Mashbuild Experimental Series Project #1 - Mezcal Finish:

OK…. a quick word before I start in on this one. NORMALLY, when I see the word “Experimental” on a bottle of any kind of whiskey, I usually give it wide berth. With the exception of Woodford, who occasionally come up with some very nice whiskey when they experiment. So, why did I get this? Mezcal. When I was in Texas a few years ago, I “discovered” Mezcal. That is to say that I had it for the first time. I always thought that Mezcal was just a variation of Tequila. It is not. As you may know by now, I like a bit of smokiness in a whiskey. Well, there are some Mezcals out there that are also smoky and I found that I really like them. So, when I saw that this was Mezcal finished, I was intrigued. So…..onward…...


Nose: To me, this has a medicinal, band-aid smell. There are hints of young alcohol and a kind of musty bitterness I can’t put my finger on. Once my nose got a little used to it, it had corn and “shine” scents. Palate: Hmmm…..this is definitely different and one of those “it tastes a lot better than it smells” bourbons. It has a very nice, oily mouthfeel. My first sip had so much going on, that I had a hard time putting a finger on anything. It wasn’t as harsh as I was expecting and it had a little bit of burn, but it was more on the gentler, warm side. The second sip apparently had my palate settled down a bit. I got smoke, pepper and a very different herbal taste. Not like gin, but more like those non-salt table condiments. There’s a bit of spiciness to it, but the smoke and pepper are more to the forefront, so it is a subtle side-note. Later sips do bring out an impression that younger bourbons were used, but the slight “shine” taste is completely overwhelmed by the other complex flavors going on. The finish is about medium in length and works its way into a slow, warming down the throat. Comments: This is an interesting bird. I wish I could remember what I paid for it and where I got it. [NOTE: Later Internet research indicates this is in the $40 - $50 range. It also shows that it is only available in Colorado. This prompted me to remember that I got it in 2018 when I was in Colorado and brought it home with me.] The label states that bourbons more on the sweeter, caramel side were used prior to the Mezcal finish (but, it doesn’t indicate from where the bourbon was sourced). I’m glad I got this. It is very different and I like this about it. It isn’t an everyday bourbon, but it is a good selection for when you want something REALLY different. It is hard to tell if you’d like this until you tried it, so try-before-you-buy is definitely the strategy here. If you have a chance to try it while out and about, I’d recommend it. I don’t think this is for everybody. And if you don’t like too much variation in your bourbon (which is fine), this may not be your cup of tea. If you like to try something very different once in a while, then this might be a good choice. This is 100 proof. Mashbuild is made by “Farm and Spirit (a craft cooperative)”. Their website (farmandspirits.com) indicates that their products are a blend of their own distilled products, sourced from distilleries that make bourbon for them and existing stock from third parties. They claim to use products from KY, IN, TN, CO, IL, MO, and NV and that the oldest stock they have was barreled between 2000 and 2007 and “includes product made by Four Roses and the old Seagrams distillery among others”. They have 14 numbered batches, 7 “Signature Batches” and 3 Experimental Batches (in addition to the Mezcal, they have a honey and a cacao finished product). I’m going to look for some of these when I’m out and about.