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Laws Whiskey with Chad Wilkes, part 1

Who makes it? Laws Distillery

Mash Bill Four Grain Bourbon: 60% corn, 20% heirloom wheat, 20% heirloom rye and 10% malted barley

Centennial Wheat: 100% heirloom wheat

Where it’s from: Denver, Colorado

Al Laws started in 2011 and did what many distilleries have a hard time doing, waiting. According to his motto, “no shortcuts” they distilled, barreled and waited, and waited, and waited until 2014 when the first bottles of Laws hit the shelves. Make no mistake, Laws is a straight up whiskey company! They don’t make vodka, gin or any other spirit. There only focus is whiskey and they do it right. Al was born in Alberta, Canada and did time in the Oil and Gas finance sector before he had enough of sitting behind a desk and decided to make his passion(a collection of over 600 hundred bottles, all open) into an obsession! He met and became good friends with master distiller Bill Friel from Barton distillery which Al affectionately call his Yoda. According to Al, Bill helped add soul to it! They are truly a seed to glass distillery sourcing all the grains from Colorado so you are getting a true taste of what a Colorado whiskey is. From there Four Grain Bourbon to the San Luis Valley Rye and their Centennial Wheat that is one of the very few out there coming in at 100% unadulterated wheat for a very unique flavor. Watch the review and see what we thought.

Kris on the nose of the four grain was very different, light and little sour on the back end while Erik got more sweet corn, dark fruit and plum. On the palate Kris thought is full of flavor with a light finish of this 40 barrel blend. Erik on the other hand thought it was like skinny girl vodka. Thick on the tongue and light on the finish. The bonded Four Grain, that is confidence in a glass. If you like the heat then, pull this bad boy from the shelf and add a single ice cube to open it up a little. Moving onto the Centennial Wheat, that really stumped us since we’ve never had a 100% wheat whiskey. Kris gets vanilla right off the nose while Erik got a spice, maybe nutmeg to it. The palate is light, as Chad says is nice summer sipper. How many of you out there have had a 100% wheat whiskey.

Maple Old Fashioned with Piggyback and Bacon!

Who makes it? Whistlepig Distillery

Mash Bill 18yr: 9% rye, 15% malted rye, and 6% malted barley

Where it’s from: Shoreham, Vermont

When we did our Whistlepig review with Chris Helmly he brought up his twist on a Old Fashioned and instead of the sugar cube he used Whistlepig Maple Syrup. I had to take it one step further and candy some thick cut bacon with brown sugar and the same Whistlepig Maple Syrup. Plus, I added a couple dashes of bitters and a flaming orange peel, first time and I lit it on FIRE!

How can you get better than whiskey soaked candied bacon. Stir, drink and then eat up that bacon then toss more in!

Whistlepig 15yr, 18yr and Boss Hog 8 #0032

Who makes it? Whistlepig Distillery

Mash Bill 18yr: 9% rye, 15% malted rye, and 6% malted barley

Mash Bill 15yr and Boss Hog: 100% rye

Where it’s from: Shoreham, Vermont

How did it start, well Dave Pickerell secured a stockpile of 10 year Canadian rye whiskey and couldn’t convince any of the Tennessee or Kentucky boys to team up and make some rye whiskey. Those boys said “that’s nice but we’re makin bourbon”. Dave had a penchant for rye and then met the guys from Whistlepig and with Raj Bhatka at the helm decided to make that rye whiskey into liquid gold! From there the brand grew and Dave started the Boss Hog program which comes out once a year with 5 promises. 1. Has to be a single barrel 2. Has to be barrel proof 3. Has to be unique 4. has to be complex and 5. is has to be STUPENDOUS! Not easy promises to live up to but some how every year they do it. Plus, they the most awarded rye whiskey in the world. Since then Dave Pickerell (the Johnny Appleseed of Whiskey) has passed, an icon in the industry, and now Jeff Kozak is the CEO and the brand is still growing like crazy!

Our good friend Chris Helmly dropped by and offered us a Primo Tasting. That involved the 15 year 100% rye aged in Vermont Oak barrels which gives a distinct flavor since Vermont oak has different characteristics than white oak in the middle of the US. Also the 18 year double malt, with rye, malted rye and malted barley for that velvety mouth feel. Just when we were about the finish up, Chris slaps down the Boss! Boss Hog VIII Lapulapu Pacific! The packaging alone is amazing, from the box charting Magellan’s course and his ultimate demise by the Philipinno Chief Lapulapu. Boss Hog VII was finished in South American teak wood and won best rye in the WORLD! Off the heels of that and keeping with the 5 promises to make this edition stand out it is an 18 year old rye and finished in Philippino rum casks. We have to talk about the topper too. Each Boss Hog from 2 through 8 has a unique topper with a different pig on each, this one the essence of Lapulapu in pig form complete with famed machete!

Onto the nose, palate and finish. The 15 year was sweet on the nose, light and then the palate came through with powdered brown sugar and a little spice on the back end. The 18 year was just plain good! Heavier spice on the nose and a thick molasses on the palate with a velvety smoothness for a 92 proof. Then the Boss! This was hard to pin down, but it was complex and oh so good. A very unique experience for sure.

How much: for the 15 year you are looking in the over 200 range and the 18 year starting out at 399 and the Boss Hog retails at 499.00 if you can find it!

Huge thanks to our good friend Chris Helmly for an amazing review with the big boys of Whistlepig. I’ll bet that not many get the top 3 to review at the same time. As always when we hang out with Chris for a review it’s either freezing cold or extremely hot. This time it was 37 with a nice wind of the river making the whiskey that much more enjoyable keeping our inards warm but of course we had blast!

Whiskey Acres Straight Rye BIB #0031

Who makes it? Whiskey Acres in Dekalb Illinois

Mash Bill Bottle in Bond: 75% rye, 25% yellow dent corn

To be bottled in bond it has be distilled in one distilling season by a single distiller then aged in a Federally bonded warehouse at bottled at 100 proof.

On the nose Erik came away with red wine while Kris and the “D” got more of the baking spices. On the palate Kris said it came in hot and then smoothed out while Erik didn’t get much of burn. Then on the finish Kris and the “D” re-invoked the baking spices with a hint of cinnamon. Erik thought it was heavy with corn on the backend and a little spice

Kris, Erik and the “D” gave it the Whiskey and a Hammock stamp of approval.

How much: This will run you about 60 bucks online if you’re not from Illinois and we’re not so we picked ours up from Seelbach’s , www.seelbachs.com