85

Score

Luca Mariano Small Batch Straight (Batch #2019-01), 41.5%

Price: $45 Issue: Winter 2019 Reviewer: David Fleming

Contract-distilled and aged in Danville, Ky. and bottled by Danville-based Luca Mariano, the whiskey company owned by entrepreneur Francesco Viola. Oak influence and licorice on the nose lead to a light palate of orange peel, grapefruit, bitter oak, and pepper spice. Water unlocks dark chocolate, toffee, and peppery heat. Melon and orange peel punctuate the finish, with hints of almond and coconut. Barrel-forward and youthful, but with some interesting notes. (20,000 bottles)