A deftly made slightly sweet maple spirits aged with Oak Staves
This is a relatively new type of product that has been developed primarily in the Northeastern United States. While there have been attempts at Maple (syrup) liqueurs and vodkas in the past, none of which caught on to any huge degree, not to mention some truly awful flavored whiskies, this is one of the few attempts at a “rum” made from maple syrup or maple sap.
Notes: Last Shot Distillery is (at this writing June of 2016) one of the newest distilleries in New York State ( producing, selling, and aging products not just setting up as many others are at the moment). 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.
Made in small (about 100 gallon) stills, they concentrate on small batch and quality. Their current line up includes a nicely flavorful vodka, an extremely flavorful and rich unaged white whiskey, a 100% corn unaged white whiskey, a bourbon, an unaged, white maple rum version, and this their aged and slightly sweeter version of the maple rum which is finished with oak staves. All the maple sap used in both versions come from a local New York State supplier. Other products are also in development and to be bottled and released at some future point. There are rumors of direct versions of Bourbons and possibly a gin. Please check their website for new developments and releases!
Appearance: Clear slightly gold, sap-like appearance, slightly oily on swirling, it clings to the glass nicely, it clings in a light coat quite tenaciously to the glass forming an irregular edge line with some droplets followed by tears and legs.
First Impression: Rum like, with more pronounced hints of maple syrup and a nice oak woodiness and a drier note than what you would normally get from a rum, with a pleasant bouquet that could be mistaken for a lightly aged Canadian or even a Scotch while with the oak, vanilla and grain notes
Taste: Smooth, somewhat thick consistency/mouthfeel entry with a nice sweetness that is light and not overly done unlike most, with a pleasant vanilla popping up after a bit, notes of maple sugar, wood, slight cinnamon spice, sap or sugar taste but nicely dry unlike a number of maple-flavored products that seem to equate sugar/corn syrup to maple. Thankfully this is not the case. Delicious as an oak finished maple spirit, one of the few we know of
Drinks: Not really sure what to do with it. It is a very intriguing spirit, well made, just not sure…
One idea would be to use it instead of a Scotch Whiskey or drier variety of rum. Great over ice cream or in a float
Would be a great addition to a mixologists cabinet, but will require some out-of-the-box thinking, as this is an out-of-the-box type of spirit.
Bottle: Tall thin 375 ML Eau de Vie bottle makes for a nice presentation and shelf presence on your bar. Wrap around clear label is very easy to remove if you wish to reuse the bottle (nice size for oils or infusions after you have sadly finished the bottle.
Other: One of the best and most true to its origins maple spirits we have had. Refreshingly dry, with a good maple taste and woody finish.
Final Thoughts: As usual with the Last Shot Distillery a well done and thoughtfully made product. Just not sure what to do with it. An outstanding example of a Maple based spirit.
Simple but well laid out website, easy to navigate. Not a great deal of information, but fast to load and easy to find most of what you might want to know.