CRAFT by Under My Host® Issue No. 18 Made in America: Part III - Page 100

W W W. C R A F T BY U M H . C O M Single Malt Whiskey • $24 Kings County Distillery John’s Alabama Single Malt Whiskey • $47 John Emerald Distilling Company This young-ish juice is produced by good old boys with roots back to Scotland, so it’s not surprising to find nods to both the South and to the British Isles by the ingredients and processes used to create this single malt. It features in-house malted Irish barley—a portion of which is smoked with peach and pecan wood and charred Missouri Ozark white oak that contains oak chips soaked in Cynthiana wine from Whippoorwill Winery in Nota- sulga, Alabama. Vanilla, floral honey, and pecans misted in a soft veil of smoke can be found within. If the wheel that Kings Country was looking to reinvent was the produc- tion of a wholly authentic tasting single malt Scotch made on Yankee soil, then mission accomplished, fellas! Crafted with barley and peat sourced from the UK and aged in Kings County’s own bourbon barrels anywhere from one and a half to four years, this single malt has a well-balanced qual- ity—not too peaty, not too fruity, not too sweet—that makes it so enjoy- able with my weekly fatty rib-eyes. Del Bac Classic • $55 Hamilton Distillers Classic Although Dave Pickerell lists Hamilton Distillers’ mesquite smoked Dorado as a fine example of American single malt in “The Rise of American Single Malt Whiskey,” and it is, I decided to include their Del Bac Classic in my roundup instead. This six-month old whiskey is made with in-house malted Colorado and Arizona barley that has not been smoked. A whiskey modeled after Speyside Scotch with- out even a hint of smoke? I know, it’s hard to imagine, but you should try it because Classic’s notes of honey, molasses, clove, and pepper, unfettered by the smolder of wood or peat, is a completely lovely break from the norm. Baller Single Malt Whiskey • $70 St. George Spirits Not unlike St. George Spirits’ distiller and president, Lance Winter, Baller is a wild one! After this 100-percent American barley whiskey is distilled, its aged for three to four years in spent bourbon and French oak wine casks. When aging is com- plete, it’s filtered through maple charcoal and then finished in umeshu (Japanese plum liqueur made from California-grown fruit) casks! Respectably dry, despite the plum liqueur cask finish, and aromatic and fruity because of it. You don’t have a bottle like Baller in your collec- tion, trust me. And you’re going to want this bottle in your collec- tion, trust me on that, too. Peachwood American Single Malt • $55 Copper Fox Distillery After an internship at Bowmore on Islay, Copper Fox founder Rick Wasmund returned with a mission to marry his love for Scotch and wood smoke. Copper Fox malts their own Virginia barley before smoking a share (12-18 ppm) with peach wood. If that wasn’t enough, toasted oak and peach wood chips are added through- out the aging process to the spent bourbon barrels that house this single malt. The result is a decidedly fruitwood-smoked whiskey with a hint of peach, warm spice, and a fruity-caramel finish. Single Malt Whiskey • $100 Hillrock Estate Distillery ALL (WELL, SOME OF) THE SINGLE LADDIES The barley used to make this whiskey never leaves the estate—it’s grown, malted, smoked (with peat imported from Speyside), milled, mashed, fermented, distilled, aged, and bottled at Hillrock. After aging in Hillrock’s own bourbon barrels, this single malt spends several weeks in PX casks. The grand dame of the bunch, this elegant whiskey was the first American single malts I ever experienced and still one of the finest. It’s caramel, spice, and everything nice. BY CORI PAIGE © Hundred-to-One LLC 2018. All rights reserved.