McKenzie Pure Pot Still Whiskey (80 proof) – One of Central New York’s most ambitious distillers is Finger Lakes Distilling, located in Burdett, NY (see my previous review HERE). Not only do they make the usual line of vodka, gin and whiskies, but they also do several fruit brandies, liqueurs and a grappa. Their latest product is an Irish style pot still whiskey. They use a mash of both locally-grown unmalted barley and malted barley, then age the distillate in used Bourbon and Rye barrels for just over two years. The end result is unique and more like a softer bourbon than a true Irish Whiskey.
Visual: Bright orange-copper.
Nose: A lot of wood up front with a sweet barley aroma. Notes of clover honey,
Taste: A mix of sweet corn and black pepper. There’s a lot of heat going on, almost making it seem like it’s a higher proof. The woodiness is quite apparent, but there is a good amount of caramel here. I think with another year or two of aging in barrel, the vanilla will replace the dominant wood grain notes. If using this in a cocktail, you might want to cut back on the amount just a touch to keep things in balance.
Finish: Fairly long and with a diminishing sweetness which ends in an edge of menthol and black tea.
GSN Rating: B
For more information go to Finger Lakes Distilling