Rouge Spirits Rolling Thunder Stouted Whiskey (Bottle 6 of 296 from barrel # 6 of 11)

Nose: I got a good dose of “beer” smell on the first sip, with a little anise or black licorice thrown in. The second sniff seemed pretty funky and I was (oddly) getting some rubber tire smell. It wasn’t overly unappealing, but it also wasn’t very inviting. On later sips, the beer smell diminishes and the rubber tire smell starts smelling like burnt rubber tire. On nose alone, you might not be tempted to try this one, but we all know that the nose can be deceived. That said, on MUCH later sniffs, this one actually opened up rather nicely, and a lot of the unpleasant smells were vastly diminished. So…….let this one air out a while. Palate: Luckily, none of the non-appealing odors in the nose come through on the taste. In fact, the first sip was a blast of flavors and picking out a dominant one wasn’t easy. The first sip comes across as smoky and reminded me of a nice smokey (but not peated) single malt. The mouthfeel was a very pleasant oily but not too thick one. There’s not a lot of heat present and what little there is comes across during the finish (towards the end). The finish is also peppery. Like the other Rogue Spirits whiskey reviewed earlier, this one is very different from other whiskies you’ve probably had and is complex. But, the complexity isn’t the same as it is in bourbons because you are dealing with a very different set of flavors. I think I would be hard pressed to guess the finish in Stout barrels with this one if I tasted it blind. Later sips continue with a very interesting maltiness and on a few of the later sips, the heat actually seemed to intensify a bit, although not too much and certainly not enough to be off-putting. I still got those smokey, single malt notes in later sips. I wish I had bought some of the Rogue Rolling Thunder Stout (an Imperial Stout) to try side by side with this. I will try to pick up a bottle some time and do exactly that. I’m curious if, after having the stout, how much of its flavor I pick up in the whiskey. Like its previously tasted brother, this Rogue isn’t likely to be a daily drinker for me, but once again, the uniqueness of it will definitely make it something I will go to when I’m in the mood for something a little (or a lot) different. Unlike other “gimmicky” whiskies I’ve tried, the uniqueness of this one stands out. I have to think that Rogue’s very long experience in the craft brewing scene probably has a lot to do with that. Comments: This is a “limited edition” but the company website doesn’t really explain what that means. It clocks in at 97 proof and I think that was a good choice. One of my few complaints about the other Rogue whiskey I tried was that, at 80 proof, it was a little too tame. This one is aged a little bit longer than the other one too. It spends a year in a new Oregon oak barrel (that they make themselves - with a #4 char) and then 2 years in barrels that held their stout. It cost $70, which is another reason it won’t be a daily drinker. Even the uniqueness of it really doesn’t justify this price. I’m glad I bought it, but I doubt I’ll buy another bottle.