BONUS! Guest Reviewer review! I had the pleasure of sharing this whiskey with some other whiskey fans.
Nose: This has a very different smell that sort of reminded me of beer (kind of “malty”), with a little bit of salt. On later sniffs, it took on a very scotch-like smell. Palate: This whiskey tastes unlike any other one I’ve had before, which I liked right off the bat. On the first sip, I picked up a smokiness combined with a light cocoa taste. The mouthfeel is a nice medium and it has only a very small amount of heat. The finish isn’t very long but it brings out some scotch flavors with some more of the smokiness. It was a very pleasant sweetness that is really nice….it kinda has a sweet/savory thing going on, when you consider the sweetness and the smokiness. Comments: Although you might not suspect it, there’s really a fine line between beer and whiskey. You can more or less use the same ingredients to make both, just using a different process. So….the guys who make this whiskey are known for making a very good craft beer….Dead Guy Ale. According to their website (rogue.com), this whiskey is made from the same malts as Dead Guy Ale - "malted two row barley, munich and crystal malts create a unique whiskey wash that offers an intriguing range of flavors” and uses “distiller’s yeast and free range coastal water" The site indicates it is aged “more than two years”. This clocks in at 80 proof….which is actually a bit tame, I thought. I would love to see a 90 or higher proofer version of this and would also be very curious about what a few extra time in the barrel would do to it. That not withstanding, this is a very intriguing whiskey. I enjoyed the very new taste it provided. It is “ocean aged” but neither the bottle nor the company website really explains what this means. I think maybe the mild saltiness I picked up on the nose may come from that? You don’t actually taste the saltiness, however. Internet sources indicate that Rogue opened their distillery in 2003 and that they grow their own grain and malt it themselves and that they make their own barrels. They are located in Newport, Oregon. I wouldn’t make this a daily drinker, but it definitely is a very intriguing and worthwhile choice to have on hand when you’re in the mood for something different. Funny story……as I was writing this review, I remembered that I had actually had this whiskey several years ago, although I don’t remember anything about the taste (Internet sources indicate that it was only aged 90 days at one time and that it was reflected in the taste). In any case, I was at a friend’s house (one of the readers!) when he offered me this selection. Now, back then, they used the same bottle for their whiskey that they did for their beer and the labels were very similar. I wasn’t thinking, and when handed the bottle, I guess I thought it was their beer and started pouring a beer-sized portion into my glass. DOH! Luckily, my host informed me that it was whiskey and we were able to return most of it back to the bottle. Luckily, Rogue changed their bottle and it now comes with a super-cool metal stopper with the skeleton from their logo. This bottle runs in the mid-upper $40 range. Guest Review Nose: “I get whiffs of a scotch like scent. It also reminds me of a whiskey that may have spent some time in a rum barrel (a-la the Basil Hayden Caribbean Cask version). Very strange.” Palate: “Nothing like the nose at all!! There are so many flavors going on. I get a milky chocolate right away. A fellow taster said “cold brew coffee” and I though that was also spot on. It has a very sweet sugary taste that reminds me of a Dunkin Donuts coffee with cream and sugar (DD usually puts WAY too much sugar in IMO). On later sips, I tasted cocoa (also noted by a fellow taster) and more scotch taste. Comments: This is a fascinating whiskey which I very much enjoyed with some great friends. I really want to try this with a Dead Guy Ale. It was very easy to drink and had a LOT going on.