Whiskey is ripe for experimentation proper now and distillers are switching up each step of the method. They’re utilizing new grains, altering their casks, and taking the ageing course of cellular. A few of these experiments make for nice new whiskeys, whereas others find yourself tasting like one thing you’d use in a medieval witch hunt. However you realize what they are saying, nothing ventured, nothing gained.
Kikori Rice Whiskey
Our first few picks are going to be whiskeys created from grains that aren’t barley, rye, or corn. Not as a result of utilizing different grains is a wacky and wild factor to do, however as a result of whiskey is so entrenched in custom.
For Kikori Rice Whiskey, the one grain is rice. Beforehand, the one booze we’d heard of utilizing rice was sake and Bud Mild. The primary one is a pleasing change of tempo, the second is an affordable filler, and neither one made us take into consideration whiskey as a subsequent logical alcoholic step. However rice whiskey is a clean, straightforward consuming change of tempo. It’s additionally one thing that’s been made in Asia for hundreds of years, so we’re actually behind the ball on this one.
The whiskey is made and aged completely in Japan, which means it’s a possible addition to our subsequent iteration of a greatest Japanese whiskies article. Kikori is usually obtainable on the West Coast, so maintain a lookout should you’re in California. Most bottles you discover are going to hover round $35 to $50 every, so it’s not a really costly whiskey if you’ll find it. Additionally, begin delivery some bottles eastward. Nobody likes a egocentric whiskey drinker. Purchase
Koval’s bourbon is legally a bourbon, with its 51% corn mash, however the distillers crammed within the remaining 49% a bit in a different way than most distillers would. As an alternative of rye or barley, they’ve gone with millet. Millet is a large grain in Asia and Africa, the place they use millet the identical method we use corn. Millet additionally has expertise in distilling, although in Nepal.
The totally different grain additionally modifications the flavour profile, as you’d anticipate. Koval’s flavors embrace mango chutney, if that’s one thing you’ll be able to anticipate in a whiskey, vanilla, caramel, and a little bit of tobacco. It’s a masterclass in bourbon technicalities, because it obeys all the principles you want for a bourbon, however finally ends up with flavors distinct in its class. They don’t all need to style like various ranges of corn and rye.
We’ve truly featured them earlier than too, although not fairly with the identical firm they’re maintaining on this listing. Again then, it was bourbons it is best to attempt not made in Kentucky. $55
Dry Fly Triticale Whiskey
Triticale feels like the right whiskey grain. It’s a hybrid breed of wheat and rye that’s alleged to seize the daring spice of rye and the softer subtleties of wheat, and feels like the right whiskey to transition individuals from rye to softer varieties or from lighter whiskeys to the large flavors of rye. Sort of like if somebody invented a gradient slider for whiskey as an alternative of colour.
Dry Fly Triticale Whiskey is straight triticale. They’re not making an attempt to distract from the grain, use it as a filler, or lean on it as a advertising gimmick. It’s the one grain they’ve used they usually’re assured it could stand by itself. Which, apparently, it will probably. Most evaluations we’ve learn, like this one from The Whiskey Wash, speak about how the whiskey delivers on its promise to exemplify the perfect flavors from each of its grain mother and father. The rye delivers some nice character, whereas the wheat mellows issues out and makes it simpler to drink. General, that’s not dangerous for a grain somebody invented to assist stave off famine. $67
Cooper River’s Single Run Collection Whiskey
It didn’t happen to us that whiskey is simply distilled beer till we talked to James Yoakum, founding father of Cooper River Distillers, and he informed us precisely that, simply in additional educated phrases. Whenever you make whiskey, all you’re doing is refining a beer you didn’t put hops in. Distillers name it “wash,” however that’s as a result of each business wants its personal phrases to really feel particular.
However it did happen to Yoakum, so he began calling up native breweries and asking if he might have the beer they didn’t need to promote or have been simply going to throw away. Often it was experimental brews that didn’t pan out or beer that wasn’t fairly as much as the breweries’ excessive requirements. Their Tuckahoe Porter was one of the common expressions, however they’ve additionally carried out IPAs, English milds, saisons, and an Oktoberfest. As a result of they’re utilizing absolutely matured and brewed beers with their very own distinctive flavors, every whiskey comes out with its personal distinct character. The porters are deep and candy and the IPAs are mild and bitter.
The cool factor about Cooper River’s association is that they solely have a restricted quantity of beer, so this isn’t a manufactured shortage. They will solely make a sure variety of bottles with the availability they’re given, so as soon as the whiskey’s gone, it’s truly gone. It’s not like when Jim Beam pretends their new experimental type is a restricted provide, however then all of a sudden finds out they will truly make one million extra barrels, coincidentally on the similar time their whiskey sells out to rave critiques. If Cooper River says they’ve 100 bottles, they’ve 100 bottles.
