Flagship Whiskey Batch 4
Cass. That friend that everyone loves in “low doses”. Just a little too much personality, but incredible none the less. You couldn’t imagine not having her around, but you also couldn’t handle just her all the time. Cass is the backbone of this batch of whiskey, and that is how we (I) would describe her. This all sounds weird because there needs to be more context. And - as you can imagine and well know - I am going to provide the context. In a long winded way. Like those recipes that you click on and you have to read a small novel until you get to the ingredients and the actual recipe. Ugh. But. Back to Cass and context.
First of all - who is this Cass I’m speaking of? Well - we name all of our barrels at Amalga Distillery. Every barrel we fill gets a name from whoever filled it. And the method for naming certainly runs the gamut. For this particular barrel, Cass, the name came from a random name generator. The other barrels in this blend are Walter the 3 Legged Dog (named after our beloved St. Bernard we lost last year) and Yeezy (Named after Kanye West, of course). We name the barrels because it is fun, and a more entertaining way to keep track of them all. And because it is fun to talk about them when we are sampling. So, now that you know that, let me tell you the story of Cass.
Cass is a cask that previously held Pineau de Charentes (for the sake of brevity, I ask that you google it). Cass was also kind of the star of the show for a bit - a real stand out barrel, and one the earliest that we ever filled. It really showcases the fermentation and yeast profile of our saison yeast. Baking spice notes (think cloves, allspice and even cinnamon!) and really nice fruity esters. We used a lot of chocolate malt in the whiskey that went into this barrel and it really shows - loads of dark bitter chocolate/coffee. When this whiskey was young, it was actually really wonderful, but with age it has become a bit too much. Like really really wonderful, but just a lot going on by itself. So we chose some less eccentric casks that could use a little bit more pizzaz. So now, I’m certain, you can understand why I opened these tasting notes the way I did. Cass is certainly the star of the show in this whiskey, but she’s also been toned down by her partners in batch 4, Walter and Yeezy. I’ve really never experienced anything like the whiskey that came from Cass - it was spicy with an intense honey sweetness and gorgeous light straw hue (the barrel was only toasted, never charred, so not much color).
In standard Amalga flagship fashion, Walt and Ye’ were both aged in new american oak with a heavy char and a heavy toast. They provide the familiar notes of what you’ve come to expect from our whiskey. A healthy amount of malt character with a bit of chocolate. Nice toasted marshmallow and caramel notes. Beautiful fruity esters. Just real pleasant all around. But needing to lifted up a bit.
Blended together and proofed down from their 55% barrel strength to a still very potent 50%, this whiskey is a release we are very proud of. Less dark and robust than the previous batch - Cass really brightened things up. But not to the extent that the cognac cask of batch 2 brightened things up with apple like notes. This is more apple pie like than apple like. Because of those spice notes. LIKE SO MUCH SPICE! It is as if there are already a touch of bitters in this whiskey - but that is all from the yeast in the fermentation and the french oak from the Pineau des Charentes cask. SO COOL. This whiskey is sweet, an ideal candidate for an old fashioned. Likely pretty stellar in a hot toddy as fall comes in. Fine for sipping on its own. OR! WE ARE VERY EXCITED TO ANNOUNCE!!!! DELICIOUS IN A HIGHBALL!!!!!
This, in fact, is Maura’s favorite way to have this whiskey. Fun fact - we love the whiskey highball. Just whiskey, soda water, and a bit of lemon, it is a very simple yet surprisingly delicious and refreshing cocktail. I had refrained from using our whiskey in a highball for over a year now. Because I was afraid it was to punchy and robust. You see, most whiskeys designed for the whiskey highball are light wispy things bottled around 40% ABV and typically aged in mellower ex-bourbon casks. So I avoided experiencing the heartbreak and failure until recently when Maura deemed that sentiment ridiculous. And she is never wrong. NEVER. So - Topo Chico, and a bottle of batch 4, lots of ice and a nice lemon. We gave it a go. WOWZA! This whiskey is incredibly in the highball. I described it as tasting like diet coke if diet coke actually tasted good. Definite cola notes present, but subdued and not too sweet. With the lemon to add a bit of acidity - really wonderful. If you are looking for Topo Chico at Rainbow, and you can’t find any - that is our fault. Sorry. We are being a bit selfish. And why Topo Chico? There’s enough carbonation in Topo Chico to allow it to remain bubbly even after being poured over ice and non-bubbly whiskey has been added. Plus, the minerals in there make the flavors pop even more. It is the perfect highball bubbly water. If you are going all in on the highball, we might even recommend stashing the bottle of whiskey in the freezer the morning before to help preserve the carbonation even further. Or not. May also recommend adding a maraschino cherry or two to this highball - haven’t tried it yet, but certainly imagine it could be good. Oh! Or an orange slice. Oh goodness.
Well. Thats about it. If you ever have questions about our whiskey, or thoughts or comments, feel free to reach out to us (instagram or email is probably best). We love hearing from you all and love making a Single Malt Whiskey right here in Juneau. Thanks y’all.