A very good new York State microdistilled white whiskey.
Notes: This is a revision of a earlier review. They have changed the mashbill for this product resulting in a different product/taste profile.Gone is the slightly distracting spiciness and sweet sour of the old mashbill, replaced by a full on luscious corn malt.
We are happy to report on the opening of a new microdistillery in Upstate New York in the Finger Lakes area.The Finger Lakes is a well known area for wines and wineries with over 200 at last count. What is much less well known is the proliferation of distilleries in the areas and the production of grape, berry and fruit based spirits along with the more traditional grain based spirits which lends some unique flavors and nuances to their products. Made in a small hybrid column/pot still (a 200 gallon Holstein Copper pot still for those who are into details) and handcrafting each batch the small scale production and attention to detail show you what is possible if you have the skills and dedication.
Made from 100% locally sourced New York heirloom corn (80% corn and 20% malted corn) and using the “farm to bottle” green/environmental approach working with local people and resources. The name derives from the world famous racetrack at Watkins Glen, New York.
Their other products include: McKenzie Bourbon Whiskey, Vintner’s Vodka,Vintner’s Wild Berry, Maplejack Liqueur, Cassis Liqueur , about 4 different New York Varietal Grappas and Seneca Drums (an American dry gin).
Appearance: Thin edge line on the glass when you swirl it, smooth layer of whiskey on swirling, scalloping, then a few thin legs and finally a constellation of very small droplets.
First Impression: Unmistakably corn whiskey. Wonderful full ground grain / corn smell, sweet and full of promise. Cornbread muffins baked with bacon grease smell (which is a wonderful thing).
Taste: Sweet, smooth start, almost fatty (in a good way) round mouthfeel, to it. Not the cutting thinness wheat can have but a full grain mash notes with caramelized sugar notes balanced with grain and slight wood notes. Almost a popcorn and butter taste to it, a very lovely dense corn taste that has a slightly fatty, buttery overlay to the initial sweetness. Slight drying and tingling at midpoint with slightly salty notes. Finish is long, smooth and very mellow. Leaves a wonderful slightly dry cornmeal taste as a finish. Not as sweet as the Buffalo Trace White Dog I remember from Tales of the Cocktail this year – but I actually prefer the dryness of this spirit – conveys the corn nicely along with the grain of the barley.
Drinks: A Manhattan (a perfect – which uses 1/2 oz red & 1/2 oz white vermouth with 3-4 oz whiskey and angostura bitters) was delicious! It was golden corn yellow and tasted like the drink was lightly dusted with corn meal. Old Fashioned was like a spiced candy corn with lemon. Deadly smooth and seductive. Lighter and slightly less complex than a rye or bourbon – but that could be a good thing for some and refreshing change for others. Would also work well paired with meat of fish in a good meal.
Cigars: Something mild so as not to lose the nuances. Small natural wrapper cigar.
Bottle: clear glass shows the whiskey to excellent effect. Simple graphics printed directly.
Final Thoughts: A outstanding corn whiskey that is 1/2 the cost of the competition and a excellent product on its own – never mind the fact it is amazingly cheap by comparison. Full of flavor and mixing potential. Definite improvement over the older version