Another belated solar eclipse-themed whiskey, SunSeeker is Smyrna, Delaware-based Painted Stave Distilling’s third limited release made from a base of craft beer.
In January 2016, Painted Stave Distilling partnered with Fordham Brewing Company in Dover, DE on what would be become the third release in Painted Stave’s “Beers To Whiskey!” series. Painted Stave picked up over 3,000 bottles of Fordham’s Sunseeker Wheat Beer from the brewery and with the help of a dozen volunteers managed to pour all the beer into a holding tank in about 45 minutes. The unfiltered wheat ale was then distilled into 10 gallons of 124 proof whiskey in Painted Stave’s copper pot-still. The whiskey aged for 18 months in a Bourbon barrel before being harvested and bottled at 84 proof.
Only 130 bottles were made.
We were big fans of Painted Stave’s first beer-distilled release, Double TroubleD, which is now produced on a regular, twice-a-year rotation., so let’s give SunSeeker, officially a wheat whiskey, a try.
The whiskey’s nose is quite mild, some rather subtle earthiness giving rise to a more intense mushroom quality, featuring notes of roast carrots, walnut husks, as well as some evergreen notes, the overall impression being very savory. The palate is quite a departure, an initial rush of sweetness creating a cookie-like counterpoint to that initial savory quality on the nose. Very grain-heavy, the palate develops to a candylike finish, with notes of lime peel, caramel, and a bit of chocolate character. Though it features a curious yin-yang of flavor that makes it surprisingly fun to visit more than once, its youth is overly evident and can come across as a bit blunt at times.
On the off chance you actually find a bottle, though, it’s more than worth picking up at this price.
B+ / $30 / paintedstave.com