Why Whisk(e)y Pt. 2
I eagerly arrived in an Uber at about 1:30 for a 2:00pm tasting at what has quickly become my favorite Hollywood bar, nay favorite bar PERIOD, Lost Property located in Hollywood, on Hollywood and Vine, but unless you knew what you are looking for good luck finding it from the street! There is minimal signage and that helps to keep the lounge/speakeasy feel alive. I’ve been to several events at Lost Property and the team there is amazing. So let me just take this moment to give a shoutout to my friends Jeremy and Rhino who own Lost Property! You two are awesome, and thank you for running such a great and welcoming space.
When I walked in I instantly recognized our host Mr. Tom Fischer of BourbonBlog.com and Co-Founder of the Whiskey Marketing School. But tonight he was here for neither of those, he was here to lead a tasting on 7 different excellent whiskies. This is my second time attending a Why Whiskey event, the first was back in November and was a great time, so as soon as I saw he had another one I reached out to him to let him know I’d be there. One of the great things about attending an event at Lost Property is the creative genius behind the bar! Each time I’ve gone for an event, a total of three so far soon to be five, they have had a welcome cocktail that is unique and is made with one of the featured whiskies for the evening. And please pardon my lack of photos, at the time of this event I did not have a suitable camera.
The evening’s line up included, from Ascendant Spirits Semper Fi Corn Whiskey and Breaker Port Barrel Bourbon, Sonoma County Distilling Co’s “West of Kentucky Bourbon”, Copper Fox’s Wasmund’s single malt, Kings County Distillery’s Peated Bourbon, and The Macallan’s 12 year Double Cask. Now I know what you’re thinking, “Sam you said 7 whiskies, but that’s only 6!” And while I may be shite at math, I can count to 7 at the very least, the final whiskey you’ll just have to wait and find out what it is.
#1 – Semper Fi – A corn whiskey; I don’t run across these very often, in fact I’ve probably had only a handful. For those of you who don’t know, in order for a corn whiskey to legally be called as such, the mash bill must be at least 80% corn. Semper Fi, however, is made with 100% corn. It’s a mix of red, white and blue corn.
Nose: It has a very sweet, and creamy corn forward nose with hints of caramel. Not much else was able to be picked up on the nose though that’s ok because it’s so Corn forward anything else would likely be lost.
Flavour: The flavor is actually really mellow considering this whiskey is 111 proof! WOW imagine drinking this all night? It’s sweet and spicy, with flavors of corn and a smooth creaminess. Definitely a whiskey to try!!
#2 – Breaker Port Barrel – A craft Bourbon! Breaker is made by Ascendant Spirits in Santa Barbara county. They also make Semper Fi, Calyx a gin, and some unique vodkas! Definitely worth looking at their products and checking out this “home grown” distillery.
Nose: The nose from this one came as a surprise when I picked up some juniper! I also got some subdued and mellow corn aromas and the typical pepper/spice.
Flavor: The flavor profile was peppery with corn and a subtle sweetness. I couldn’t really narrow down much on this whiskey though I’d like to give it another go.
#3 – West of Kentucky Bourbon No. 3 – I don’t know why but I’ve been getting Juniper from several whiskies recently. I think I may be mislabeling this particular aroma, but that is a topic for another time. According to the Sonoma County Distillery this Bourbon is a “definite nod to a high-rye bourbon whiskey.”
Nose: It’s got spice and corn on the nose, with some subtle gin notes (this is the Juniper I was referring to earlier), as well as a mellow sweetness.
Flavour: Flavor profile, is sweet and creamy with very subtle toffees on the back. It goes down easy but this is not a smooth expression by any means.
#4 – Wasmund’s – A non chill filtered, single malt whisky this is from Copper Fox Distillery. It’s got very pronounced malt and oat on the nose as well as an intense charred oak. Also prominent is burnt sugar and caramel, as well as wood chips. The flavor profile is a lot more mellow comparatively speaking with a relaxed sweetness and burnt sugars accompanied by charcoal to finish it off.
#5 – Peated Bourbon – By far the most unique pour of the evening! From Kings County Distillery out of Brooklyn New York comes a bourbon like no other I’ve ever had, this bourbon is peated! Now normally when one thinks of peat, they think of Islay Scotch Whisky not American Bourbon from New York.
Nose: The nose on this expression is subtly sweet and spicy, it’s got some mellow corn though that may be contamination in the glass from a prior expression. Surprisingly there wasn’t much if any detectable peat on the nose, so I’ll have to give this expression another shot.
Flavour: The highlight of this Bourbon though was the rich flavours! A wonderful blend of sweet and spice, with some corn coming in from a prior dram (which I don’t actually mind), it is a smooth Bourbon with subtle toffee notes and overall some rich flavours.
#6 – Macallan Double Cask 12 Year – Without a doubt the most well known whisky brand at this tasting, The Macallan has a great range of Scotches of which I’ve only had a select few but have enjoyed nonetheless. This being my second time sampling the 12 year double cask it still remains a favorite of their line. It is a marriage of American and European oak casks, which helps to give it a unique profile.
Nose: A sweetness, as well as a creaminess, the nose comes off very heavy. There is also a distinct aroma of maple syrup, as well as a caramel and toffee blend. A very nice nose and somewhat different from most Macallan’s I’ve had.
Flavour: Arguably the most important part of any beverage, be it alcoholic or not is what it tastes like. This particular expression is sweet, smooth, and has the typical whiskey pepper notes. Unusually in this particular Macallan I was able to actually taste the char from the barrels followed by caramel and sherry flavours. This is a really warm but heavy expression, and it finishes off with some malty notes.
#7 – Cherrywood Rye – Another whiskey from the Sonoma County Distillery, this is a cherry wood rye and was a surprise expression at the end of this excellent event.
Nose: I picked up some very heavy Rye and spice, and again that scene that smells almost like Juniper/Gin that I can’t quite place. Honestly with such a Rye forward nose it was hard to get much else.
Flavour: With a name like Cherrywood Rye you’d expect to get some Cherrywood in either the nose of on the palate but surprisingly not this time. It was a sweet and creamy expression with spice and Rye flavours, finished by a yummy malty taste.