Review: Lost Lantern Single Distillery Series Spring 2023 Releases

Review: Lost Lantern Single Distillery Series Spring 2023 Releases

Lost Lantern Single Distillery Series

Lost Lantern has quickly built a reputation as an American independent bottler not afraid to take big swings and put bold flavors front and center. The Vermont-based founding team has thus far released an American vatted malt and dozens of single cask expressions.

One of their new and ongoing initiatives is the single distillery series. Each expression in this line is a blend of multiple casks from a single distillery; they are all also limited release expressions. The first three bottlings in the series include one expression from Balcones (Texas) and two from Whiskey Del Bac (Arizona).

Let’s dive in and see how the first trio stacks up.

Lost Lantern “Gentle Giant” Balcones Distilling Texas Single Malt – This release of 1,100 bottles features a blend of whiskey aged in European oak, ex-bourbon, and ex-apple brandy casks. There’s lots of fruit and sour candy on the nose, green apple and green pear chief among the notes. On the tongue, the whiskey starts subtly and then quickly builds with continued fruit notes — including some tart cherry — and oak influence. There’s a bit of baking spice here, and also a note on the finish reminiscent of pumpernickel bread. Overall, the finish veers just a touch sour, but not lip-puckeringly so. That actually pairs well with lingering fruit notes for this complex pour that adds a new layer with successive sips. A fruity, sweet, and refreshing take on Texas whiskey. 115.2 proof. A- / $100

Lost Lantern “Desert Dessert” Whiskey Del Bac Arizona Single Malt – There were 450 bottles in this release, which features Whiskey Del Bac’s mesquite-smoked mashbill; the whiskey was partly finished in Sauternes and Pineau des Charentes casks. The nose brings nearly equal parts smoke and Sauternes, with a small note of pine at the end. On the palate, those two notes play in remarkable balance, bringing out dark stewed fruits like in a bubbling cobbler or compote. That perfect harmony doesn’t last for too long, however. The finish leans a touch more toward the smoky end of the spectrum, with the mesquite-smoke winning out over barrel and finishing influences. I found myself wishing just a little more of the wine casks made it through to the final part of each sip. Though it’s named “Desert Dessert,” when pairing this whiskey, I’d highly suggest fare on the savory end. 113.8 proof. B+ / $100

Lost Lantern “Mega Mesquite” Whiskey Del Bac Arizona Single Malt – This is a blend of three “heavily mesquite-smoked” casks, yielding just 180 bottles. There’s campfire on the nose, and also a bit of pine tar and mothball. Don’t let that last note deter you too much; the aroma is dense, complex, and worth spending time with. Generally, for an expression called “Mega Mesquite,” I don’t smell quite as much smoke as I would have expected. That’s immediately corrected on the first sip, with thick wood smoke, BBQ sauce, burnt sugar, and dark oak coming through in quick succession. (There’s actually something Booker’s-esque about this!) And then something a touch nutty rushes in on the finish, but it doesn’t completely drown out the lingering mesquite flavors. Surprisingly, this drinks a touch below its proof. It’s an interesting whiskey I’d be eager to revisit, and I found new notes almost every time I picked up the glass. 120 proof. B+ / $100

Lost Lantern "Desert Dessert" Whiskey Del Bac Arizona Single Malt




David Tao is a writer for Drinkhacker.

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