Best American Single Malt Whiskey
 

American Single Malt Whiskey

 

The Fifty Best World Whisky Tasting

 

The Tasting:
The Fifty Best held a “blind” tasting of 11 American malt whiskies with thirteen members of our spirits judging panel. The order of service was established beforehand by lottery. Strict tasting rules were applied. Each of the whiskies were poured into fresh glasses from newly-opened sealed bottles and served at room temperature. Only ice water, neutral unflavored crackers and chips were available to cleanse the palate.

The judges wrote down their impressions on score sheets. Scoring was done on a 5-point system, with 5 as the highest. Double Gold, Gold and Silver medals are awarded according to a set range of final point scores received from the judges. There were no Bronze medals awarded for this tasting.

The tasting notes that follow are summaries of the judges’ opinions, with all replicated commentary eliminated. The states of origin, distilleries and alcohol proofs are identified for each brand. Clicking on the brands' names will link to their websites.



DOUBLE-GOLD MEDAL WINNERS

Boulder Spirits American Single Malt Whiskey
(Vapor Distillery, CO)  100° proof
Distilled from 100% malted barley & Arapahoe glacier melt water. Aged 4 yrs. in new #3 char American oak barrels. Bottle-in-Bond.

Nose: Caramel, butterscotch, toffee, dark chocolate, vanilla, honey, candied ginger, raisin, fig, plum, ripe banana, pear, Asian pear, almond cake, almond, nutty, tannin, oak, woody, sherry.
Palate: Dark brown toffee, treacle, caramel, deep rich chocolate notes, milk chocolate, vanilla, honey, almond cake, ripe banana, tropical fruit, cherry, pear, melon, stone fruit, hint of anise, creamed corn, spice, pepper, iodine, salt, tannins, smoky, woody, oak, toasted oak, pepper.
Finish: Vanilla, almond cake, raisins, sweet espresso, lingering orange spice, mint, pepper, wood, oaky, balanced, clean, creamy, soft, smooth, savory, flavorful.


Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal



Boulder Spirits American Single Malt Whiskey Aged 4 yrs



Brickway Distillery American Single Malt Whisky
(NE)   90° proof
Aged in new charred American oak barrels & finished in Spanish Oloroso sherry casks.

Aroma: Caramel, toffee, molasses, maple syrup, honeycomb, dried fruits, raisin, dark cherry, sweet grains, cola nut, nutty, leather, earth, old bourbon barrel, toasted oak, oak.
Palate: Caramel, butterscotch, brown sugar, milk chocolate, vanilla, nougat, honey, orange marmalade, ginger, malt, dark roasted nuts, herbal, eucalyptus, nutmeg, clove, spicy, woodsy, toasty wood, charred oak, oak, apple wood, Madeira, well balanced, rich, strong character.
Finish: Caramel, brown sugar, vanilla, orange blossom honey, black cherry, ginger, toast, malt, light pepper, woody, well balanced, great long finish, creamy, soft, smooth, soothing, savory.

Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal



Brickway Distillery American Single Malt Whisky



GOLD MEDAL WINNERS

Old Line American Single Malt Whiskey
(Aged & Bottled by Old Line Spirits, MD / Distilled in OH)
100° proof
Aged 2 yrs. in white oak + 2 yrs. in sherry casks.

Aroma: Butterscotch, toffee, brown sugar, mocha, vanilla, baked apple, dried fruits, raisin, dried plum, orange bitters, honey malt, beer malt, coffee, clove, nutmeg, perfume, salty air, resin, dark cherry bark, woody, oaky, smoky, dark rum.
Palate: Caramel, root beer, plum, currants, sweet citrus, ginger, artichoke, herbal, cinnamon, allspice, clove, nutmeg, spicy, peppery, fresh green peppercorn, black pepper, malty, leather, hint of brine, smoky, woody, cedar, oak, cognac, creamy.
Finish: Praline, brown sugar, root beer, cinnamon, spice, peppery, black pepper, salt, leather, woody, oak, hint of smoke, great heat, complex, round, fresh, rich, velvety, soft, smooth.

Gold Medal
Gold medal




Old Line American Single Malt Whiskey



Old Line American Single Malt Whiskey
Cask Strength

(Aged & Bottled by Old Line Spirits, MD / Distilled in OH)
Aged min. 2 yrs. 121.8° proof

Aroma: Rich caramel, buttery, toffee, toasted brown sugar, burnt sugar, chocolate, candy corn, vanilla bean, honey, raisin, dried stone fruit, sweet cherry, MacIntosh apple, almond, walnut, cigar box, woody, oak, toasted cedar.
Palate: Caramel, burnt caramel, treacle, burnt sugar, sweet vanilla, cream soda, honey, ginger snap cookie, cherry, sweet red cherry, mixed berries, fig, orange spice, orange peel, rye, toast, hazelnut, clove, spicy, peppery, iodine, oak, toasted oak, sherry barrel.
Finish: Lingering cocoa, cherry tea, orange marmalade, cinnamon, spicy, pepper, woodsy, smoky, woody, sweet oak, oaky, balanced, creamy, smooth, rich, savory, fantastic.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



Old Line American Single Malt Whiskey Cask Strength



Cloudsplitter Straight Single Malt Whiskey
(High Peaks Distilling, NY)   92° proof
Distilled from local barley. Aged 3 yrs. in European sherry oak barrels.

