A really outstanding beer derived type of whiskey with a truly lovely taste of pleasant citrusy and piney hops – not the usual rancid tom cat piss smell you get from some hops. A crossover whiskey from the beer and hops making for an extremely drinkable whiskey. Slap a nipple on the bottle and send me to bed.
Notes: Southern Tier Distilling originally started life as Southern Tier Brewing , which still exists, and by the way makes some great beers, and then expanded into Southern Tier Distilling. They produce a number of products including a Wheat Vodka, Rye, Bourbon, and this, their 2X Hopped Hop Flavored Whiskey.
This whiskey starts out as a beer wort (beer before it is fermented) they then ferment it, dry hop it, then distill. A relatively unique process and resulting spirit, mostly seen out west (Charbay in particular – but at a much higher price)
Appearance: Light gold in color, clear as a bell.Leaves a light oily coat on swirling which very gradually retreats with some tears forming.
First Impression: Very hop forward , but in a nice flowery, piney and citrus way.Not the rancid old tom cat piss smell detractors describe some hops particular aromas. Smell full of hope and promise for a pleasant and unique experience, again not like some killer IPA bomb which is what one might suspect from the label. A very mellow smell redolent of pine, citrus and spice.
Taste: Delicious, piney, lemony entry with some sweetness and a very oily body. Almost a creme mouthfeel at the beginning with the pine, lemon and citrus vying for attention but nicely integrated. After a while the slight heat from the alcohol dries things a bit with a pleasant lingering resinous finish. Great stuff!
Drinks: Not really sure where to take this one as to direction – there are so many possibilities.Might require some serious exploration and research, but strikes me as extremely versatile
Bottle: Beautiful clear glass shows the whiskey to nice effect. Cylindrical with a rounded shoulder and a wide neck. Roughly similar to the old Hancock Bourbon bottles if anyone remembers those? Punt bottom and decent quality glass. This is not your typical apothecary type bottle that everyone else in Upstate New York seems to use.good size on the bottle, not overly large and the neck is long enough, with a nice lip to it to make it easy to control and pour. Black and hops green label with bronze gold printing and stories on either side of label.Large wooden cap on a large natural cork with a paper ribbon seal
Cigars: A nice spicy cigar with a shade grown wrapper of maybe a candela. Rocky Patel or a Heisenberg perhaps? Corona size or similar smaller gauge as you do not want to overwhelm the delicate notes and nuance of the spirit.
Final Thoughts: Highly recommend this whiskey to any whiskey lover, and to people who want to try a flavorful but relatively mild whiskey. Think of it as a really mellow Speyside type without any snake, or a very mild Irish in some respects.