Showing posts with label review. Show all posts
Showing posts with label review. Show all posts

Friday, November 4, 2022

A Sampling of Buzzard's Roost Whiskeys: Reviews & Tasting Notes





American whiskey blenders are nothing new. Several very talented blenders produce incredible whiskeys. Others seem to hunt and peck and learn as they go. As I’ve said for several years, blending is an art form; it doesn’t matter what type of whiskey you’re working with.

 

One blender that’s been around a while is Jason Brauner. He’s got two decades of experience under his belt and is the founder and master blender of Buzzard’s Roost Sipping Whiskey. Jason was one of the pioneers involved with restaurants offering their own whiskey barrels.

 

“After taking part in more than a [sic] 100 barrel selections over his career, Jason is embarking on his most exciting challenge yet  - Buzzard’s Roost Sipping Whiskey, a Rye he designed with the bourbon drinker in mind.  His goal with Buzzard’s Roost is still the same as it was 19 years ago,  to educate and share his love of whiskey.” – Buzzard’s Roost

 

Buzzard’s Roost gets its barrels from MGP/Ross and Squibb, transferring traditionally-aged whiskeys to proprietary barrels, where they sit for a handful of weeks before being dumped and bottled. Its current distribution is Kentucky, Massachusetts, Ohio, New Mexico, Tennessee, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Alberta, Canada.

 

A kind friend provided me with five different samples of Buzzard’s Roost and asked for my thoughts. So, let’s #DrinkCurious and get to exploring.

 

Toasted American Oak Bourbon, Batch 1

 

 


 

  • Cooperage: Lightly charred, toasted 53-gallon American white oak barrels
  • Mashbill: A blend of 59% corn, 36% rye, and 5% malted barley with 74% corn, 21% rye, and 5% malted barley
  • Age: NAS (but between 4-5 years)
  • 52.5% ABV (105°)
  • Price:  $75.00

 

Appearance: Poured neat in my Glencairn glass, this toasted Bourbon presented at a bright, gold amber and created a thicker rim with watery tears.

 

Nose:  The toasted oak heavily influenced the nose, but beneath it were plum and nutmeg. When I drew the air through my lips, I tasted vanilla.

 

Palate: I found a creamy mouthfeel offered toasted oak and black tea on the front of my palate. The middle suggested mint and honey, while the back was clove and caramel.

 

Finish:  Medium-to-long in duration, the finish kept the wood, mint, and clove throughout.

 

Bottle, Bar, or Bust:  Toasted American Oak Bourbon is an uncomplicated whiskey, and that’s part of its shortcoming. I can’t see this standing head-to-head with similarly-priced Bourbons. It isn’t unpleasant and, thus, doesn’t deserve a Bust, but all things considered, a Bar is a fair rating.

 

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Toasted Barrel Rye, Batch 2

  

 


 

  • Cooperage: No char, toasted 53-gallon American white oak barrels
  • Mashbill: 95% rye, 5% malted barley
  • Age:  36 months
  • 52.5% ABV (105°)
  • Price:  $80.00

 

Appearance: In my Glencairn glass, this orange-amber Rye formed a thin rim and thick, sticky legs.

 

Nose: Toasted oak and eucalyptus wafted from the glass, while closer examination led to floral rye and vanilla. Pulling the vapor into my mouth gave a sensation of rye spice.

 

Palate: A thin, oily mouthfeel introduced my palate to juniper, oak, and vanilla to the front of my tongue, while white pepper, black tea, and eucalyptus formed the middle. The back consisted of mint, caramel, and heavy clove.

 

Finish:  Clove, white pepper, and mint carried through for a very long finish.

 

Bottle, Bar, or Bust: Juniper is my immediate attention-getter, mostly because I dislike it. Instead, I concentrated on the other notes. I ran into a similar issue as the Toasted American Oak Bourbon; this is pricy for a three-year American Rye. No matter how much I tried to ignore the juniper, I wasn't a fan. But, if that’s not something that offends you, you’ll want to try it yourself. Thus, it takes a Bar rating. 

 

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Single Barrel Straight Rye

 

 

 

 

  • Cooperage: Toasted and lightly-charred 53-gallon American white oak barrel
  • Mashbill: 95% rye, 5% malted barley
  • Age:  Undisclosed to me
  • 52.5% ABV (105°)
  • Price:  $70.00

 

Appearance: Served neat in my Glencairn glass, the bronze color was enticing. A microthin rim produced a wavy curtain of legs that crashed back to the pool.

