Review: Lost Lantern Summer 2023 Single Cask Releases (And More)

Review: Lost Lantern Summer 2023 Single Cask Releases (And More)

Lost Lantern Summer 2023

Though they’ve released a range of American whiskeys over the last few years — Lost Lantern’s Spring 2023 releases featured a variety of single malt and bourbon whiskeys — the independent bottler is focusing on bourbon for Summer 2023. As such, this season’s Blend Series, Single Distillery Series, and Single Cask Series all feature cask-strength expressions from a variety of producers across the United States.

Today, we’re looking at releases in their Single Cask Series, which feature bourbons from six different distilleries, plus two additional bottlings — a single distillery, multi-cask release and a multi-distillery blended bourbon. Let’s dive in.

Lost Lantern Frey Ranch Distillery Nevada Straight Bourbon 5 Years Old — Made from a four-grain mashbill of 67% corn, 12% malted barley, 11% rye, and 10% wheat, this bourbon features grain sourced exclusively from Frey Ranch’s on-site farm. The nose begins with damp campfire charcoal, which fades quickly and gives way to underlying floral and herbal notes; there’s mint, menthol, and nutmeg, along with a tiny hint of aloe. The palate is a bit more timid — borderline flat at first — despite the relatively high proof, and it certainly benefits from a drop or two of water. Additional water opens up notes of dark cola and deeply roasted pecans, along with dark chocolate. (This would pair well with a fresh Derby Pie!) The lengthy finish, however, is drying and less balanced than the palate leaves one to hope for. Still, with the additional water, it’s worth exploring across a couple pours. 217 bottles produced. 137.2 proof. B+ / $110

Lost Lantern New Riff Kentucky Straight Bourbon 4 Years Old — This bourbon was distilled from a mashbill of 65% corn, 30% rye, and 5% malted barley. The nose leads cinnamon candy and sourdough bread, with a pop of zested citrus peel. There’s also a noticeable mesquite note, a bit unlike what I’ve experienced before with New Riff distillate, though it’s certainly not unwelcome here. The palate is a vanilla bomb, reminiscent of a first bite into glazed monkey bread, with light cinnamon and baking spice undertones. That citrus is also present, prominently lemon zest, which continues into a lengthy finish that matches this whiskey’s proof without veering into astringent territory. A remarkably nuanced pour that teeters on the edge of something greater. 214 bottles produced. 114.2 proof. A- / $90

Lost Lantern Boulder Spirits Colorado Straight Bourbon 6 Years Old — The mashbill here is 51% corn, 44% malted barley, and 5% rye, so remarkably high on the malt compared to the majority of bourbons on today’s market. Brandy soaked cherries dominate on the nose, followed by additional spice which makes the combined impact remarkably similar to cherry cobbler; this bourbon noses a bit below its high proof. There’s a welcome delicacy on the palate, clearly a strong pour but not one where ethanol overpowers flavor. There’s more cherry — brandy soaked all the way through — as well as notes of apple and pear; it’s quite the task to pick out all these different fruit notes. Sweetness and wood spice balance those flavors through to a finish that simply doesn’t want to stop. There’s lots of interplay on the finish, the hallmark of a whiskey I’m excited to revisit a few times. For those willing to brave the 140-proof+ “Hazmat” proof territory, this single cask is a fitting and decadent reward. 151 bottles produced. 142.6 proof. A / $120 

Christopher Null provided the following reviews from the lineup:

Lost Lantern Still Austin Texas Straight Bourbon 4 Years Old – An odd duck. 70% white corn, 25% Brasetto rye, and 5% malted Wild Fire barley. The nose takes its time to get going, slowly revealing layers of toasty barrel char, nougat, and spice. It’s both doughy and meaty, never quite settling on a direction. Woody on the palate and loaded with cereal notes, the profile of a youthful but well-crafted bourbon is clear-cut here, though things take an unusual spin as notes of coriander, anise, and green onion all come into focus. Somehow the whiskey finds its way to a conclusion of butterscotch and vanilla sugar. There’s a lot going on here, though I never found it made complete sense to me. (Perhaps those working their way through a full bottle will figure it out.) 167 bottles produced. 103.8 proof. B / $80

Lost Lantern Ironroot Republic Texas Straight Bourbon 3 Years Old – All corn: 65% yellow dent corn, 30% Bloody Butcher corn, and 5% Floriani corn, a rare italian heirloom red flint corn — aged in a Level 1 char “toasted” barrel for 3 years. Engaging but quite peppery on the nose, laden with heavier baking spices — more clove than cinnamon — and an emerging, smoldering, mesquite-adjacent char character that picks up with time in glass. That inimitable Texas character comes into focus quickly on the palate, heavy notes of char evoking a burning building — despite the use of a Level 1 charred barrel. Dense and gritty, well into the endless finish. I can’t say what impact all that heirloom corn has had, but the barrel and the Texas heat have certainly had their say. 167 bottles produced. 137.3 proof. B / $120

Lost Lantern Tom’s Foolery Ohio Straight Bourbon 9 Years Old – The old fogie in the group, made from 52% yellow dent corn, 20% winter rye, and 28% 6-row malted barley. There’s some clear austerity here, showing up as fairly heavy barrel char and a beefy quality that gives the whiskey’s nose some big umami notes. Peppery and spicy on the palate, the rye makes a bigger impact than expected, offering a punchy herbal quality backed up by more of that roasted beef and notes of hemp rope. The whiskey settles down on the finish with some sweeter notes of vanilla candies and orange peel, but it’s a long way coming. A “frontier” style whiskey born in the midwest. 171 bottles produced. 113.8 proof. B+ / $120

Lost Lantern Soaring Spice Frey Ranch Distillery Nevada Straight Bourbon 4 Years Old – 900 bottles produced, equating to 4 barrels of whiskey, made from a mash of 67% corn, 12% malted barley, 11% rye, and 10% wheat, all estate grown by Frey Ranch itself. This is one of the most engaging whiskeys I’ve had from Frey Ranch, immediately delightful on the nose with a bold baking spice quality and a ruddy, raisiny sweetness plus some elements of orange peel. Toasty but not bruisingly hot, the fruit comes on strong on the palate, mingling beautifully with layers of vanilla and butterscotch and a healthy dusting of ginger-heavy baking spices. Lots of citrus on the sweet, enduring finish. This one is hard to put down. 127.6 proof. A / $100

Lost Lantern Far-Flung Bourbon 3 Years Old – A 3 year old blended bourbon from Frey Ranch Distillery, Watershed Distillery, Boulder Spirits, and Still Austin Whiskey Co, made out of one barrel from each. It’s the first blend ever from all four operations. Results: Arguably greater than the sum of the parts. Spice and fruit in equal proportion on the nose, chased by notes of char — here fairly well moderated and integrating well. The fruit pops the most vividly on the palate, apples and cherries laced with cinnamon, reprising apple tarts on the finish. This isn’t an overwhelmingly complex whiskey, but it’s a surprisingly agreeable one, even at 68% abv, with a punchy gunpowder note and some dark chocolate adding the appropriate bang to the conclusion. 582 bottles produced. 136.8 proof. B+ / $110

Lost Lantern Far-Flung Bourbon 3 Years Old




David Tao is a writer for Drinkhacker.

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