Back in June, I had an opportunity to try The QuintEssential American Single Malt from Cedar Ridge Winery & Distillery in Swisher, Iowa. It is one of my favorite things I’ve tasted in 2021. When Lost Lantern announced its Fall 2021 Single Cask collection and I found out Cedar Ridge’s American Single Malt was one of the whiskeys, I wanted one – badly.
"The best whiskey reflects its origins, its craftsmanship, its ingredients, and its distillers. Inspired by the long tradition of independent bottlers in Scotland, Lost Lantern is a new, independent bottler of American whiskey. The company seeks out the most unique and exciting whiskeys being made all across the country and releases them as single casks and blends, always with a deep commitment to transparency." - Lost Lantern
Founded in 2018 by Nora Ganley-Roper of Astor Wine & Spirits and Adam Polonski of Whisky Advocate, the duo is committed to releasing whiskeys from distilleries they've personally visited. Nora handles production and operations, and Adam takes care of marketing, sales, and sourcing. Currently, Lost Lantern's whiskeys can be purchased from LostLanternWhiskey.com or Seelbachs.com.
Cask 1 is the Cedar Ridge American Single Malt aged two years in 53-gallon, new, American oak coopered at Independent Stave Company, and then finished another two years in 500-liter Jerez Sherry casks. The total yield was 555 bottles and packaged at 115.3°. Retail is approximately $110.00.
How does the sherry cask finish affect the standard single malt? The only way to find out is to #DrinkCurious. But, before I do, I’d like to thank Lost Lantern for providing me a sample in exchange for a no-strings-attached, honest review.
Appearance: Poured neat in my Glencairn glass, this American Single Malt presented as the color of caramel. It formed a thin rim that yielded husky, lightning-fast legs that crashed back to the pool of liquid sunshine.
Nose: The bouquet from the glass was sweet and overflowing with caramel, raisin, apricot, pear, and chocolate. When I drew the air into my mouth, it was as if I took a bite from a prune.
Palate: The mouthfeel was thin, slick, and oily, and led to my front palate picking out raisin, fig, apricot, and honey. It moved to the middle as prune and cocoa. The back became warm and spicy with black pepper, oak, chocolate, and the slightest appearance of date.
Finish: The finish was long-lasting and made it abundantly clear it was a high-proof whiskey. My palate, which is used to things with a much higher ABV content, numbed quickly. Black pepper, raisin, fig, dark chocolate, and bone-dry oak rounded it out.
Bottle, Bar, or Bust: Cedar Ridge makes an incredibly delicious American Single Malt. When you add a sherry cask finish to the mix, well, that just opened up a whole new dimension. Yes, it was a bit hot, but that didn’t take away from the experience. Is it worth $110.00 for a 750ml bottle? I’m not completely convinced. It blurs somewhere between a Bottle and Bar, and when that happens, I always opt for some wiggle room. Bar it is. Cheers!
My Simple, Easy to Understand Rating System
- Bottle = Buy It
- Bar = Try It
- Bust = Leave It
Whiskeyfellow encourages you to enjoy your whiskey as you see fit but begs you do so responsibly.