American Single Malt Whiskey is a growing category.
I thought a back to back with one of the new breed of American Distillery’s releases against a more established Bourbon producer was in order.
Rúa American Single Malt, 46%
Distilled at the Great Wagon Road Distillery in North Carolina & claiming Irish heritage with the Rúa name is this non chill filtered , natural colour organic, non GMO barley offering.
A lovely richness to the nose. Mild & mellow on the palate. Slowly builds developing into a very attractive & enjoyable array of flavours which dance merrily away.
A very well presented single malt.
Four Roses Small Batch Bourbon, 45%
Hailing from the long established & popular Four Roses Distillery in Kentucky is this Small Batch release. A blend of different bourbon mash-bills with varying degrees of rye content.
I immediately get a warm dry nose – indicative of the high rye content Four Roses is known for. A satisfying mouthfeel where the dry spiciness of the rye interplays with the smooth sweet corn influence. Leaves with that signature prickly spice.
Nice & easy.
I enjoyed both of these!
Trying to pick a winner is a bit tricky.
Do I go for the subtle yet engaging flavours of the newcomer single malt?
Or stick with the bolder rye spices of the established player?
Four Roses are relatively easy to encounter – but I do think Rúa is worth seeking out.
It’s constantly seeking new experiences that engage me on this spirit journey – so Rúa it is!
Authors from differing disciplines were invited to submit essays on varying aspects relating to whiskey.
The results are highly entertaining, thought provoking and at times – challenging.
Can you apply Hegelian thought, Aristotle virtue, the philosophy of Dualism, Buddhism or plain old group think & social cohesion to tasting a whiskey?
It’s all in the mix of this publication.
Why do you like one whiskey over another?
Is taste malleable?
Does knowing the master blender, visiting the distillery, being part of the clan, liking the manufacturing techniques, agreeing with the sustainable policies, bottle design, price point all alter our experience of drinking whiskey?
I certainly have my views of the above – and they’ve been further enlightened by the discourse within the pages of this book.
Whiskey & Philosophy is a bold publication full of complexity & rich depth. The diverse elements combine elegantly giving creative excitement to this blended entity.
Pale straw colour, gorgeous expressive nose of gentle peat coming through, the palate displays more soft Irish notes before the embers of a peat fire warms up the finish.
An entertaining soft peater.
Both of these whiskeys had great potential.
The pugilist inspired John L Sullivan pre-dated the global success of Proper Twelve & there’s been subsequent Irish/American Whiskey/Bourbon collaborations on the market since.
Cross nation blends have been a staple earning for both Scotch & Irish distilleries over the years – mainly for the lower end of the market. Perhaps this high profile open & transparent offering was just too much for the SWA?
Whatever the reasons – controversy is not a tasting note I encountered in either of these blends.