You’ll find Grand Teton Distillery in Teton Valley Idaho, where it’s been cranking out vodka (from potatoes, of course) and whiskey since 2011. All of its products are homegrown, not sourced, from regional ingredients. Its latest limited offering is this, an 8 year old bourbon aged since 2014 at an elevation of 6000 feet, making it the longest-aged whiskey to be produced in Idaho to date. (And surely the highest, too!) The second whiskey in Grand Teton’s Private Stock series, only 16 barrels of this rarity (made from a mash of 75% corn, 21% rye, and 4% barley) were produced.
“We’ve tasted this whiskey year after year to see how it would age in our climate,” says John Boczar, head distiller at Grand Teton Distillery. “It has been extremely difficult not to release it until now, especially because we lose over a quarter of each barrel to angel’s share, but it only kept getting better with time. We’re thrilled to finally be able to share it with our fans, right ahead of the holidays.”
The results are decidedly impressive and can go toe to toe with any 8 year old bourbon out there.
The nose is woody and woodsy, offering an evergreen quality, but none of this is overwhelming, featuring moderate notes of mint plus cloves and pepper. Slightly plum-laced on the nose, given time to breathe. The palate has many of the same elements, with a distinctly nutty element and a slick baking spice quality. A bit oily on the palate, with notes of gunpowder melding with gingerbread, the finish offers a pungent, lingering heat, again evoking mint as it fades out, cleansing the palate.
It’s a solid bourbon, heavy on the nuts but complicated with plenty more to chew on. At $80 perhaps a bit spendy, but how the hell else are you going to show off your Idaho street cred to your friends?
A- / $80 / tetondistillery.com