 

Nose: There was a lot of caramel and vanilla on the nose, which I found pleasant. Floral rye took an effort to find, as was the tannin quality. When the air hit my mouth, minty vanilla coated everywhere.

 

Palate: The texture was very oily. The front of my palate encountered caramel, vanilla, and light mint. Flavors of cinnamon and nutmeg formed the middle, while the back was toasted oak and rye spice.

 

Finish:  A medium finish offered toasted oak, mint, and white pepper. I struggled to find something else, but if there was, it eluded me.

 

Bottle, Bar, or Bust:  The Single Barrel Rye was the most pleasant of the three tasted so far, but it also is not a $70.00 rye. There was nothing to dislike; there wasn’t anything remarkable about it. Like the others, this finds itself taking a Bar rating.

 

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Cigar Rye, Batch 1



 

  • Cooperage: Toasted and lightly-charred 53-gallon American white oak barrels, cold-smoked with aged Kentucky tobacco leaves
  • Mashbill: 95% rye, 5% malted barley
  • Age: 4 years
  • 52.5% ABV (105°)
  • Price:  $75.00

 

Appearance:  A neat pour in my Glencairn glass showed off a golden-amber liquid. The medium rim gave up slow, sticky legs.

 

Nose: An aroma of rye spice combined with nutmeg, allspice, and freshly-shredded tobacco leaf. Pulling the air past my lips gave a whisp of minty tobacco.

 

Palate: Cigar Rye had a silky texture. I got a mouthful of fresh fruit with strawberry, plum, and cherry on the front. Tobacco leaves, light smoke, and vanilla formed the middle. The back tasted of oak, rye spice, and clove.

 

Finish: Big vanilla and tobacco were accompanied by nutmeg and plum for a medium-length finish.

 

Bottle, Bar, or Bust: Cigar Rye is the breakout whiskey of the four I’ve tasted so far. I believe this one can compete against similarly-priced ryes, and the tobacco adds a lot to ponder. Cigar Rye takes my Bottle rating.

 

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Barrel Strength Rye, Westport Whiskey & Wine Selection, Barrel #1416B24

 


 

  • Cooperage: Toasted and lightly-charred 53-gallon American white oak barrel
  • Mashbill: 95% rye, 5% malted barley
  • Age: undisclosed
  • 56.48% ABV (112.96°)
  • Price:  $88.99
  • Westport Whiskey & Wine, Louisville, KY

 

Appearance:  Poured neat into my Glencairn glass, the whiskey from this private barrel of Rye presented as dark, orange amber. A medium-thick rim made sticky droplets that clung to the wall.

 

Nose: The aroma that emanated from my glass included plum, cherry, mint, vanilla, and oak. Aside from the mint, which was nondescript, the nose could pass for a barely legal Rye or even a Bourbon. Cherry and vanilla rolled across my tongue as I pulled the air through my lips.

 

Palate:  An incredibly oily mouthfeel dropped cherry, plum, and creamy caramel on the front of my palate. Midway through, I tasted vanilla cola. The back featured toasted oak, candied ginger, and clove.

 

Finish:  I found this whiskey’s finish to be long and warming with caramel, toasted oak, plum, ginger, and clove.

 

Bottle, Bar, or Bust: This Rye started to remind me of Dr. Pepper at some point. That’s one of my two favorite soft drinks (the other being Mr. Pibb). The flavors were well-defined, and I couldn’t get enough of this Rye’s texture. It was an excellent example of why MGP Ryes can be remarkable. It is also an example of age being just a number because it doesn’t matter. It easily snags my Bottle rating and is the best of the five Buzzard’s Roost I was given. 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.


 

Wednesday, November 2, 2022

McConnell's Sherry Cask Finish Irish Whisky Review & Tasting Notes


There were a few important things that happened in 1776. The United States declared independence from England. Crown Prince Paul of Russia married. Father Francisco Palou founded San Francisco. James Cook began his third voyage. And, the McConnells of Belfast, Ireland, began distributing their whisky.

 

A distillery was built along the banks of the River Lagan. The distillery churned out distillate uninterrupted until April 20, 1909, when a fire destroyed half the distillery along with 500,000 gallons of whisky. The restoration took place, but then, in 1920, Prohibition came to the United States. Losing one of its biggest markets, 90% of Irish distilleries shuttered, including McConnell’s.

