Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Amador Ten Barrels Straight Hop Flavored Whiskey

This straight hop-flavored whiskey is the latest limited release from Charbay Master Distiller, Marko Karakasevic. Charbay is a small craft distillery located in Napa (think wine) county California, who partnered with the Amador Whiskey Co. to bottle this limited release. Seing as only ten barrels were made, it is in fact, the definition of "limited". Reading the accompanying dog tag blows my mind; it's a blend of straight malt whiskey and a hop-flavored whiskey. After these whiskeys were distilled, they were aged separately for over two years in French oak wine barrels and then "married" in  chardonnay barrels for another year before being bottled. 


Batch No. 1, Barrel No. 10, Bottle No. 3582
96 Proof
60% straight malt whiskey
40% hop-flavored whiskey -crafted from Racer 5 IPA (brewed by the Bear Republic Brewery)

Nose: Full of hops, caramel, mint leaves, cloves and vanilla, and plum.

Taste:  There is an initial sweetness with vanilla and honey followed by an extreme burst of hops and spice. The flavors on the mid palate are abundant, with malt, toffee, butterscotch, rich citrus, red fruit, and nougat. 

Finish: It's long, with hops spice and a scotch like dryness. 

Conclusion: As you can see by the amount left in the bottle, I took my time before reviewing this one. For a young whiskey, the flavors are still bold and the proof makes it worth's just, the overwhelming burst of hops takes me a bit too far away from my whiskey comfort zone. While this was a gift, it retails around $99. If you are a hops lover, this may be worth searching for, but as there were only 10 barrels made, it may be fairly difficult to find. 

My Rating: C (Decent)

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Few Rye Whiskey

A few months back I reviewed Few bourbon; it wasn't your typical bourbon but it's a damn good whiskey. After I finished that bottle, I wanted to get my hands on this bottle of rye so...lets begin! 

Aged less than 4 years
93 proof
70% rye, 20% corn, and 2% malted barley

Nose: Raw grains and a dash of sugar grace the nose. Chocolate pudding pie, rye spice, creamy corn, and honey follow. 

Taste: Starts off with a dominant pepper spice that kicks at the back of your throat. For a herbal/grassy rye,  it's also a buttery whiskey, with sweet notes of creamy vanilla and tootsie rolls. 

Finish: It's smooth yet comes with a slight burn. Medium in length. The herbal notes and rye spice continue to dominate along with some bitter oak. 

Conclusion: Similar to Few bourbon, Few rye is very unique and grain forward. Unlike most ryes, there isn't much (if any) mint present. While its not something I would necessarly sip neat, this is an interesting bottle that is certainly worth a try. That being said, at under 4 years of age, the suggested retail of$64.99 is a little more than I would like to spend.

My Rating: C (Decent)