Aroma: Caramel, butterscotch, toffee, cocoa, sugar cane, cotton candy, sweet vanilla, honey, cooked honey, honeysuckle, prunes, sweet almond, nutmeg, allspice, spicy, pepper, saline, earthy, dried leaves, cedar, oak.
Palate: Caramel, chocolate, milk chocolate, brown sugar, vanilla, sweet vanilla, honey, grapes, orange spice, citrus, bran, toast, walnut, nutty, clove, white pepper, peppery, spicy, iodine, cigar box, cedar, oak, light smoke, soft char, deep cognac notes, soft, creamy mouthfeel.
Finish: Lingering chocolate, cookie, wafer, orange spice, ginger, peppermint, spicy, touch of pepper, peppery, earthy, woody, nice char, soft, clean, flavorful.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



Cloudsplitter Straight Single Malt Whiskey



SILVER MEDAL WINNERS

Boulder Spirits American Single Malt Whiskey Peated Malt
(Vapor Distillery, CO)   92° proof
Distilled from 100% malted barley & Arapahoe glacier melt water. #3 char. Aged 2 yrs.

Aroma: Caramel, toffee, mocha, brown sugar, maple, buttery, vanilla, honey, orange peel, ginger, floral, roasted walnuts, almond, spicy, iodine, maritime, peat, smoky, charred oak, aged wood, cedar, oaky.
Palate: Caramel, dark chocolate, creamy, vanilla, honey, banana, orange, black cherry, herbal, geranium, eucalyptus, spicy, malty, malt grain, intense smoky peat, smoky, woody, oak, pine.
Finish: Caramel, cocoa, dark chocolate, root beer, orange peel, lingering orange zest, brandy, lingering smoke, wood, cedar, soft.

Silver Medal
Silver medal



Boulder Spirits American Single Malt Whiskey Peated Malt



Brickway Distillery American Single Malt Whisky
(NE)   86° proof
Aged min. 1 yr.

Aroma: Caramel, dark chocolate, vanilla, honey, dried cherry, banana, orange peel, orange zest, lemon, ginger, rye, dough, herbal, tree sap, clove, spice, toast, woody, sweet oak.
Palate: Caramel, dark chocolate, molasses, brown sugar, creamy, vanilla, dark deep cooked honey, dried fruits, melon, orange, citrus, chamomile, dried floral, mint, wild mint, millet, malt, almond, nutty, daikon leaf, vegetal, thyme, spicy, cold coffee, dark wood, oak, balanced, savory, luscious.
Finish: Cocoa, vanilla, grain, lemony, orange, herbal, mint, nutty, dried leaves, spicy, lingering spice, touch of smoke, wood, balanced, savory, creamy, soft.

Silver Medal
Silver medal



Brickway Distillery American Single Malt Whisky



Kettle Creek Single Barrel Whiskey
(Swamp Fox Distilling Co., GA)   118.4° proof
Aged 1 yr. min. Cask strength Master Distiller’s Select.

Aroma: Butterscotch, vanilla, raisins, prune, fig, orange peel, licorice, spice, peppery, musty, earthy, peaty, wet stone, salty, smoked oyster, smoky, hint of BBQ, burnt nuts, burnt papyrus, charcoal. fire, cigar box, cedar wood, oak, pine.
Palate: Caramel, molasses, dark sugar, baked fruit, sour mash, hemp, baking spices, jalapeño, black pepper, peppery, salty, mineral, resin, earth, mesquite, charcoal, charred coal, char, smoke, smoky, oak, cedar, strong, rich.
Finish: Vanilla, honey, lime, subtle citrus, lingering black pepper, spice, spicy, jalapeño, briny, wet stones, smoke, ash, light peat, heavy char, charred oak.

Silver Medal
Silver medal



Kettle Creek Single Barrel Whiskey



Colkegan Single Malt Whiskey
(Santa Fe Spirits, NM)   92° proof
Distilled from 100% mesquite-kilned malted barley & Sangre de Cristo mountain water. Aged in once-used American white oak bourbon barrels.

Aroma: Butter toffee, butterscotch, burnt brown sugar, cocoa, dark chocolate, light vanilla, pineapple, orange, apple, ginger, aniseed, fresh cut grass, wheat, malty, coffee, nutmeg, peppery, briny, sweet mesquite, hint of smoke, woody, rum-like.
Palate: Toffee, caramel, cream, dark chocolate, sweet grains, wheat, sweet light toast, rye, barley, malt, coffee, seed, soft herbals, menthol, spice, black pepper, salty, briny, peaty, smoky, charred wood, woody, cedar, creamy, savory.
Finish: Caramel, treacle, lingering orange, herbal, floral, grain, spice, spicy, peppery, cedar, light wood, smoked wood, barrel aged, rich.

Silver Medal
Silver medal



Colkegan Single Malt Whiskey



Missouri Ridge Distillery American Single Malt Whiskey
(MO)   90° proof

Aroma: Honey, orange marmalade, ginger, ripe tropical fruit, apple, intense almond, cinnamon, black tea, hay, cork, fresh wood, birch wood.
Palate: Caramel, dark chocolate, cocoa, creamy, vanilla, honey, Graham crackers, ripe fruit, apple, vegetal, almond, cedar toasted almonds, walnuts, nutty, malty, baking spice, red pepper, black pepper, coffee, old leather, iodine, maritime, musty, earthy, woody, oak, cedar, savory.
Finish: Cocoa, dark fruit, cinnamon cookie, white pepper, spicy, touch of smoke, woody, cedar, brazen, nice, smooth.

Silver Medal
Silver medal



Missouri Ridge Distillery American Single Malt Whiskey

 

 

 

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