Andalusia Whiskey Co. - Stryker - Smoked Single Malt

Nose: This has a very “Scotch-like” scent. It also has some lights scents of a vinegar-heavy BBQ sauce, so there is some sweetness to balance the Scotch smell. There is also a slight burnt smell that may be the smoked mesquite showing up. Palate: The first sip starts out with a blast of smoke. In a blind taste, I think almost anyone would know right off the bat that this is not a bourbon. The smoke taste is balanced with some sweetness that then finishes with a little bit of heat. The heat isn’t overwhelming, harsh or burning and the finish is somewhere right on the edge between medium and long. It has a pleasant “whiskey warming” that mainly hits the back of the throat and then follows the swallow down. This also has a pretty nice, about medium, mouthfeel. Later sips continue having a decent amount of smoke that pretty much masks everything else, but not in a bad way. On later sips, I was still picking up on a slight burnt sweetness, almost like a caramelized BBQ sauce. Comment: This is 100 proof, but it doesn’t come across as being high proof. I paid around $50 for this and I got this bottle in Texas. It is made in Blanco, TX and I don’t think you can get it outside of Texas (or, you couldn’t at the time, at least). It is made from 100% malted barley. Now, I have often said that you can’t make a decent bourbon in Texas, and I defy anyone to prove me wrong, but you can apparently make a decent WHISKEY in Texas. Not easily mistaken for a bourbon, this is nevertheless an interesting whiskey. If you don’t like any smokiness in your whiskey, then this isn’t for you. But if you do, I think you’ll like it. And, if you want to try something a little bit different, this is a good candidate. Despite being made in a very “Scotch-like” process, it really doesn’t come across as a scotch. Instead of using burning peat to smoke the malted barley, Andalusia uses barley that is smoked using Texas mesquite, oak and apple woods. I actually like this quite a bit and more so because it seems to get better with each sip. But, I like smoke. If you don’t, you may wish to take a pass on this one.