orange peel, cinnamon, white pepper, and crème brûlée. Sharply herbal at first taste, it warms up to reveal orange oil, cherry cola, cough syrup, cigar wrapper, iced tea, roasted walnuts, caramel, and savory smoke. Chili heat on the finish is balanced by oak, dark chocolate, tobacco, and grilled apple.
A blend of Canadian whisky with 1% sherry and 8% bourbon. Dried and stewed fruits, baking spices, leather, and earthy tobacco blanket light-bodied vanilla sweetness. Assertive dark chocolate and coffee, raisins, and prunes are balanced with sweet peppered jerky. The generous sweetness is tempered with water. Finishes like a Cadbury Fruit & Nut bar, but with more personality.
Delicate aromas of chamomile, marigolds, gardenias, peaches, apples, and vanilla undergirded by biscuity cereal notes transition seamlessly to an elegant palate of vanilla, green apples, malted milk balls, and fresh herbs. The finish has gentle spice that fades into warm chocolate with continuing creamy grain. A blend of Japanese and other whiskies that responds well to water.
A 5 to 8 year old blended scotch married for 3 years in sherry casks in Scotland and finished for 12 months in Pedro Ximenez casks in Jerez. The nose has luscious figs, raisins, molasses, and berries, brightened with apricot-tangerine notes when water is added. The palate is intense: Fig Newtons, dark chocolate, raisins, and orange peel, finishing with honey, Raisinets, and chocolate-covered nuts—a soft, slightly under-proofed conclusion, but still satisfying.
Brothership Irish-American Whiskey 10 year old, 45%
Multinational Whisky | $50
Grassy, grainy, and floral on the nose, with hints of citrus, grape soda, and apples. The palate is creamy, fruity, sweet, and light, with creamed corn, milk chocolate, and grassy and floral notes. There’s a hint of spice and a milk chocolate finish. An interesting flavor profile, but the blend of bourbon and Irish single malt whiskey never quite comes together as a cohesive whole.
Oola Discourse Three Shores Whiskey Black Label French Oak, Cabernet Barrel Finished, 47%
Multinational Whisky | $70
A blend of Highlands scotch, Canadian whisky, and high-rye whiskey from Seattle’s Oola Distillery, with an additional year of aging in cabernet sauvignon barrels. The wine influence is apparent, with plum, cherry, and raspberry on the nose. French vanilla, dusty oak, white chocolate, and stone fruit dominate a creamy and mellow palate. Poached pears, honey, and cornbread flavors bring a little too much sweetness and lack depth.
From Restless Spirits of Kansas City, Missouri, a blend of 4 year old Irish whiskey and their own-make pot still whiskey. A gentle nose of pine bough, fennel seed, citrus oil, licorice, and potpourri, with a veneer of lemon candy. The palate tastes young but sweet and creamy, blending vanilla, bitter orange, and spicy pepper with a raisiny Chunky bar note and chocolate-covered almonds. Finishes with more chocolate, orange, and a subtle nuttiness.
A blend of Highlands scotch, Canadian whisky, and house-made high-rye whiskey. Aromas of stewed red fruit, pomegranate, and mint hold promise, but the whiskey is quiet, with subtle peach, unripe raspberry, apricots, and white flowers. White chocolate, cornbread, and biscotti flavors add a good deal of sweetness. The finish is pleasant and rounded. An interesting experiment, but it’s hard to discern what each component brings to the table.