 

In 2020, McConnell’s was resurrected by Conecuh Brands. In partnership with Great Northern Distillery in Dundalk in County Louth, McConnell’s was ready to hit the market once again. In the meanwhile, McConnell’s is building its distillery on the ruins of the original.

 

Many might look at my spelling of whisky and wonder what happened to the e. After all, American and Irish brands typically use it. McConnell’s purposefully chose to differentiate itself by not including it. No law requires either spelling; it is viewed as a preference.

 

Today I’m exploring McConnell’s Sherry Cask Finish, a blended Irish whisky made from malt and grains. It was aged five years in former Bourbon barrels, then transferred to former Oloroso sherry casks for another nine months. It is packaged at 46% ABV (92°) in an attractive bottle that retails for about $42.99.

 

Before I get to the tasting notes, I am thankful to Conecuh Brands for providing me with a sample in exchange for a no-strings-attached, honest review. And now, it is time to #DrinkCurious to figure this one out.

 

Appearance: A neat pour in my Glencairn glass revealed a sunflower-gold liquid. It formed a thinner rim that yielded wide, fat legs.

 

Nose: As soon as I popped the cork, a fragrant aroma of plum, raisin, leather, and pastry flowed from the neck and into the glass. Heavy raisin dragged across my tongue when I pulled the vapor through my lips.

 

Palate: I was taken aback by how weighty the mouthfeel was. It had a syrupy consistency. On the front, I tasted dates, raisins, and apples. As it moved to the middle, I found dark chocolate, hazelnut, and shredded tobacco. Then, I encountered dry leather, clove, and oak tannins on the back.

 

Finish:  The short-to-medium finish was made of leather, chocolate, date, oak, and clove.

 

Bottle, Bar, or Bust:  I was impressed with how complex this whiskey (sorry, whisky) was. While the finish wasn’t very long, it did encourage me to take additional sips (and, eventually, refill my glass). McConnell’s Sherry Cask Finish is a sherry bomb, so if that’s your jam, you’ll want to jump all over this Irish whisky. I’m thrilled to have it in my whisky library and proudly declare it has earned my Bottle rating. 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.

 


 

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Copperworks Distilling Co. Kentucky & Florida Relief Charity Barrel Review & Tasting Notes

 


Throughout my existence, I’ve learned that being a good citizen is essential to having a fulfilling life. I’ve donated my time to emcee whiskey events; I created the #30DaysofBourbon Challenge and turned it into a fundraising effort, encouraging others to send thousands of dollars to people’s favorite charities. I donate whiskey bottles for various events (whiskey-related or not) in hopes they will do some good for someone in need. The local rescue where Mrs. Whiskeyfellow and I adopted Cinder is another recipient of my monies.

 

The point is I give time and money when I can. And when someone else is trying to help make the world a better place, I applaud it.

 

This past year has seen brutal weather events that displaced millions of people. Two areas, in particular, were walloped: Kentucky with its flooding and Florida with Hurricane Ian. There are so many that insurance won’t help, and having to wait months or longer for financial aid from the government is difficult.

 

Earlier this month, Copperworks Distilling Co. announced it would donate money from the proceeds of a special whiskey release. For each bottle of Kentucky Flood Relief or Hurricane Ian Relief sold, Copperworks will donate $40.00 to the respective charities:  Team Eastern Kentucky Flood Relief Fund and the American Red Cross.

 

“Without question, our team agreed that another very important whiskey release was in order. Last December, following the devasting tornadoes in Western Kentucky, we created a special benefit release. Inspired by that relief effort and with the groundwork already laid, we began preparing a new American Single Malt Whiskey, proceeds from which would be donated to support flood relief efforts in Kentucky.”Jason Parker, Co-Owner and President



“As we were preparing to bottle and announce our flood benefit release, Hurricane Ian swept through Florida and several other Southern states. We decided immediately to extend the release to support both regions impacted by these natural disasters.”Jeff Kanof, Co-Owner and Vice President

 

These offerings contain the same American Single Malt whiskey; only the labels differ. The distillate was aged in two former Bourbon barrels and one new American oak cask. Of the ex-Bourbon barrels, one was filled with pale malt and matured for over 5-1/2 years; the other contained a rare single varietal barley called Alba. That one rested for 6-1/2 years. The new cask had pale malt and was aged 45 months, hence its age statement.

 

Once blended, this whiskey was bottled at 49% ABV (98°). The price of either is $89.99 plus shipping and can be obtained from the distillery or its online store.  

