The website for Ezra Brooks is littered with marketing gush that proclaims how “honest” and “straight-shooting” the products are, which is a laugh because there is no Ezra Brooks distillery – the brand’s bourbons are distilled by parent company Luxco’s Lux Row distillery, which also makes Rebel Yell, David Nicholson, and others. The ryes are sourced from Indiana, which means…
The 500 Sherry Finish is matured for an undisclosed period of time in first-fill bourbon casks before being filled into 500-liter (hence the name) Spanish Pedro Ximenez sherry butts for one year. The final whisky is bottled at 43% ABV, and is both chill filtered and (probably) has added spirit caramel for coloring. (Sigh.)
In fact, Henry McKenna is made from the same mashbill (75% corn, 13% rye, 12% barley) as Elijah Craig and Evan Williams. Bottles can be found for $15 or less, and even 1-liter bottles are available in some markets for about the same. That’s some inexpensive whiskey, even though it’s definitely younger and lower ABV (40%) than its cousin brands.
… It seems like the Double Cask refers to a maturation in American oak ex-bourbon and then a partial finish in ex-sherry casks. There is no age statement, and the whisky is bottled at the bare minimum of 40% ABV, with no mention of the use of color or chill filtration. This is all bad news on paper, so let’s see what happens in the glass.
This one is a mystery single malt from an undisclosed Irish distillery. It’s aged 14 years, bottled at 47.6% ABV, and is the 4th batch from said distillery from That Boutique-y Whisky Company. It’s also so good that I’m going to try really hard to forgive the label.
Like Elijah Craig and Henry McKenna, Evan Williams has a mash bill of 75% Corn, 13% Rye, and 12% Barley. It’s also Kentucky straight bourbon, but because it’s labeled “bottled in bond” it’s aged for at least 4 years and bottled at 50% ABV (100 proof). It can be found in bottle sizes of 750ml, 1 liter, and 1.75 liter, all for very reasonable prices.
A very pale single malt from an ex-bourbon cask, and bottled at the potent but also very drinkable 47.9% ABV, this Teaninich makes me want to go find other (cheaper) bottles from the distillery. Those will all have to be independent bottlers as well, as there are no official bottlings from this distillery, aside from an occasional entry in Diageo’s Flora and Fauna series, most of which doesn’t make it to US.
The label on this squat bottle of bourbon looks like it was created before anyone in the market started caring about the contents of their bottles. It informs me that the liquid is from a single barrel, without giving a bottle number, barrel identifier, date, year, or even batch number. It also reveals that it is bottled at the very random 44.45% ABV and that it was distilled by Buffalo Trace Distillery in Frankfort, Kentucky. Aaaaaand… that’s it.
Quinta Ruban is standard Glenmorangie malt that is aged around 12 years in ex-bourbon casks and then finished in ruby port wine casks for 2 further years, for a total age statement of 14 years. The old 12-year expression spent 10 years in ex-bourbon. The whisky is bottled without chill-filtration at 46% ABV.
We know from other sources that Westland is experimenting with local Pacific Northwest (USA) peat, but that the core range Peated expression uses already-peated malt imported from the Eastern Highlands of Scotland. That peated malt is distilled (together or separately, I can’t tell) along with Westland’s standard “5-malt” blend of Washington Select Pale Malt, Munich Malt…