I'm back! After a long time away from the blog, it's time to get right back on track. I've decided to kick things into action with my thoughts on Van Brunt's Stillhouse American Whiskey.
It's a young and feisty spirit which carries a very unusual character. It's sold in 375ml bottles and I took a punt on this particular bottle while on holiday in New York as you just can't get it over here and I was intrigued. So, on with the show. And don't worry, there are dozens more whisky reviews on the way. Your patience will be rewarded!
Nose: This is very young with notes of iced tea and stone fruits such as peaches and sour plums. A distinct white grappa scent is also apparent, along with nail polish remover, warm grass, a slight caramel, fruit syrup and cranberries.
The addition of a couple of drops of water brings sawdust into the mix and the peach stone note intensifies. There's also chopped coriander buried in there too. Interesting.
Palate: The youth of the spirit is unmistakable. That grappa note from the nose comes straight to the fore but there's also a slight red fruitiness which softens the spirit. Water drops a huge plank of wood into the glass along with a slight musty grape note.
Finish: Dry white grapes, stewed tea and incredibly dry. Schezuan peppercorns and grass. It tastes like sucking on a plum or cherry stone. Water doesn't really add anything to the finish.
Verdict: This is young, rough stuff and really not that enjoyable neat at room temperature. I don't like chilled whisky (or whiskey), but I dropped a whisky stone straight from the freezer to see if it made any difference. It did. The spirit became much more rounded and smoother on the nose, while flavour followed suit and performed much better.