Mesquite and oak chips influence make this a very distinctive whiskey
Notes:Not just an American Style whiskey but a “Western Style” Whiskey.This whiskey is aged in new charred oak barrels like bourbon, then filtered through charcoal, like Tennessee whiskey, then mesquite and oak chips are added to give it more color and a very distinctive taste.This type of aging/mellowing was used in the western U.S. to give more color, age appearance and to cover the quality of the whiskey used.
This is the kind of whiskey one would encounter in Deadwood or similar spots .I first encountered this whiskey in Paris at Maison du Whisky (Terry Benitah’s store/temple of whisky in Paris). It is very hard to find but is worth the hunt if you want to try something completely different.
Appearance: Amber gold color, very clear. Darker than a 4 year-old bourbon. Thin edge line on the glass when you swirl it, smooth layer of whisky on swirling.
First Impression: Dried Pemmican,fruit, sherry,vanilla, mesquite and caramel notes on nosing. Vaguely more rum like than whiskey.
Taste: Sweet, spicy with some sherry sweetness to it. Rye, corn, and oak for the most part with a mesquite BBQ sauce taste coming on strong at the end Finish is sweet (mesquite sap?)and a touch hot, a bit short.
Drinks: No known drinks.Try it as a Bloody Mary ingredient, Bull Shot or Red Bull
Cigars: Bull Durham hand-rolled cigarettes, what else?
Final Thoughts: A highly Idiosyncratic whiskey of a unique style.You will either love or hate this whiskey.Very hard to rate as there is nothing else like it or its style. So I went by the quality of the underlying whiskey without the mesquite as best I could.
Bottle: Old style heavy clear glass with slightly bulbous neck (easier to grip that way), cork stopper – nicely ridged so you can open it with your teeth. Printed cowhide leather label tied with thongs. Altogether a unique package.
Web site: http://www.mckendrickwhiskey.com