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92

Benjamin Prichard’s Tennessee Whiskey, 40% Price: $45.00

Brand: Prichard's
Category: Craft Whiskey

Although the Prichard distillery is located in Lincoln County, it has a special exemption from using the Lincoln County Process and isn’t charcoal filtered.  The nose reflects that with bright aromas including caramel, cinnamon, and oak. The entry is sweet caramel corn followed by soft cinnamon and black pepper with a boost from some oak. A medium, slightly dry finish completes a very flavorful but still extremely easy-drinking Tennessee whiskey. This is the crown jewel of the Prichard distillery line.
(Fall 2014) Reviewed by: Geoffrey Kleinman

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92

Wyoming Barrel Strength Bourbon (Barrel 443), 58% Price: $199.00

Brand: Wyoming
Category: Craft Whiskey

An authoritative nose: deep oak structure, cracked corn, warehouse reek. Minty and lively, but deep and almost ponderous at the same time, and not anywhere near as hot as expected. A bare hint of mustiness (which a bit of water helps wash out) keeps it from being truly exceptional, but this verges on greatness. A show-stopper.
(Spring 2016) Reviewed by: Lew Bryson

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91

Benjamin Prichard’s Double Barreled Bourbon, 45% Price: $65.00

Brand: Prichard's
Category: Craft Whiskey

Many distilleries have released bourbon finished in a second barrel, but it’s Prichard’s who was savvy enough to copyright the term “double barreled.”  As you’d expect, the nose is big oak, blending darker, more seasoned oak with lighter, new oak. The palate is unexpectedly balanced, with lush, sweet caramel in perfect sync with spicy oak, black pepper, clove, and cinnamon. That wonderful balance follows through to a medium finish that doesn’t leave you feeling like you’ve been chewing on a barrel.
(Fall 2014) Reviewed by: Geoffrey Kleinman

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91

Rock Town Single Barrel Reserve Rye (Barrel 22), 57.9% Price: $60.00

Brand: Rock Town
Category: Craft Whiskey

Cask-strength rye made from Arkansas-grown grain, aged 26 months. Must be a small barrel; it’s quite dark. Nose of crushed rye grain, well-polished oak furniture, and moist rye bread. Swift and certain in the mouth: dense, chewy flavors of rye bread, sweet and full and bitter, crackling with oak spice, and drawing to a sizzling finish. I do like a small distiller whiskey that knows where it’s going. Very impressive.
(Summer 2016) Reviewed by: Lew Bryson

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90

Charbay S Whiskey Lot 211A, 49.5% Price: $135.00

Brand: Charbay
Category: Craft Whiskey

Distilled from Bear Republic Big Bear Black Stout, alambic pot distilled, aged 29 months in used French oak. Gooey nose, with lots of dark chocolate, toffee, fruit (ripe honeydew, Asian pear, red plum); no hint of the 49.5% ABV heat. Deliciously layered palate: dry malt, juicy fruit, and savory wood spice, sweet malt and chocolate, and a finish that’s sweet, light, and quite refreshing and inviting. Lives up to the Charbay hype!
(Spring 2014) Reviewed by: Lew Bryson

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90

Low Gap 2 year old Rye, 44.1% Price: $65.00

Brand: Low Gap Whiskey
Category: Craft Whiskey

A malted rye whiskey, aged in new, bourbon, and Germain-Robin cognac barrels. Cereal grains are the star of this nose, which supports the rye grain with oak and cinnamon spice. The palate follows the grain-focused nose and is a carefully crafted love note to rye grain, featuring multi-grain cereal, cinnamon, ginger, sawdust, and a touch of oak. The finish is all dark chocolate, rye grain, and cinnamon spice; a delicious, close to expertly-crafted whiskey.
(Fall 2015) Reviewed by: Geoffrey Kleinman

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90

Dad’s Hat Pennsylvania Rye, 45% Price: $39.00

Brand: Dad's Hat
Category: Craft Whiskey

Dad’s Hat rye has evolved, like many craft whiskeys, but they’re still bottling at 6 to 9 months (another label is planned for a straight version). That’s working well. The nose is rip-roaring rye: crushed grain, grass, sweet spice, bitter herbal notes, with all the complexity of the grain. Delivers honestly on the tongue, too, plus a light barrel character, proceeding to an integrated finish. Excellent young rye, there’s no mistaking the mother grain.
(Winter 2015) Reviewed by: Lew Bryson

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90

Rock Town 5th Anniversary Arkansas Straight Bourbon, 50% Price: $50.00

Brand: Rock Town
Category: Craft Whiskey

Aged for 4 years and bottled in bond, this bourbon has a mash of Arkansas grown grains, including 73% corn, 9% wheat, and 18% barley. Dark amber in color, a robust nose spotlights cinnamon, oak, and black pepper. The palate is an enjoyable journey from sweet caramel corn to spicy cinnamon and oak. Cinnamon is the star in the mid-palate, where it’s well supported by the underlying alcohol. A long and slightly dry finish caps off a craft whiskey done right.
(Fall 2015) Reviewed by: Geoffrey Kleinman

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90

St. George XXX Anniversary Malt, 46% Price: $400.00

Brand: St. George
Category: Craft Whiskey

Some of the oldest American malt whiskey joins this 30th anniversary mingling, finished in a pear eau de vie barrel, a nod to the distillery’s origins. The nose is elegant, deep, and clearly touched by the pear and oak. There’s creaminess in the mouth, a perfect weight, rich nutty sweetness balanced by wood; it all slides into a warming finish, and pear is all around. A bit too much pear, actually; though I love pears, that’s my one complaint.
(Spring 2013) Reviewed by: Lew Bryson

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90

St. George Single Malt Lot 14, 43% Price: $80.00

Brand: St. George
Category: Craft Whiskey

This release is based on a mash done at Sierra Nevada brewery, aged in eight different types of casks (including apple brandy and white wine) running from 4 to 15 years old. Delicate fruit, nuts, and sweet malt combine like perfect pastry in the nose. Add a bit of unsweetened chocolate on the palate, finishing with a lingering reminiscence of every bit of flavor, and you have a beautifully integrated whiskey that is unmistakably St. George. Delightful.
(Winter 2014) Reviewed by: Lew Bryson

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