Owners Amanda & Nick Swift were tired of investing long hours in service of someone else’s vision. So, they searched the world over for the best ingredients, tools, and techniques to bring authentic Scottish whisky making traditions home to Texas. The distillery was founded in 2012, but their research and travels began years before.
They traveled to Scotland, Ireland, Japan, and hit the Kentucky Bourbon Trail. They visited distilleries, breweries, vineyards, and cooperages. They collaborated with Portuguese still makers, Spanish bodegas, and the people of Dripping Springs, Texas. With no hired staff, Nick and Amanda created this spirit themselves, everything from the distilling to the actual bottling.
Swift Single Malt is twice-distilled in the Swift’s Dripping Springs facility from 100% Scottish malted barley, with tight cuts taken off of hand-hammered copper pot stills from Portugal to fine tune the spirit by taste. Modeled after a traditional Speyside Scotch, Swift Single Malt is made with water that is controlled (down to the molecular level) to match the composition of Scotland’s water, and is never chill-filtered. Instead the Swifts rely on maintaining flavor using its malt, and by aging each batch in Kentucky Bourbon barrels, which were hand selected by the Swifts on the Bourbon Trail, and finished in Oloroso sherry casks straight from the bodega in Spain, surprisingly the only casks being put to use for whiskey in the States. Each barrel and cask is coopered in-house by Nick using only sustainable methods. From the casks, Swift Single Malt is hand bottled and labeled by the couple.
Swift Single Malt (86 proof)
Visual: Bright gold.
Nose: Malty and sweet with some cinnamon notes. Somewhat shy and reclusive, a bit of branch water draws out the expression.
Taste: Akin to a Speyside region Highland Scotch or even a pot still Irish whiskey, this is very smooth and goes down easy. I can only imagine that this would benefit from a few more years in oak, and then finished in the sherry casks. The sweetness obviously comes from the sherry, but only a tinge. Fine as is, but I’d love to see a 4-5 year old expression.
Finish: Medium-short, with malty, semi-maple notes leading to a dry, clean finish.
Overall: Quite potable, with a youngish character that would only benefit from a few more years under its belt. A pleasant, and surprisingly European styled American whiskey.
GSN Rating: B+
For more information go to: Swift Distillery