 

I’m going to do something a bit different here. I will not rate this whiskey due to the lack of a value assessment. I will, however, provide my tasting notes and let you know what I think. It will, as always, be my honest review, and before I #DrinkCurious to discover what sipping this whiskey is like, I thank Copperworks for providing me with a sample.

 

Appearance: Served neat in my Glencairn glass, this American Single Malt presented as dull copper. A thin rim discharged medium-weighted tears but also left tiny sticky droplets behind.

 

Nose: A fruity bouquet of peach, apple, pear, and citrus reached up and out of the glass. There was no evidence of wood, new or vintage that I could discern. Peaches and cream tangoed across my tongue when I pulled the air into my mouth.

 

Palate:  A thick, creamy mouthfeel coated everywhere. The theme honed in on fruits. Peach dominated the front of my palate. I had to wait for the middle before other flavors could be tasted. Almond butter, apple, and powdered cinnamon took center stage, while honey, graham cracker, and toasted oak formed the back.

 

Finish:  Hey, look! It’s a freight train! A finish of peach and apple pie filling just kept rolling. But it was joined by oak tannins and a touch of black pepper.

 

Bottle, Bar, or Bust:  I said I would not rate this whiskey. I stand by that. But if you were to purchase a bottle (or more) of this charity American Single Malt, I promise you won’t be disappointed. Peach is not a note I actively seek out, yet I enjoyed the heck out of this pour.

 

Copperworks is a distillery I’ve found impressive, and the charity bottle only solidifies that opinion. 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.

 


Monday, October 24, 2022

Sagamore Spirit Rye Collection Reviews and Tasting Notes


Maryland used to be a big deal in American distilling. Back in the day, before Indiana became the powerhouse of American Rye, there were Pennsylvania-style or Maryland-style ryes. The Pennsylvania version was spicier; Maryland was more mellow due to its higher corn content. 

 

"[I]n 1910 there were 44 distilleries operating in Maryland, 21 of which were in downtown Baltimore. It also led them to the discovery that prior to Prohibition Maryland was the third leading distiller of whiskey in the U.S. behind Kentucky and Pennsylvania, and at one point led the nation in rye whiskey production." - DistilleryTrail.com

 

Founded in 2013, Sagamore Spirit was the brainchild of Kevin Plank, the then-CEO of Under Armor, and Bill McDermott.  They enlisted MGP’s former Master Distiller, Larry Ebersold, to create a recipe of two rye mashbills he envisioned. As it turned out, those consisted of a familiar 95% rye/5% malted barley mash and a 52% rye, 43% corn, and 5% malted barley mash.  

 

Sagamore Spirit’s distilling team consisted of Max Hame and Christopher Schultz, working with Ryan Norwood, its director of quality. 

 

One of Sagamore Spirit’s goals is to bring back a resurgence of Maryland-style rye whiskey. A second part of the plan was to create a grain-to-glass distillery by building partnerships with local farmers and purchasing as much Maryland-grown rye as possible. It has been producing its distillate in a 20,000-square-foot facility and blending 20% of that with 80% sourced MGP rye.

 

Sagamore Spirit maintains a 120° entry proof; subsequent proofing is deliberate with everything it makes. It has been sourcing barrels made of Maryland-grown oak from Independent Stave Company (ISC).

 

Recently, I was invited by Whiskey Mavens to take part in a tasting with Ryan Norwood and Illinois Marketing Manager Jessica Deans. We tasted five whiskeys: The Signature, Double Oak, Cask Strength, Rum Cask Finish, and Sherry Cask Finish. I’ve taken that opportunity to review each one. All five begin with the Signature as its base whiskey, and I’ve sipped each one neat from a Glencairn glass. 

 

I thank Whiskey Mavens and Sagamore Spirit for providing me with these samples with no strings attached. Let’s #DrinkCurious and discover which is the best.

 

Signature




Sagamore Spirit’s flagship whiskey is bottled at 83° after resting for four to six years in new, heavy-charred oak. A 750ml package runs about $38.00.

 

Appearance: I observed a pale gold liquid that formed a medium rim. Slow, sticky tears fell down the side of my glass.

 

Nose: An aroma of nutmeg, vanilla, caramel, and mint escaped, and when I drew that air into my mouth, I tasted roasted almonds.

 

Palate:  Signature possessed a medium body, and at the front of my palate, I found flavors of orange peel, dark chocolate, and nutmeg. Midway through were caramel and honeycomb, while the back featured mint, clove, and oak.

