Luca Mariano Whiskey with Special guests.
Who makes it? Luca Mariano Distillery
Mash Bill: 75% corn 21% rye 4% malted barley
Where it’s from: Danville, Kentucky
We get to hang out with Jennifer Brandt, Master Blender and Kenny Fuller their Creative Director. They brought 5 bottles for us to go through and in part 1 we get to the first three. The first is the Old Americana Bourbon Small Batch, 5 year, 5 barrels at 89 proof. Then we move onto the Old Americana Rye and the last in part 1, the Single Barrel Rye!
A little history, this all started in Francesco Viola’s garage back in 2010. He pulled out his grandfather’s still and from what his grandfather taught him he started distilling. He’d have neighbors over for cookouts and he’d let all sample his hooch until his lawyer said this hobby of yours illegal and you have two choices: get a license to distill or stop making it! Well, Francesco said he was having too much fun and decided to go legit. He ended up taking a different approach. In 2015 he worked with Wilderness Trail Distillery and filled 240 barrels to start the company and then bought almost 600 acres in Dansville, Kentucky to build the Luca Mariano Distillery. The name comes from his son Luca and grandfather Mariano.
For the Old Americana Bourbon Kris was surprised how much heat it had for an 89 proof but we all think that heat and the humidity definitely played a part. Off the nose Kris came away with a nice toffee note while Erik pulled in a heavy alcohol smell. Then the taste brought more of the sweetness with a little spice. Jenn informed us that she gets toffee, rye spice, caramel, vanilla and slight oak. For the Old Americana Rye Kris was greeted with slight mint on the nose with peppery tones while could smell something deeper couldn’t figure on what it was. Plus, this had a longer finish than the bourbon. While Kenny said this was the whole experience! Then on the Single Barrel Rye had similar notes but that 2 more years of aging really show through. Like Kenny said the Old Americanas are good introduction to Luca Mariano but for Kris the Single Barrel rye is where it’s at! More flavors and and a nice long finish. For Erik, a heavy punching pomegranate wafted up to his nose. Jenn on the other hand said it was green apple, all spice, baking spice and hint of dill, like dill sunflower seeds.
Overall a solid showing, good flavor and a nice lingering finish. Luca Mariano does get the Whiskey and a Hammock stamp of approval!
For the price? The Old Americana will run you about 45 out the door while the single barrel will cost you about 62 dollars.