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90 points

Sierra Norte Single Barrel Yellow, 45%

Master mezcalero Douglas French captures the flavor of native Oaxacan heirloom corn in this unique and singular spirit—the first single-barrel Mexican whisky available in the U.S. Distilled in San Agustín de las Juntas, each of French’s trio of whiskies uses a single variety of ancestral corn that requires hand-harvesting, promoting jobs in traditional farming. Aged for a mere 10 months in French oak, Yellow has swirling notes of blue iris, dried chilies, and fresh linen around a core of plump corn, with tangy marmalade, maple syrup, pepper, and a spiced-honey finish. Number 20 in the 2018 Top 20

Reviewed by: (Winter 2018)

90 points

Sierra Norte Single Barrel Yellow, 45%

Blue iris, dried chilies, and fresh linen; the corn is sweet and fat, and the aromas integrate more harmoniously than the White and Black expressions. Fresh and fruity, orange marmalade, honey oozing into maple syrup, developing more complexity as the smooth layers shift to accommodate the growing pepper and chili heat ahead of a spicy honey finish. For a 10 month old single cask whiskey, this is remarkably impressive.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2018)

88 points

Sierra Norte Single Barrel Black, 45%

A deeper corn note than White, the Oaxacan black corn retains a firm nugget of sweetness, aromas of banana skins and dusty earth. To sip, it’s creamy, cool, and refreshing, with light mandarin flavors, gingerbread, corn fritters, vanilla, and peppery heat from the French oak cask. The finish has gentle warmth, with root ginger and kernels of roasted corn. Distinctive and highly promising.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2018)

86 points

Sierra Norte Single Barrel White, 45%

White has the most familiar corn whiskey character of this Mexican trio. Sweet buttered cobs of corn, faint toasted spices, green corn husks, and peanuts on the nose. The palate is sweet, gentle, and refreshing, bathed in honey, with dried peel, sweet corn, toasted oak spices, and a late sensation of charred oak, burnt toast, and peppercorn. That slight burnt note just creeps into the finish.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2018)

85 points

Sierra Norte Single Barrel Purple Corn, 45%

Pepper and allspice light up with savory brisket notes, star anise, a dry nuttiness, and a pile of peanut shells. The flavor slowly comes into focus with stewed apple, red currant, pomegranate, and cranberry, background spices, and late caramel sweetness. The finish has throbbing, gum-tingling heavy clove notes with toffee penny chews and red licorice.

Reviewed by: (Spring 2019)