Wisconsin’s Tattersall Distilling continues to push into the whiskey world, with the launch of its first American single malt. Inspired by (and named after) the first interstate park in the nation — crossing between Minnesota and Wisconsin — it’s a four year old whiskey that ages in virgin oak barrels.
Let’s crack it open.
American single malt has been evolving stylistically over the last few years, but Interstate remains a clear example of how it all got started. The nose is burly with aggressive, raw wood notes, a straight shot to the lumberyard with mild diversions running to roasted mushroom and some fragrant evergreen notes. Increasingly malty over time, the cereal core takes hold slowly, giving the whiskey a dusky, bready quality.
On the palate, few surprises arrive. This presents itself as a youthful, albeit approachable, American malt, again heavy with wood and toasted cereal notes, this time in relatively equal proportion. Mossy and earthy as it develops, the whiskey has a raw and sometimes doughy quality, showing some heat before a more straightforward, grassy character emerges. Toasted notes, wood and grain alike, keep things rumbling and smoldering into a lengthy finish that offers a mix of tobacco and ground pepper.
If all that sounds rather savory, it definitely is: There’s not a like of fruit or honeyed sweetness here, and the whiskey certainly could use it. What you get instead is a deep dive into the power of American barley slumbering away in a fresh oak barrel for years, and while the yin-yang of these two ingredients is powerful, it’s unfortunately two-dimensional.
B / $45 / tattersalldistilling.com