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Review – Seven Stills of SF – Whipnose Whiskey

Posted by Reese On January - 29 - 2015

Whipnose WhiskeyI drink sample a lot of whiskey and enjoy every last drop.  In all of those samplings there are aromas, flavors and general experiences that run throughout.  Vanilla, caramel, spices, oak, whiskeyness if you will.  So, when a new whiskey comes through my door I expect those basics in varying quantities and qualities.  Whipnose Whiskey from Seven Stills of San Francisco turned that whole expectation on its head.  The description of how this whiskey was created is best left to the Seven Stills distillers.

Whipnose is the first in Seven Stills’ Collaboration Series.  For this project we partnered with Pacific Brewing Laboratory, located in San Francisco.  We started by distilling each of Pac Brew Lab’s beers to see if we could make a unique whiskey, and as soon as we tasted the whiskey made from their double IPA we were blown away.  Shortly after we brewed 60 barrels of Whipnose IPA, and distilled it into 165 gallons of whiskey, and aged it in new American Oak Barrels.

The name “Whipnose” aptly describes the whip of hop aroma this whiskey opens up with.  The taste is rich malt, dark dried fruits (plums, prunes), light vanilla, toasted oak, and finishes with a smooth, lingering maple syrup.

That whip of hop aroma they mention is absolutely true.  It blew me away as well.  I would never have expected the hop aroma and flavor to carry through to the whiskey so directly, but it’s there with conviction.

The aroma hits you first with hops – citrusy, floral, exactly what you’d expect.  Then you get classic whiskey aromas of vanilla, caramel and notes of dried fruits in the background.  The flavor is unlike any whiskey I’ve tasted.  In my notes I wrote “quizzical look” and if you picture a dog turning it’s head to the side, you’ll know exactly what I looked like.  There is fruitiness like crazy in Whipnose, both citrus notes from the hops and dried fruits (cherry, prune).  You get the standard whiskeyness of vanilla, caramel and oak as well, but the fruit is the star.  The floral aspect of the hops is there as well, but more of a background player.  Finally, the finish is light and slightly sweet with a very pleasant hint of bitterness from the hops.

This is a whiskey I would slow sip and enjoy the complexity as it warms in your hand.  But my brain wouldn’t let it go at that, I had to try it in a Boulevardier.  I went with 2:1:1; Whipnose, Sweet Vermouth and Campari and it was a stroke of genius.  The resulting cocktail retained the floral aroma of the hops and the citrus and bitter qualities of the Campari teamed up with the same in the Whipnose.  The complex herbal qualities of the vermouth round it all out.  If it’s possible to mourn the passing of a cocktail, I certainly did when my glass went dry on this one.

On the very large plus side, a second release is in the works.  Hopefully soon!


† The product reviewed here was provided to me as a free sample. If you’re wondering what that means check out my sample policy.

This comic is far too appropriate not to share.  Remember to make good decisions.

bad_decision

Dickel Dozen – Challenges

Posted by Reese On November - 7 - 2014

My bottle of George Dickel Barrel Program Tennessee Whisky arrived earlier this week* and with it some challenges.  I’m up for a challenge, so I’ll be posting my answers to Twitter/Facebook in the coming few days.  So you’re not totally caught un-aware, here are the questions prompting my answers.

George Dickel Barrel Program Tennessee Whisky

  • Share a photo of you sippin’ George Dickel in the most peaceful place you know.
  • If you could pick anyone to share a glass of George Dickel with, who would it be?
  • What is your go-to toast when enjoying George Dickel with friends?
  • Share a photo of something you enjoy crafting that’s #HandMadeTheHardWay.
  • What three words best describe the taste of George Dickel’s Barrel Program Whisky?

 

* It’s damn good. More on that later.

What I’m Drinking Now: Autumn Sour

Posted by Reese On October - 30 - 2014

Autumn is upon us good hackers and what better way to celebrate the season than with a cocktail!  Wanting a drink reminiscent of fall with flavors to match, I reached for whiskey, apple and a touch of cinnamon and came out with a cocktail that’s easy to drink and very tasty.

 

Autumn Sour


Autumn Sour
1 1/2 oz Whiskey *
1 oz Lemon Juice
2 oz Apple Cider
1/2 oz Cinnamon Liqueuer **
2 Dashes Angostura Bitters
1) Combine everything in a shaker with ice
2) Shake until well chilled and strain into a cocktail glass
3) Garnish with a dried or fresh apple slice

* I went with a blend of 1 oz Johnnie Walker Red Label and 1/2 oz Rye. I wanted a light smokey note from the Scotch with the spiciness of the rye. However, you can (and should) use whatever suits your taste.

** If you can track down Fyr from J&L Distilling in Boulder, CO DO IT!  So tasty.  If not, I’d recommend using a more complex cinnamon liqueur like Original Cinn from Hiram Walker.

Dickel Dozen Introduction

Posted by Reese On October - 27 - 2014

I’m happy (seriously bordering on giddy) to announce that I’ve been asked to participate in the Dickel Dozen program. Brand Ambassador Doug Kragel will be selecting a special barrel of George Dickel whiskey that I’ll then get to sample. The video included below is a quick introduction to the George Dickel distillery, their process and whiskey.

Once the bottle arrives, I’ll be posting some tasting notes and more of my thoughts. If you’re local and want to help me analyze (fancy word for drink) the special bottle of George Dickel, definitely let me know!