An extremely easy to drink and well-balanced liqueur that is not overly sweet.Faithful reproduction of a childhood orange cream popsicle with a kick that is somehow subtle yet substantial at the same time. Quite an achievement in vision and blending!
Notes: Last Shot Distillery is one of the newest distilleries in New York State ( producing, selling, and aging products not just setting up as many are). Run by Chris Uyehara and a very small team, Chris is a master chef and pastry chef and brings his art and attention to detail to all his products. Last Shot uses water from the local Finger Lake Skaneateles Lake, with minimal filtering ( just to remove any chlorine) to maintain a local character to the water and spirit, rather than use RO water which to me is completely boring and neutral filler for a spirit. While the distillery itself is barely three years old at present, they still have a very ambitious whiskey program with stocks of Rye, Bourbon, and even this whiskey the Distiller Reserve. This is one of his newest releases and uses a fairly unique blend of triticale, wheat, and malt resulting in something akin to kinder gentler rye with more punch and drier than a bourbon but not scaring people off like some rye whiskeys can.
The Last Shot Bourbon is reviewed in the following links: the first release from 5 gallons at about 3 months, then three times as big at 15 gallons and aged for three as long at 12 months, Last Shot Bourbon Batch 14 – a 2 Year -old bourbon whiskey aged in a new charred oak 30-gallon barrels, and the newest version ( so far) is the 3-Year-Old 30-gallon barrel bourbon
Chris is very careful to bottle a spirit when it is at its peak and not sticking to a particular age just for bragging rights or public perception. Made in small – about 100 gallon stills, they concentrate on small batch and quality.
Their current line up of white spirits includes a nicely flavorful vodka, a 100% corn unaged white whiskey, a dry white maple distillate, a sweet maple distillate, and an unaged white whiskey called Lightning Whiskey using a bourbon mash bill and named after a famous class/type sailboat that was made on the property, and he also has a cream liqueur called Chocolate Creme Brulee.
This Is Chris’s latest creation an Orange cream styled )9flavorwise at least) after the Orange Creamsicle that at least some of us remember from childhood. This grown-up flavor harnesses his background as a pastry chef for flavor and mixing of textures and his not inconsiderable skills as a distiller to marry an orange cream to his Lightning Whiskey.
This started as a white whiskey like his bourbons, but in this case, he did not put in his American oak barrels to age and mellow. He mixes the whiskey with a shelf-stable cream ( whose shelf life is measured in years not days or weeks), and a few carefully chosen natural flavors to make it an Orange creme liqueur. As a pastry chef, Chris is very critical and careful about getting the flavor right and not just grabbing a tin of chemicals to make some candy equivalent flavor.
Appearance: A kind of light egg yolk whipped in cream color. On swirling everything stays in suspension – no small fear – with no separation of any of the components’
First Impression: Subtle but pervasive small of orange and cream, reminds me of peeling the top off an orange pop up. Creamy orange with delicate scents and cream.
Taste: Creamy, tongue coating entry with cream, orange, and vanilla farming a very balanced base which then becomes slightly and pleasantly aromatic with the vanilla, corn, and whiskey forming a high note followed on by the orange and the vanilla and cream forming the tail finish. Extremely smooth and seductive.
Drinks: Of course you can drink it cold on the rocks or make an orange fizz with a seltzer in a tall glass. You can also use it as a cream variant of curacao. Also, you can make a TRUMP cocktail (use it instead of cream or milk) for an orange-colored White Russian ( 5 parts Last Shot Vodka, 3 parts coffee liqueur, 2 parts Last Shot Orange Creme Liqueur.
Bottle: Quite similar to the other Whiskey packages/products they produce and only differing in minor details ( such as the type of spirit of course) Well done and distinctive label – unlike most. Clear glass apothecary type bottle with nicely weighty decanter type bottom and a good grade of glass and a black topped ridged stopper – which is particularly convenient as it affords a good grip for easy opening. Composite cork guarantees a good seal and no loss or leakage. Sealed with a black neckwear/capsule that has a thankfully contrasting pull ribbon and is easy to remove. The label is a burnt orange or Sienna in color. Other spirits have different colors for each type. making them easy to distinguish from each other at a glance.
Overall a very attractive and easy to spot package on a store shelf, back bar, or home bar especially due to the color of the liqueur itself.
Other: Mr. Uyehara uses Annato to color his Orange Creme and while annatto IS a natural coloring agent the state liquor authority says it is not – so drink up and curse the State Liquor Authority!
Final Thoughts: An extremely easy to drink and well-balanced liqueur that is not overly sweet.Faithful reproduction of a childhood orange cream popsicle with a kick that is somehow subtle yet substantial at the same time. Quite an achievement in vision and blending!