It might seem like an odd choice, putting a distillery in the middle of a wine region. But the Finger Lakes region is also home to quite a few small farms, which grow corn, rye, barley, and the other grains and fruits that Finger Lakes Distilling uses to make their spirits.
Finger Lakes Distilling is a NYS Farm Distillery, a small operation making a handcrafted product. Their flavored vodkas and liqueurs are made in the traditional manner, by soaking real fruits in the spirit. Their whiskies rest in oak barrels for as long as they need to, until they mature.
Their standard McKenzie Straight Bourbon has always been made with local rye as the “flavoring grain” (they use mostly corn and some malted barley as well). This new bottled-in-bond release uses wheat instead, creating a softer bourbon. It is made under the standards of the Bottled-in-Bond Act which requires it to be 100 proof and aged a minimum of 4 years.
McKenzie Bottled in Bond Bourbon (100 proof)
Visual: Dark copper.
Nose: Exceptionally well-balanced nose. Wood, caramel, sweet corn, and toasted wheat all perform in unison. Vast and enveloping.
Taste: Despite the relatively high-proof, this has relatively little burn, instead offering a smooth and self-assured entry on the palate. The wood plays center stage, but is held in check by a deep bourbon flavor that lingers long after the tannins have faded.
Finish: Long and lovely.
Overall: You really couldn’t ask for a better bourbon, let alone one that hews to the bottled-in-bond tradition. Really stellar craftwork.
GSN Rating: A+
For more information go to: Fingerlakes Distilling