- On October 14, 2015
We’re knee deep in the Fall Whisk(e)y Sale, so let’s highlight one of the great American micro distilleries producing funky and unique spirits. This week we are focusing on Corsair, hailing from Nashville, TN. Compared to Tennessee stalwarts Jack Daniels and George Dickel, Corsair might be a little out of their minds. But if they’re wrong, we don’t want to be right!
Corsair is known for their eccentric and out-of-left-field whiskeys as well as a host of other spirits. Perhaps their most well-known offering is the bombastic Triple Smoke. Crafted from three portions of malted barley, each smoked with a different fuel source (cherry wood, peat & beechwood); we get a spirit that is both reminiscent of classic Scottish Single Malt whisky as well as revolutionary American whiskey. The flavor of this is so dynamic and layered, one boggles at the thought process that created it. Sweet cherry wood notes dominate the front of the flavor, with heavier, earthier notes chasing swiftly after. On their win of 2013’s Artisan Whiskey of the Year from Whisky Advocate, Lew Bryson described it perfectly, “Imagine having a sip of Islay whisky with a smoky Bamberg-brewed chaser…and then a light pull on a fine pipe tobacco.” It’s the best of all three smoke styles, and what could have been a hot mess is instead incredibly well-balanced (more than it has any right to be) and exhibits TONS of nuance and restraint. Truly a magnificently crafted whiskey from a maverick American producer. ($39.59, reg. $43.99)
If you thought that the last whiskey was an oddball, wait until you read about the next one: Quinoa whiskey! Corsair uses both red and white quinoa to comprise 20% of the mash for this spirit, with malted barley making up the remainder. One might question how much 20% of the mash can influence the flavor of the final product, but we assure you, it’s noticeable! This whiskey has a distinctly earthy aroma and flavor unlike anything we’ve seen before. Sure, it has the classic malt flavor, but the flavor of quinoa compliments it sublimely. Flavors of nuts and hay accompany a mushroomy/umami quality that is simply mouth-watering. Deep and dank, this whiskey is! ($43.19, reg. $47.99)
The final Corsair product to get the limelight treatment this week breaks the mold in a lot of ways. Their barrel-aged gin isn’t even officially on their website, but this secret is too good not to share! Part of their Experimental Collection, they take their Artisan Gin and age it for 5 months in a barrel twice-used for their Spiced Rum. We’ve had barreled gins aplenty, and this is a standout amongst them. Juniper is obviously a predominant flavor in the spirit, but vanilla, citrus and baking spices are all in the mix too. Sweet nuts and cinnamon are definitely the rum’s influence and are completely welcome in this sipper. There is definite cocktail potential here (Martinez anyone?!) but simply on the rocks this spirit is sure to please. ($36.99)