Tamworth Distilling doesn’t just make weird stuff like venison-flavored and turkey-flavored whiskey. It also makes regular old whiskey too, including this bonded bourbon, a four year old made on site in its pot still in New Hampshire. The mashbill includes 82.4% organic yellow corn, 11% organic rye, and 6.6% malted barley. Let’s dive in.
The nose is immediately a bit off-putting, overwhelming with lumberyard notes — though with time in glass a distinct note of black tea comes into focus. Hints of mesquite and a black cherry element emerge over time, as well. On the palate, oak continues to dominate, that black tea note again coming through clearly. Cloves are more in the mix here, along with a more pressing vanilla note, some dark chocolate, and a pepper character. It’s a burly, frontier-style whiskey with power to spare, and it takes some effort to muscle past its woody, sawdust notes. There’s intrigue within — driven largely by that lightly sweetened tea element — but it is inevitably fleeting, giving one the impression of spending a night at the saloon in 1820. All told, it’s definitely a whiskey that could benefit from a more moderated wood influence, however that’s achieved.
100 proof. Reviewed: Batch #17.
B / $25 / tamworthdistilling.com