Presently, their web site lists each bottle as bought out. You may be capable of go to and discover one, however we are likely to consider their on-line listings. However don’t fear. They’ve 4 extra beer whiskeys lined up, so that you’ll have extra alternatives to attempt one out. Hyperlink
Fish and whiskey aren’t a pairing that bounce to the forefront of our minds. On the danger of sounding lower than cultured, if we’re consuming fish, we save the alcohol pairing for earlier than or after, because the style of fish tends to take over a meal. Decisively, at that. Wine may be the one factor that pairs nicely, and we’ll usually depart that course of to Italian eating places.
However apparently we’re not considering outdoors the field sufficient, as a result of somebody thought it was a good suggestion to complete a wonderfully good Scotch in herring casks. Apparently the thought comes from the story that Scottish sailors used to maintain their shipboard whiskies in previous fishing barrels. Whether or not or not that’s a sensible answer is as much as your personal preferences (and the way determined you’re for whisky), however the WhiskyCast evaluate just isn’t a very good one. To sum it up, Fishky smells fascinating, with some salty, briny notes to an in any other case common Scotch. However once you style it, the herring takes over and never in a great way. In a approach that tastes just like the ocean is puking in your mouth.
And if that taste profile is one way or the other engaging to you, good luck monitoring this one down. We’ve solely been capable of finding the WhiskyCast evaluate, and there aren’t any purchasing hyperlinks or distillery names hooked up to it. There’s a identify for a bottler, however once we went to stupidcask.de, we discovered a German clothes model. So until Bavarian City Outfitters dabbles in whisky finishes, Fishky is shortly fading into city legend territory.
Reindeer Antler Whiskey
Reindeer antler whiskey was featured right here earlier than, nevertheless it’s too uncommon to not speak about twice. It’s an previous Thai custom that completely matches into trendy occasions, since that is truly an infusion somewhat than a whiskey somebody aged in a reindeer antler cask. The assumption is that a reindeer whiskey infusion boosts vitality and throughout good dwelling.
It’s half of a bigger custom of Thai natural liquors referred to as Yaa Dong. These are natural drinks and infusions meant to deal with illnesses or enhance whiskey style, in order that they’re not truly all that totally different from the European and American follow of whipping your self up a scorching toddy once you really feel a chilly approaching. In Thailand, yow will discover entire bars dedicated to Yaa Dong, which might make your trip to Thailand one of many more healthy journeys you might take. $5
Jefferson’s Ocean took a greater path to ocean impressed whiskey than Fishky did. As an alternative of making one thing individuals wouldn’t even age sardines in, Jefferson’s determined to make and cask whiskey like regular individuals, then age that whiskey on crusing voyages. Meaning the ocean’s affect is rather more about local weather than style. On the voyage, temperature fluctuate wildly, salt air interacts with the barrels and whiskey, and the rocking of the boat sloshes the whiskey round. We’re unsure what the final half does in a technical sense, however since most whiskey is caught on a shelf for years, placing some movement into the method undoubtedly has to vary issues.
In line with Jefferson’s, ageing the whiskey on the ocean provides it traits you’d usually discover in different spirits. The colour and base flavors are nearer to darkish rum and the ocean air injects some Scotch into an American bourbon. We’d think about flavors additionally change based mostly on the route and time of the yr. Climate can change drastically on the ocean, so the merchandise of various voyages ought to finish with delicate variations. Or they’re utterly totally different. We haven’t tasted all of them. $85
There are many infusions on the market that promise to place you thru critical capsaicin hell, however we discover they’re principally restricted to vodka. Which is sensible. Vodka absorbs flavors nicely, so infusing it with jalapeños or chili peppers or ghost peppers of no matter scorching pepper you need works fairly nicely. However we hadn’t heard of anybody doing it with whiskey till Wasteland Inferno.
Their technique works higher with whiskey anyway. They age the whiskey in chili pepper sauce casks, permitting the spice to get deeper into the whiskey and holding it from tasting like somebody discovered a bottle of scorching sauce and a bottle of whiskey and combined them collectively. This isn’t Westland’s low cost try and get a gimmick into frat homes. This can be a real whiskey expression meant to experiment with scorching spice and good whiskey.
It’s a restricted launch, so bottles are going to be extraordinarily onerous to seek out. There have been solely 360 complete bottles and that is the sort of launch that will get snapped up fast. If you will discover one, reserve it for particular events. Or for that point somebody comes over and brags how a lot they like whiskey and the way nicely they deal with warmth. Then you’ll be able to check them.