Deja vu? You bet, but while this new release of Tincup American Whiskey comes in the same bottle as the original, you’ll know the difference by the new, black cup.
To refresh your memory, Tincup is made in Colorado by Jess Graber, best known as the founder of Stranahan’s single malt. Tincup is a much different product: MGP-sourced bourbon that has a little bit of Stranahan’s added to the mix. This is why Tincup is labeled as “American Whiskey” and not a bourbon. (Update: Tincup says that single malt is no longer added to the 10 year old bottling.)
The original Tincup carries no age statement, but this new expression packs a 10 year punch. It also does not include the addition of any Stranahan’s, which means that, even though it doesn’t say “bourbon” on the label, that’s basically what it is. Otherwise, the details are about what you’d expect, but I’ll let Graber and Co. do some of the talking now:
Created by Jess Graber, an authentic mountain man with 40 years of whiskey-making experience, TINCUP 10 is a blend of rye, corn, and malted barley. Distilled in TINCUP’s classic style and aged for 10 years in American oak barrels with a #3 char, it is then cut with Rocky Mountain water for a smooth flavor profile.
“Distillers are always trying to design the best whiskey they can by refining their processes and developing new innovations,” said Jess Graber. “For TINCUP 10, we threw away the lab coats and put on our leather jackets. This whiskey is made only using time in the barrel and traditional whiskey-making methods.”
The TINCUP 10 bottle design mirrors its predecessor and features a rugged hexagonal bottle embossed with mountain references and a new black and red label. The signature TINCUP metal cap is also found atop the bottle, inspired by the tin cups used by miners in the old Rocky Mountain mining town Tin Cup, Colorado, from which the miners drank their whiskey after a hard day’s work.
Sounds good, so let’s give it a spin.
The nose of Tincup 10 is rich and soulful, sweet but not saccharine, round around the edges but not at all flabby. Notes of almonds, nutmeg, green bananas, and baked apples all come in and out of focus atop a core of caramel and gentle wood notes.
The palate is equally rich and lush, almost chewy in the mouth, with a ton of nutty caramel, vanilla, and a lick of spice all coming to bear. This develops on the palate and in the glass, revealing notes of milk chocolate, cinnamon, and some late-game lemon peel. Now, none of those flavors or aromas are particularly surprising to find in your whiskey, but Tincup 10 manages to pull them all together with such a beautiful balance that to complain about any of it would be borderline heresy.
All told, it’s a great bourbon — er, American whiskey — and at a good price, too.