Nose: This has a very young, not-very-appealing smell. It is a combination of “moonshiney” and astringency. It isn’t awful, but it isn’t inviting either. Palate: This one isn’t so much “bad” as it is very odd. It doesn’t taste like anything else I’ve ever had (that I can remember). It will be a bit hard to describe. If you sipped this blind, I think that you would pick up on the fact that it is whiskey, but I think you’d be hard pressed to describe it as a bourbon. It has a corn heavy base (almost “creamed corn”) that is just short of moonshiney. In addition to the corn, there’s some sort of spice flavor going on that I can’t put my finger on. It might be a variation on a traditional rye spice, but not like any I’ve had before. There’s no burn, harsh or otherwise and very little warmth. The mouthfeel is thin and the finish is short. It leaves an unusual aftertaste that isn’t strong, but does last an amazingly long time. (When I say “long”, I mean “LOOOoooong”. 10 minutes after my last sip, I could still taste this on the back of my throat.) This is a very light whiskey. After my tasting, I read some reviews that indicated they picked up on mint and it made me think that I also got mint but didn’t realize it. Maybe that is what was causing some of the funky flavor I was getting. I think that if you really enjoy moonshine, even though this doesn’t have a heavy moonshine taste, I think you might like it. Unfortunately, this isn’t my cup of tea. Comments: After several sips, I still can’t go on record to say this is awful. It is just very different. The color on this is pretty light, so I was surprised to learn that it is at least 5 years old. This is sourced from Indiana (so stated on the bottle). I think what might be going on is that whoever is picking the whiskey that goes into this is being bamboozled by whoever in Indiana is producing this. I feel like they are pawning off less quality barrels to get rid of them. This was bottled in 2014 and it is cask 8, so things MAY have gotten better? I couldn’t find any mashbill information but I suspect there is at least SOME rye in the mashbill. It is 86 proof. There are some things I like about it. The bottle came in a pretty cool burlap bag. I like the label, which shows an old-timey baseball team image on it. It is from Cooperstown, NY. This was a gift from someone who visiting Cooperstown, home of the baseball hall of fame museum. At the time, that was the only place you could buy this. I find this interesting because it could be that the strategy was, “we’re not going to get much repeat business anyway, so let’s go cheap”. Unlike most “craft” distillery offerings, this was in the low $30 range at the time, which is very much lower than most. That said, according to their website, this is now 90 proof and they have changed the label (for the worse, in my opinion…it now looks like a 1970’s, psychedelic rock poster). I’d also say that this improved a little bit with additional sipping. OK, bottom line time. This is most definitely “try-before-you-buy”. It isn’t so bad as to discourage trying it but don’t buy it until you do so. If, by chance, you like it, more power to you. I never try to pass judgement….you like what you like….we all have different tastes.
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