We’ve covered the vodkas of Great Lakes Distillery — branded Rehorst — in the past. Now we get to take a crack at the company’s whiskey.
Kinnickinnic, we’re told by this whiskey’s label, is an Ojibwe word meaning “what is mixed,” and referred to a tobacco mixture the tribe would smoke. Here it applies to the blend of whiskeys put together here — straight Bourbon and a home-grown malt whiskey from Great Lakes’ Wisconsin backyard. The results are curious to the extreme.
The nose is something like Bourbon Lite, mildly sweet, with touches of oak and vanilla. On the tongue, it’s a different animal. First there is a rounded, oily rush of wood, and your mind starts expecting a young, frontier-style Bourbon. Then the malt hits, and that grain-heavy character takes over the finish. The cereal notes are strongest with this. Aside from a touch of orange, the overwhelming flavor notes comprise something you’d encounter at the breakfast table. Nothing wrong with that, but I’m thinking a more mature Bourbon and perhaps some finishing on the malt (Port or Sherry?) would have taken this up a notch.