Complex and interesting especially for such a young whiskey.
Notes: 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 locally sourced New York heirloom corn and other grains and using the “farm to bottle” green/environmental approach working with local people and resources. The name derives from the 2 principals at the distillery- Brian and Thomas McKenzie or as I refer to them the McKenzie Brothers (from the old Second City show) although neither is from Canada or even related. Anyway. . .
Their other products include: Glen Thunder 100% Corn 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: Deep red/bronze color in the bottle, lovely wheat gold in the glass. Nice edgeline on swirling with legs forming very slowly on swirling, with very long legs and droplets forming.
First Impression: Char, tobacco, leather, apricots, nutmeg , vanilla, some spiciness, and some traces of dark fruit. Develops a lighter citrus character on warming. This is a great, complex, multilayered but somehow delicate whiskey.
Taste: Toffee, (not caramel), corn, apricot again, vanilla, cinnamon family spices much like the bouquet. A slightly sweet start, medium slightly fatty/oily mouth feel, Lovely medium length finish with a fair amount of oak, char, leather, dark fruits, apple butter and vanilla.
Drinks: Great in almost any drink calling for bourbon that we tried- Manhattans were singular in subtle complexity. We also tried it in some cocktails calling for Islay single malt scotch and it worked wonderfully as a variation on a theme. blast. I recommend experimenting with different glasses, some of which are reviewed in our barware reviews section. We particularly liked the cane tulip glass for this whiskey.
Bottle:The clear glass shows the whiskey to good effect. Coupled wth the old-style shape and antique look neckband it is easy to spot. The graphics
and collar band are also well done, in a minimal sort of way. The ergonomics of the bottle make it easy to grasp and pour (especially the neck), but also give the impression of solidity and heft. Overall the design harkens to a antique whiskey bottle in overall influence and appearance.
Final Thoughts: Complex, interesting, and well done , especially for a young whiskey. Half the price of the competition and more subtle and complex.
and their Blog: http://www.fingerlakesdistilling.blogspot.com/
Website is just a page, but has useful information. The blog link is the main page at present for information.