Smoky as Hell, Strong as Death, Delicious as Love
Notes: Lost Spirits Distillery is probably one of the most amazing distilleries I have ever visited. I had the chance to vista there a few years ago after Bryan (Davis and Joanne (Haruta) moved back to the states after selling their distillery in Barcelona which produced that wonderful Obsello Absinthe and Barcelona Gin a few years ago. Since then he moved to Salinas California and had been producing some amazing whiskies such as this, the Levaithan I, Leviathan II, Leviathan III, and Bohemian Bonfire, all ultra smoked whiskies produced in an extremely unique hand built still, another absinthe that we have not tried yet, and now their Navy Strength Rum.)
Appearance: Clear smoky gold red in the bottle, lovely gold amber in the glass. On swirling it leaves a very thin oily coat on the glass with some tears forming but the rest of the whiskey somehow clings to the surface of the glass with very little retreat along the edge line.
First Impression: Heavy peat smoke, almost tendrils of it reaching out from the glass to carefully tickle your nose. At roughly 115 PPM of Canadian peat it seems more like an Islay whiskey than an American one ( which is a good thing).The late harvest Cabernet cask that the whiskey was aged in also makes it presence known through the delicate notes of Cabernet adding a winey sweetness and a little fruit to temper the smoke
Taste: Wonderful loads of smoke,peat and a little char with a echo of sweet tropical fruits and heavy oils anchoring them to the peat,wine and grain notes to make a delicious if somewhat idiosyncratic whiskey. The Canadian coarse cut peat is not your usual Scotch Islay with the heavy iodine ( some detractors call it Band Aid taste which is a bit of a misnomer)
Drinks: Anything you could use a Islay Scotch in. We loved it in a Rob Roy , Also makes for an interesting variation on a Black Russian or Duke of Windsor for the dissipated… But really it probably should be savored on its own with maybe a touch of water to ope it up if you must.
Bottle: Heavy crystal type glass choice leads to s nice almost sparkling, clear glass bottle cylindrical brandy style in overall shape with a notably heavier clear glass foot to it gong it a more prestige look and superior balance. Matt black nick capsule is almost fabric in texture with a natural cork with wax seal for easy opening but secure storage. Also removing that natural cork invokes an almost Pavlovian response – at least to us. Simple wrap around label with tasteful graphics subtle shading and color choices .
Other: This whiskey is probably very hard to find by now but take heart there are later releases available and a new one due out May 1st, 2014
Final Thoughts: One of the smokiest whiskies on the market but somehow more subtle than some of its bretheren ( Such as the scrub oak smoked whiskey we had that while very interesting, tasted like a can of creosote).
Highly respect and recommend any of the products from Lost Spirits unabashedly