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Kinnickinnic Whiskey
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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.