Saturday 26 March 2022

American Whisky Tasting


We've decided to call our little whisky club the Organoleptic Whisky Challenge, mainly because Michael's a chef and he knew the exact fancy word we needed for tasting stuff without reading the label.

organoleptic: (adjective) acting on, or involving the use of, the sense organs

Today's tasting theme was American. And every bottle was made from a different grain blend! We had wheat, rye, corn, and a rye/corn mix.

Let's get to the blind tasting notes.

Balcones Baby Blue (46%) Texas whiskey made from blue corn spirit.

Rounded and quite complex. A little bitey at the back of the palate, a little sour aftertaste. There was a definite air of sweets around it too - the smell of chocolate, a hint of praline. Adding water definitely brought out more flavour.

Marks: 8 + 8 + 7 = 23/30

Basil Hayden’s Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey (40%) Mix of rye and corn

A very approachable drop. Tangy but well rounded, the aftertaste lingers and you're glad of it. There's a definite orange/citrus note at first taste and a touch of iodine as an afternote. It also has a pleasant quality that we've decided (in our ignorance) to call mouth fizz. This just gets easier and easier to drink as you go. 

Marks: 7 + 8 + 8 = 23/30

Catoctin Creek Rye Whisky (46%) organic rye from Virginia

This is bright yellow and tastes the same - tangy and a bit bitey. We all thought it was bourbon, but we were wrong! There's a vanilla overtone and you can definitely taste the oak. After adding water it became more mellow and improved quite a bit. The first sip was good and the last sip was excellent.

Marks: 8 + 7 + 8 = 23/30

Dry Fly Washington Wheat Whiskey (40%)

Another one that fizzes in the mouth! Very clean taste, little evidence of the barrel. Smooth and easy with honey tones. Most of us weren't tempted to use water and the one person who did said he wished he hadn't. This is delightful. There's a floral nectar flavour, a little light caramel, with a hint of biscuit. It was the clear winner from the four whiskies on offer.

Marks: 8 + 9 + 9 = 26/30

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