Experiment With Whiskey
Legions of new distilleries have sprung up across the country in the last decade. The nation is now peppered with hip, youthful artisans pushing the limits of their new-found craft. The distillation of whiskey has now become a full-fledged battle royale, with the Tennessee and Kentucky old-timers going toe-to-toe with the brash young upstarts. Here are three of our top picks that deserve your personal inspection:
- Balcones True Blue 100 ($57) Made in Waco, Texas, from 100% Hopi blue corn. This whiskey avoids comparison by virtue of the fact that there’s nothing else like it. Put your nose to it and your mind will think of rum, even single malt. This liquor glides onto your palate, offering tastes of cocoa, espresso and bourbon. It’s both tantalizingly strange and oddly familiar at the same time. Delicious to the drop.
- Woodford Reserve Four Wood ($100) This whiskey sees a maturation that is unparalleled. First it ages in the standard oak, then goes on to “finish” in maple. It even spends time in re-purposed sherry and port barrels. Hence the name Four Wood. It’s like drinking regular Woodford that’s been on steroids. It has more viscosity, more lusciousness. It declares itself a meal rather than a drink.
- Master Distiller’s Blend of Mashbills ($80) Produced by Heaven Hill, the only remaining national distiller that produces Bourbon, Rye, Corn and Wheat Whiskeys; this one is phenomenal. It’s a combination of two 11-year-old mash whiskeys, one made with wheat and the other made with rye. Tread lightly here, this one’s 130 proof. It requires some water, but not too much. In a word – transcendental.
We’ve enjoyed these 3 fine spirits poured over our handcrafted whiskey stones. The slight chill they provide allows us to enjoy full flavor while we control the amount of water added. So tip your hat to those who have gambled on experimentation and won, because we reap the rewards. And as whiskey distilleries continue to struggle to separate themselves from the herd, we can’t help but think of it as a good thing. Because innovation is the heart and soul of business. And whiskey – is big business.