Idaho-based Grand Teton Distillery makes a pretty impressive bourbon (plus lots of vodka) and now it’s following the masses into that rising American whiskey category — American single malt. This expression is made from 100% Idaho-grown malted barley and is (wisely) aged in used bourbon barrels instead of new barrels for a whopping 7 years, making it one of the longest-aged single malts made in the U.S. today.
The whiskey pours a color of ultra-pale gold, offering a familiar ASM nose that is sweet, nutty, and doughy all at once. A slight astringency evokes old moscato wine with a touch of camphor, this oxidized quality building with time in glass. On the palate, the sweetness endures. Almond cookies sprinkled with lemon peel pave the way, moving toward an increasingly grassy quality as things develop further. Barrel-driven charred wood notes surprise given that the aging was done in used cooperage, though with the sweeter attack these notes do tend to lean toward a more pleasant toasted coconut quality at times.
On the finish, charred wood notes endure the longest, and the entire experience starts to unravel a bit, becoming a bit gamy and weedy. While this whiskey is fortunately not blown out by exposure to new oak the way so many American single malts are, it still hasn’t found its footing, proving again just how difficult this category can be to master.
100 proof. Reviewed: Batch #1.
B- / $80 / tetondistillery.com