Clyde May’s is becoming well known for its “Alabama style whiskey” — though it is currently sourced and bottled in Florida — which adds dried apples to the barrel to impart some sweetness to the aging spirit. The latest release from the company is a cask strength release, bottled at 9 years old.
This is the highest-proof expression of Clyde May’s that we’ve seen to date. Let’s see how that pans out.
A bruiser at full strength, the whiskey is pungent and overloaded with alcohol notes. While hard to access at full power, the whiskey shows aromas of intense baking spice (with lots of cloves), plus almonds, some coconut, and a hint of cocoa powder. The nose benefits from ample exposure to air, but the palate remains tight: A scorcher with indistinct sweetness save for an apple-heavy finish.
Tempered with water, the whiskey finds a massive improvement, not just in approachability but in overall flavor, too. Here the apple notes inherent in the spirit come to the fore, and the nose exhibits notes of well-aged wood, sultry vanilla, and substantial baking spices. The palate’s on the sweet side, those apples meandering toward more of a ripe peach flavor, filtered through cream soda and vanilla syrup. On the finish, oak and milk chocolate flavors mingle and dominate, closing out the experience on a more satisfying and reasonably balanced note.
B+ / $100 / clydemays.com