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Hi, this is one of our (almost) daily tastings. Santé!

April 12, 2023


A wild bunch of American whiskies, part un

Bourbons, malts, other fine whiskeys… I've always wanted to do more American whiskey here at WF Towers, but for some reasons, that never really materialised. Maybe because there were only a few brands until, say five years ago, and very few single casks or actual small batches.

(US magazine ad, 1967. 'They say the French have always been arbiters of good taste and elegance. And it's true. So it's natural that sophisticated Frenchmen are discovering Bourbon...')

Grand Dad



Mellow Corn (50%, OB, USA, Kentucky Straight Corn Whiskey, +/-2022)

Mellow Corn (50%, OB, USA, Kentucky Straight Corn Whiskey, +/-2022) Two stars
This baby's said to be 4 years old, matured in first fill ex-bourbon barrels, and made out of 80% maize/corn. It is widely available in France, but I've never tried it, whether formally or not. Colour: white wine. Nose: noses sweet, rather on sweet apples, barley and corn syrups, with touches of vanilla and a little 'green oak'. It's a very simple profile but it's pleasant, even if it was probably never meant to be a noser. With water:  more coconut. We were expecting this. Mouth (neat): extremely sweet, fully on saccharin and, indeed, sweet corn. I find it a little difficult and fairly cloying because of this ueber-sweetness. What's more, the body's rather thin. With water: still very sugary, with a little more coconut once more. Coconut liqueur aged in fresh oak. Finish: shortish, very sweet. Comments: I'm sure there are aficionados. It's fair for sure, but I suppose it's s tyle you have to be accustomed to in order to really enjoy it. Mellow indeed.

SGP:730 - 70 points.

From Mellow to Yellow (cheers Donovan!)… Shall we find saffron?

Yellow Rose Rye (45%, OB, USA, Texas rye, +/-2022)

Yellow Rose Rye (45%, OB, USA, Texas rye, +/-2022) Three stars and a half
This is 95% rye and selected and bottled in Texas by the 'oldest legal distillery in Houston'. Well they don't pretend it was 'distilled' in Texas, it was probably sourced in Indiana. Colour: light gold. Nose: finely bready, with touches of banana and muscovado. Sweet wholegrain bread with a lot of rye inside. No complains whatsoever, this is some very popular juice, whichever the livery it's coming within. And there, why not, there is a little saffron bread indeed. Perhaps. Mouth: very sweet once more, although less sweet than that 'Mellow Corn'. I find it much less spicy than European ryes (German, Dutch, Swiss etc.) and much, much gentler. Some maple syrup, peach syrup, a tiny touch of Szechuan pepper, a little coconut, vanilla, a drip of Diplomatico (why not, it's the best rum in the world according to ChatGPT)… The strength is perfect. Finish: medium and very sweet. Sugarcane syrup with more pineapple-y Szechuan or Timut pepper. More oak and black pepper in the aftertaste. Comments: sourced but very good, in my opinion. Flawless juice.
SGP:740 - 84 points. .  

Jack Daniel's 'Triple Mash' (50%, OB, USA, blended straight whiskey, +/-2022)

Jack Daniel's 'Triple Mash' (50%, OB, USA, blended straight whiskey, +/-2022) Four stars
I don't think they can do triple-casks, so they do triple-mash. It is actually a blend of bonded American malt, rye and Tennessee whiskey. Not too sure they 'charcoal-mellowed' it. Colour: pale gold. Nose: possibly my favourite Jack on the nose. There are splendid notes of warm pastries and breads early in the morning, some praline, brioche, dried figs, a little nougat, some gentle spices, cinnamon (and cinnamon rolls), some walnut cake, plus a remarkable soft earthiness and some Basler Läckerli. Läckerli in Jack!... With water: tiny whiffs of tar, rubber and fresh-sawn oak. Mouth (neat): awesome indeed, with a zesty, lemony spiciness and some stronger honeys. I'm even finding passion fruit. With water: impeccable, with rather the rye at the forefront. Finish: long, a tad drying perhaps, with a lot of cinnamon and some peppery hotness in the aftertaste. Comments: this one's at least 4 years old. I find it excellent, in case you hadn't noticed.
SGP:641 - 86 points.

Winchester (45%, OB, USA, bourbon, +/-2022)

Winchester (45%, OB, USA, bourbon, +/-2022) Two stars and a half
Humpf, this is 'extra-smooth', you understand. And no, it's not overpackaged, at all.  Colour: straw. Nose: light, not unpleasant, with apple juice, caraway, coconut and rye bread. Not unpleasant at all. Mouth: feels young. Very sweet, liqueury, with some pancake sauce and apple liqueur (green manzana liqueur), plus quite some rye bread and sawdust. Once again, it is not unpleasant. Finish: short and spicier, on cinnamon. The aftertaste is more difficult, rather full of sawdust and syrupy oak. Marmalade. Comments: I'm not sure I'll remember this young one forever,  but I was expecting much worse, honestly.
SGP:630 - 78 points.

Cedar Ridge Slipknot No.9 (45%, USA, Iowa whiskey, +/-2022) Two stars
This one from Cedar Ridge small farm distillery. They have Cedar Ridge Iowa bourbon in large French supermarkets, so I suppose it's not that 'small farm'. As for the band Slipknot, I have never, and shall never hear anything by them. It's chamber music, right? Colour: gold. Nose: extremely soft, corn-driven, with some nougat, popcorn, sugarcane juice and marshmallows. Chamber whiskey indeed. Mouth: fine, in a similar league as that of the Winchester, just even oakier. Gets then pretty peppery and frankly rustic, even if the juice remains fine, sweet, on maple and barley syrup. Finish: medium, sugary and oaky. Pineapple liqueur in the aftertaste – no thanks. Comments: okay.

SGP:631 - 74 points.

Six is enough, but we'll be back with many more. So a last one today…

Westland 'Colere 2nd Edition' (50%, OB, USA, Outpost Range, 3,000 bottles, +/-2022)

Westland 'Colere 2nd Edition' (50%, OB, USA, Outpost Range, 3,000 bottles, +/-2022) Three stars
Naturally, this is single malt, made from a winter barley called 'Talisman'. Colère means 'anger' in French, but maybe that's Latin and in that case it would be 'cultivate'. Which would make better sense, I agree, the owners being French, they would know. … Colour: straw. Nose: fully on dough, bread, porridge, grist and some tarry rubber. With water: more custard, some sourdough bread. Mouth (neat): sweet breads, banana, sawdust, curry, caraway… With water: pancake, porridge, barley syrup. Finish: medium, sweet, some fresh oak in the aftertaste. Comments: not quite one of those superlative full-bodied and close-to-nature Westlands in my opinion, but of course, this one's still way above floating line.

SGP:551 - 82 points.

So, more tomorrow.

More tasting notesCheck the index of American whiskies we've tasted so far







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