When we last checked in on Single Cask Nation, the indie bottlers had just released an impressive American single malt from Virginia Distillery Co. From the looks of it, they’ve gone much further afield for their recent releases, sourcing a wide variety of unique expressions from whisky-makers all over the world. As a reminder, these gray-labeled bottles (unlike their retail line) are available exclusively to Nation members via their website, but to join that club you just need to sign up for free online (and pay a modest shipping fee). We received wee drams of a handful of expressions, all of which are still available on the site as of this writing. Thoughts follow.
Single Cask Nation Milk & Honey 3 Years Old – A single malt from Israel’s Milk & Honey Distillery aged in a first-fill bourbon barrel. This one is mild and fruity on the nose with bright notes of tinned pears and lemon custard. As it opens, candied ginger, pink peppercorn, and fragrant oak arrive. The palate is mildly peppered with bright, sweet notes of ripe Bosc pear, green apple, and ginger beer. The finish is warming with fresh oak and an easy, malty sweetness. 117.8 proof. B+ / $95
Single Cask Nation Paul John 5 Years Old – A peated single malt from Indian producer Paul John aged for five years in a first-fill bourbon barrel. Initial notes of mildly medicinal smoke and a grain-driven sweetness give way in the glass to aromas of dark raisin, oatmeal cookies, and fireplace ash. The palate is rich and lightly peppered with sweet barbecue sauce, orange marmalade, and barrel char. The mid-length finish lingers with notes of Little Debbie’s oatmeal cream pies and a touch of campfire smoke. 113.4 proof. A- / $145
Single Cask Nation Mackmyra 13 Years Old – A well-aged single malt from Sweden’s Mackmyra distillery aged in virgin charred oak and sporting a surprisingly low abv, likely due to underground maturation. It’s also the first we’ve encountered from Mackmyra in over a decade. This cask evidences an impressive maturity with rich, syrupy notes of orange blossom honey and canned peaches. The palate reveals more stone fruit, expressive oak spice, and baking chocolate before a generous finish of black pepper and fruited syrup. 94.8 proof. A- / $140
Single Cask Nation Copperworks 3 Years Old – A blend of two single malt casks distilled by Seattle’s Copperworks Distillery from Washington- and Oregon-grown Genie barley and aged in new charred oak. The aroma is expressive and candied with notes of jackfruit, gum drops, and trail mix. The palate is bright, oily, and just as sweet as the nose with top notes of Juicy Fruit gum, Red Hots, and banana Runts. There’s enough doughy malt underneath to rein in some of the sweetness, but this one stays pretty saccharine all the way through the lingering candy apple finish. 112.2 proof. B+ / $95
Single Cask Nation Good Ride Charity – This bottle was launched in late 2022 in collaboration with Good Ride, a charitable organization that supports military veterans. It’s a straightforward, five-year-old bourbon sourced from MGP that’s quite light-bodied but still full-flavored with sweet cornbread and vanilla fudge on the nose and a warm, buttery palate that showcases classic notes of butterscotch, cinnamon sugar, and a touch of orange zest. A bit pricey, but hey, it’s for a good cause. 101 proof. B+ / $200