To celebrate 10 years in business, Chattanooga earlier this year dropped its Founder’s 10th Anniversary Blend, which is composed of “three whiskey recipes” distilled in both Chattanooga, Tennessee and in Indiana by MGP.
I don’t have a perfect understanding of how this blend comes together, but here’s what the company says: It’s made with “two Tennessee High Malt mash bills, known as ‘smoked’ and ‘SB091.’ After 3-4 years of primary and secondary aging, casks of the original “1816” recipe (the third mash bill featured in the blend – known as “1816RES”) are transferred into Chattanooga Whiskey’s 650 gallon charred oak 1816 Barrel. Here, casks of different ages marry together until ready for inclusion into the Anniversary Blend. More information about each mash bill is available at chattwhiskey.com/mashbills.”
Ultimately this all shakes out as a blended bourbon. Let’s give it a whirl.
There’s lots of malt evident in this whiskey, just as Chattanooga promised: Nutty with walnut and sesame notes on the nose, a pop of grassy rye becomes more obvious as things start to coalesce in the glass. Slight touches of lemon emerge as it opens up, but otherwise the focus remains largely on the malt. The palate follows in lockstep. Nothing to blow the doors off, but nothing offensive, either. The malt is thick and rich, ensuring any youthfulness or off notes are swept under the rug, leaving in their place a chewy, slightly earthy experience that feels creamy, laced with browned apples, vanilla, and milk chocolate. The finish finds room for a pinch of pepper, but it’s mild and works well with the sweeter, nuttier elements in the palate. Soothing is the ultimate adjective I’d use for this whiskey, and that’s neither a pejorative nor a compliment. Either way, happy anniversary.
B+ / $50 / chattanoogawhiskey.com