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Tamar G

Whiskey

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have you new yorkers tried anything from the coppersea distillery in the hudson valley? i recently reviewed their green malt rye. it's made in an interesting way and the result--as with most "craft distilleries"--is not exactly good but is not uninteresting (which separates them from many craft distilleries who produce things that are heinous and uninteresting).

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I figured I'd finish my Home Alone New Year's Eve with a postprandial tipple. I went tooling through my liquor bottles and came upon something I was pretty sure I'd feel nothing but contempt for.

 

Compass Box Hedonism (early release)

 

I think this was one of the earlier releases of this whiskey: they've gone through at least two other label designs since.

 

I think of this as one of those things I was fooled into buying by the media, before my tastes became set. I mean, there's so much going against it: it's a blend, it's entirely grain (no malt: is this even Scotch?), it's pretty clearly made for what I'd consider an unsophisticated palate.

 

But, I dunno, maybe it's the time of year, or maybe it's the time of man, but I'm quite liking this.

 

It's complex -- but it's also very light on its feet. There's a lot vanilla -- these guys predictably like their new American oak -- but there's also a shit-ton of spices of various kinds. And -- this is a surprise, to me at least -- some citrus. More than just "some", actually.

 

The way I see it is this: if you didn't know this was supposed to be a Scotch, but thought it was an "American Whiskey", you'd think it was pretty damned good.

 

And to my surprise, that's what I think it is.

 

Mongo has just lost whatever tiny modicum of respect he might have ever have had for me.

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I think the thing to note about this whiskey is that it's really sweet. In theory, I'd hold that against it. But right now, after dinner (with Riesling Kabinett), on New Year's Eve . . . it just seems right.

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yeah, i just have a bias against grain whisky notes; and the combination of obvious grain and too much spicy oak puts it in the opposite of my sweet spot. many others love it dearly. and yes, it is scotch.

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FYI: Kathleen Purvis* of the Charlotte Observer is coming out with a book, Distilling the South, that chronicles some of the craft distillers in VA, WVa, the Carolinas, KY, TN, GA, AL, FL, MS, and LA. Quite a surprising range of whiskeys being made. The book is from UNC Press, and will be out early this year. (I'm indexing.)

 

You probably know her as a food writer and former eG member. But she also wrote the Bourbon volume for the Savoring the South series.

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