 

Finish:  That mint, clove, and oak stuck around for a medium-to-long finish.

 

Bottle, Bar, or Bust:  I was surprised this was only 83° because it drank higher. It was an enjoyable pour and something I’d be happy to have in my whiskey library, which equals a Bottle rating on my scale. It was the third-best of the five whiskeys I tasted that night.

 

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Double Oak

 


 

Sagamore Spirit took its Signature whiskey, then finished it for an additional 18 months in lightly-charred, medium-toasted oak barrels. The result is a 96.6° whiskey with a suggested price of $66.00 for a 750ml package.

 

Appearance: The bronze-colored liquid formed a thin rim. A wide curtain fell but left behind fat droplets that crawled back to the pool.

 

Nose: A lovely punch of caramel struck my nostrils, followed by brown sugar, honey, and toasted oak. The brown sugar carried through as I inhaled the vapor into my mouth.

 

Palate: Double Oak had an oily texture. The front of my palate came upon caramel, toasted coconut, and brown sugar, while the middle was nutty with hazelnut, pecan, and roasted almond. Cinnamon, clove, and oak were on the back.

 

Finish: The long finish was spicy with mint and cinnamon. Toasted oak trailed.

 

Bottle, Bar, or Bust: Double Oak was stunning, and I savored it from nose to finish. Of the five I tasted, it was my favorite. Obviously, this one takes my Bottle rating.

 

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Cask Strength



 

If Signature had not been proofed to 83°, Cask Strength would be that whiskey. It aged between four and seven years and weighs in at 112.2°. You can expect to pay about $72.00 for a 750ml bottle.

 

Appearance: The gold presented as more traditional than the Signature. A medium rim formed sticky droplets that clung to the side of my glass.

 

Nose: I found a bouquet of orange zest, caramel, nut, toasted oak, and cinnamon. I tasted vanilla when I opened my lips to draw the air in.

 

Palate: The mouthfeel was oily. On the front of my palate, I discerned mint and caramel, while dark chocolate and almond were in the middle. Oak and cinnamon spice was on the back.

 

Finish: The heat that remained challenged me to find flavors. It did reveal cinnamon-soaked toothpicks, ones that have aged perhaps as long as this whiskey. It was the only thing I could pick out, and it ran for a medium duration.

 

Bottle, Bar, or Bust:  I drink cask-strength whiskey all the time. I felt something was lacking with this version of the Rye. Aside from being too hot, there were fewer flavors to discern than the Signature. I think there are better cask-strength Ryes available at this price that I’d rather drink, and when you take that final component, this hovers somewhere between a Bar and Bust. It was also my least favorite of the five.

 

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Rum Cask Finish



 

Sagamore Spirit has a Reserve Series that allows the distillers to get more creative. In the case of Rum Cask Finish, Jamaican and Columbian rum casks were acquired, although there was no disclosure as to whose rum was in these before the whiskey. Rum Cask Finish is bottled at 98°, and the suggested price was about $70.00.

 

Appearance: The deep amber had an inviting presence. A thin rim released slow tears.

 

Nose: Banana, coconut, brown sugar, vanilla, and oak teased my olfactory sense while caramel and mint rolled across my tongue as I breathed in the vapor.

 

Palate: A silky texture led to molasses, caramel, and nutmeg on the front. Chocolate, almond, and coconut formed the middle, bringing banana, black pepper, and oak on the back.

 

Finish: A long, building, and complex finish consisting of molasses, chocolate, almond, black pepper, and oak, and then, out of nowhere, I tasted coffee.

 

Bottle, Bar, or Bust: Sagamore Spirit Rum Cask Finish was my group runner-up. Aside from that unexpected ending, the combination of sweet and spicy was nearly perfect. The asking price won’t disappoint, and I’m happy to convey my Bottle rating for it.

 

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Sherry Cask Finish

 


 

The final of the five is another selection from the Reserve Series. This time, Sagamore Spirit took the Signature and finished it in hand-selected 132-gallon Pedro Ximénez (PX) sherry butts for 18 months. This release commands a $79.00 price for a 750ml bottle and is just hitting store shelves.

 

Appearance: The Rye absorbed color from the PX cask and provided more of a deep orange amber. A medium-thin rim generated slow, sticky legs.

 

Nose: A fruity bouquet of raisin, fig, and plum married nuts and caramel. A taste of raisin rolled across my tongue when I breathed inward.

