Pine Barrens American Single Malt Whisky Batch 11

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One category of whisky that is slowly emerging and is of great interest to me is American malt whisky. With the craft brewing and distilling trend over there they have the potential to bring some really interesting and unique things to the market. Sadly aside from one or two well known brands, these things can be extremely hard to find over on this side of the planet.

This one comes from Long Island Spirits of New York. It’s a beersky (distilled beer) made from an English style barley wine ale, which they say is perfectly drinkable as a beer (unlike the stuff used to distill regular malt whisky), and aged for a year in virgin oak. Just a pity it comes in a dinky bottle (375ml).

Aged 1 year. 47.5% ABV. Matured in new American oak.

Nose: Apple cake. Vanilla. Light note of hops. Orange soda. Marzipan. Slightly rummy note. Caramel. Macadamia. Peach. Hay.

Palate: A little watery at first, then develops a pretty strong hoppy note along with barley cream, brown sugar, wood spice and orange sorbet and then some very bitter citrus, like seville orange.

Finish: Hops. Bitter citrus, almost like a citrus heavy gin. Vanilla pods. Nutmeg. Cinnamon. Crisp malt notes.

Would I buy this: No

Would I order this in a bar: Yes

Would I drink this if someone gave me a glass: Yes

VFM: 1/5 (€60 in the EU market).

And interesting one no doubt. The nose is very pleasant and quite sweet. The palate is a little weird, starting slightly dull and water but a decent flavour develops if you it for a bit, somewhere in between sweet and bitter and then the finish is a full on bitter fest with the beer character becoming really apparent. Just a pity about the price for the dinky bottle which is an issue common to exported American craft whiskies and make them not worth the gamble, though it’s hard to tell if the fault lies with the distiller or the importer.

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