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Whiskies
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Whiskies


Kinnickinnic Whiskey PDF Print E-mail
Featured Spirits - Whiskies

a picture of Great Lakes Distillery's Kinnickinnic Whiskey
Great Lakes Distillery
Milwaukee, WI
86 proof


Bottled here in our very own backyard, Kinnickinnic (or KK) whiskey is blend of Kentucky Straight Bourbon and Great Lake’s very own, very young, malt whiskey. Kinnickinnic is an Ojibwe word meaning “what is mixed,” making it the perfect name for this craft-blended whiskey. I say “craft-blended” because typically a “blended whiskey” means it’s blended with neutral grain spirits and, frankly, rather cheap
both in price and taste. This, on the other hand, is rich and full of flavor and is a clever means to satisfy the huge craft whiskey demand without the intimidating expenses and years of aging required in getting full whiskey production underway.

KK whiskey has quite a bit of white dog malt whiskey character, practically unavoidable in a whiskey so young. This comes through primarily on the nose, but also a bit in the flavor. The Kentucky Straight Bourbon, with which it is blended, helps to round some of the edges and provide some much-needed aged whiskey character. The nose, apart from the aforementioned white dog barley, contains hints of pear and oak. The flavor is fruity and spicy and slightly vegetal, finishing with hints of cinnamon. Until now, I haven’t mentioned perhaps KK’s most obvious and undeniable feature its heat. This is a very hot spirit. It’s only 86 proof, but feels more like mid- to high-90s. This is due to the youth of the house-made spirit and makes drinking it straight unlikely for most casual whiskey drinkers. If drinking it straight, we suggest you add some water to cut the proof and open up the spirit. Where this whiskey really shines is in cocktails. Its full flavor stands up to almost anything and it’s much more enjoyable without the associated heat. Priced in line with their other products at about $30, it’s well worth it.

 
Brewers’ Whiskey - Walleye Rye PDF Print E-mail
Featured Spirits - Whiskies

a picture of New Holland's Walleye Rye Brewers Whiskey
New Holland Brewing Co.
New Holland, MI
90 proof


New Holland’s “Brewers’ Whiskey” is a series of small-barrel whiskeys twice distilled from a “beer wash” and laid down in small casks with a heavy char. The Walleye Rye is one of these specialized, small-release whiskeys. Only 350 bottles of Walleye were released in 375 ml bottles. They come with a bit of a price tag, around $35, but if you can find one, snag it up it’s worth every penny!

This was, without a doubt, the most unique, bordering-on-bizarre whiskey our panel tasted. Every time we thought we pinned down a flavor or aroma, something new would bubble to the surface. The aroma is very fruity about as fruity a whiskey as I’ve ever encountered with notes of apple, pear, cherry, fig and apricot. The flavor was constantly shifting fruity and spicy, then woody, then hints of maple and finishing with ginger. Countless other flavors fell in between, but seemed to slip through our fingers before we could fully grasp them. Truly, this is a whiskey that could be sipped and talked about for hours. Very complex and unique. Surely, this whiskey is not for everyone, but the experience alone makes it worth a hunt for this elusive product.

 
Woodford Reserve PDF Print E-mail
Featured Spirits - Whiskies

a picture of Woodford Reserve bourbon
The Woodford Reserve Distillery
Versailles, KY
90.4 proof



Woodford Reserve is one of those iconic, high-quality bourbons that we simply couldn’t pass up when talking about American Whiskey. Owned by the Brown-Foreman company and distilled in Woodford County, Kentucky, it has become a benchmark bourbon; it is a whiskey by which other bourbons are judged.

In our tasting, we used Woodford Reserve to establish something of a baseline. The nose is iconically bourbon — butterscotch and caramel with just a hint of something earthy and/or woody. One person in our tasting panel suggested cardboard. I don’t think that’s inaccurate. Caramel, butterscotch and rich oak come through in the flavor, with subtleties of white pepper and maple toward the finish. This bourbon is full-bodied and extremely smooth, finishing dry and sweet. There is good reason this is one of the whiskey elite. ~$30.

 
High West Double Rye PDF Print E-mail
Featured Spirits - Whiskies

a picture of High West's Double Rye
High West Distillery
Park City, UT
92 proof



High West’s Double Rye is a tale of two rye whiskeys (neither of which are actually distilled by High West) that were masterfully blended by High West Distillery and bottled for the true rye lover. The first rye in the blend is an impressive 95% rye whiskey aged only 2 years. This young, hot and spicy whiskey is then blended with a very mature, mellow and smooth 16-year-old low rye whiskey (53% rye, 37% corn). The result is a complex, bold yet amazingly smooth whiskey.

Big spiced apple hits the nose with light notes of licorice and caramel. The flavor is exceptionally fruity (mostly apple) with an amazing blend of spices — clove, cinnamon, licorice and pepper. Some oak character shines through and it finishes dry and slightly bitter from the oak, turning to sweet caramel that lingers a long while — well worth the ~$40 price tag. We also tasted the High West Bourye, a blend of bourbon and rye, that we all thoroughly enjoyed. Both are highly recommended, but the Bourye is in very limited quantities.

 
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