 

Palate: The mouthfeel was thin and oily, while I was introduced to rye spice, dark chocolate, and raisin flavors on the front of my palate. The middle offered mint, vanilla, and walnuts; then, I experienced cinnamon, almond, and oak on the back.

 

Finish: The medium-length finish had components of raisin, dark chocolate, nuts, and oak.

 

Bottle, Bar, or Bust: I lust over PX-sherry cask-finished whiskeys. Strangely, this Rye had to compete with the Signature for third place, and the only reason Signature trumped it was the price. I need to make it clear that Sherry Cask Finish is good. The top four were all tasty; some were just better than others. Sherry Cask Finish earns its Bottle rating from me regardless of where it is placed. 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.

 


 

Friday, October 21, 2022

Fighting 69th Irish Whiskey Review & Tasting Notes



“The storied ‘Irish Brigade’ regiment, one of the oldest and most honored military units in the history of the United States, is proud to present its first Irish whiskey to America.

 

Founded in 1849 as New York State Irish Militia, the 69th has fought as a US Army Infantry regiment in major engagements from the Civil War to modern day Iraq and Afghanistan. Its motto is, ‘Gentle when stroked, fierce when provoked.’”- Fighting 69th Whiskey

 

In researching the brand, I learned there were several famous members. One was Thomas Meager during the Civil War. He initially joined the army, served with the Confederacy, and then switched sides to fight for the Union. He became a brigadier general and successfully led the 69th Regiment to battle in Richmond, Virginia. General Robert E. Lee is the one who referred to it as “The Fighting 69th.”

 

Father Francis Patrick Duffy was the highest-decorated chaplain in US history and served with The Fighting 69th during World War I. He worked unarmed but encouraged fellow soldiers and assisted medics in attending to the wounded. Lt. Colonel “Wild Bill” Donovan was the only soldier to earn all four of the military’s highest awards: The Medal of Honor, The Distinguished Service Cross, The Distinguished Service Medal, and the National Security Medal.

 

On June 28, 1963, President John F. Kennedy presented one of the flags from the Fighting 69th to the people of Ireland during an address to the Irish Parliament.

 

It should come as no surprise that someone decided to honor the Fighting 69th with a namesake Irish whiskey. It is made from 100% barley, as a blend of both malted and unmalted grains. It uses three different mashbills, all of which are triple-distilled in handmade copper pot stills. Those whiskeys are then aged at least three years in ex-Bourbon barrels. Then, the whiskeys are transferred to various casks, including single- and double-char, Oloroso sherry, Rum, and Port wine, for an undisclosed finishing period.  

 

Fighting 69th doesn’t disclose the distiller and is made solely to be imported to the United States market. $1.00 of each bottle sold goes to support the Sixty-Ninth Regiment Historical Trust, Inc., and you can expect to pay around $40.00 for a 40% ABV (90°) 750ml package.

 

I want to thank The Espiritus Group for sending me a sample of Fighting 69th in exchange for a no-strings-attached, honest review. Let’s #DrinkCurious and explore if this whiskey lives up to its namesake.

 

Appearance: Poured neat into my Glencairn glass, this Irish whiskey presented as brilliant gold. A medium rim formed thicker tears that fell into the pool of liquid sunshine.

 

Nose: Pear, apple, and citrus peel greeted my olfactory sense. Beneath those were molasses, stone fruit, and oak. When I pulled the air through my lips, lemon and vanilla rolled across my tongue.

 

Palate: The mouthfeel was initially thin but became creamy as I continued to sip on it. Vanilla and lemon curd formed the front, while a honey-infused banana pudding flavor rested in the middle. The back of my palate picked up nutmeg, clove, and dry oak.

 

Finish: Medium-short in duration, the finish kept the nutmeg, dry oak, and banana pudding in my mouth.

 

Bottle, Bar, or Bust: I would have expected more flavor with all of the cooperage used. It may be that insufficient time was offered in the finishing barrels, and/or it is proofed too low for those flavors. I tried this whiskey a few times to see if anything had changed, and it didn’t.

 

Fighting 69th is an unremarkable Irish whiskey. If a friend poured me a glass, I’d drink it and be okay, but at the same time, if I didn’t come across another opportunity down the road to try it again, it wouldn’t be missed. It isn’t bad, just something that will get lost amongst other Irish whiskeys, and because of that, it earns my Bar rating. 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.