Bristow, Virginia-based MurLarkey Spirits markets a wide range of spirits, including vodka, gin, and straight whiskeys, but it’s drawn the most attention for its line of flavored whiskeys, which revolve around authentic, natural ingredients. Recently, MurLarkey Product Master George ‘Papi’ Zwetkow and Co-Founder & President Mike Larkin rolled out two new additions to the flavored whiskey line, bringing the total to 8, alternately flavored with honey and tea. It’s unclear what the base whiskey is on these, but MurLarkey’s flagship spirit is made with a bourbon-like mash and is finished in wine casks.
Let’s give them both a try.
Both are bottled at a solid 80 proof.
MurLarkey Honey Whiskey – Made using “all-natural, hand-harvested, local honey from Papi’s personal hive.” This whiskey offers a nose that features a particularly earthy type of honey, lightly leathery with a hint of incense behind it, with just an echo of classic beeswax aroma on the back end. On first sip, that incense character becomes incredibly powerful on the tongue, offering a strongly floral character that speaks of rose peals, orange blossoms, and lilac. This battalion of flowers washes out the sweeter honey elements in short order, ultimately whisking me away to grandma’s bathroom instead of the barroom. B- / $NA
MurLarkey Three Tea Whiskey – Made with a blend of Darjeeling, Black, and Earl Grey teas. The tea on the nose is understated — more black tea than the typical sugary sweet tea you find in tea-flavored vodkas. Lightly earthy and pungent, the forest-floor notes of dried leaves are hard to miss. The palate continues the theme: It’s very dry, not sweet at all, with the focus entirely on the tea. It’s perhaps a bit too far down this rabbit hole, making for a body that is quite astringent and bitter, with almost no whiskey character to it at all. I was dying for a squeeze of (real) honey into my glass by the third sip, which was all dry leaves, wet rocks, and tree bark clinging to the tongue. B- / $NA