American Whiskey - Death's Door White Whisky
Death's Door Distillery, Madison WI.
Death's Door White Whisky
Yahara Bay Distillers, Madison, WI
Grain: Wheat (80%) Barley (20%)
INGREDIENTS: Wheat and Malted Barley
AGE: Fresh from the Still
TYPE: American Whiskey
PRICE: $35. 750 ML
Notes: This is a relatively new product from Deaths Door. They use locally sourced wheat and barley in what could be considered a vodka mashbill but distilled low enough to retain a lot of the taste that is lost if you are going for a high proof (190) vodka distillation and rather than age it, bottle it after letting it oxidize and settle down for 3 weeks in a stainless steel tank then resting it in wood for 72 hours (legal minimum for to call it whiskey) to preserve the full on white whiskey taste that would be lost with prolonged contact with wood.
Appearance: Very thin edge line on the glass when you swirl it, smooth layer of whiskey on swirling, after quite a bit of time some scalloping, then a few thin legs and finally very small droplets forming at the edgeline.
First Impression: Nice round grainy smell to it - much more rounded and weighty than a vodka with a nice grain and spice bouquet to it with no off notes.
Taste: Sweet, spicy smooth start, mellow mouthfeel, to it. Not as sweet as a number of other corn whiskies such as Glen Thunder from Finger Lakes Distilling or Smooth Ambler but balanced nicely between the nicely heavy wheat grain and the spicy, earthy barley notes to give depth and complexity. Slight drying tingling at midpoint of the tongue. Finish is medium short , quite smooth.
Drinks: There is a dearth of drinks recipes for new make or white dog whiskey. Think vodka color, Old Tom Gin in graininess with no juniper. Closest we can come to is a Genever (Jenever) or Roogenaar (similar to Genever) not that any of these comparisons is more helpful. Works nicely in a variation of a Tom Collins, Manhattan or a sour - we especially liked a Pisco Sour swapping out the Pisco for White Dog we call this variation The Pit Bull. We also found the this white whiskey worked well paired with meat or fish.
Cigars: Something mild but complex so as not to lose the nuances. A Fuente Work of Art, Rocky Patel or possibly a Ghurka.
Bottle: Tall clear glass Similar to their gin and vodka bottles. Simple but striking label and a real cork closure
Final Thoughts: A nicely simple but charming white whiskey with outstanding taste and smoothness. Think of it as a bridge between tasteless vodka and a full on whiskey. An excellent starter whiskey to get the fear of flavor vodkabots to drink something with taste rather than as a delivery system for ethanol. A particularly lovely expression of a (primarily) wheat whiskey. Highly recommended as an addition to both your mixing and whiskey cabinet.
Web site: http://www.deathsdoorspirits.com
Fast loading, nicely done website. Good amount of information on it on both their products, restaurant, and Washington Island, Wisconsin.