Since A.D. Laws Whiskey House’s founding in 2011 and debut in 2014, in accordance with our reporting that yr and a tour we took later, the Denver, Colo.-based distillery has been prolific to say the least.
Taking a “craft over commodity” strategy, A.D. Laws Whiskey House boasts of doing each step of whiskey manufacturing in-house, from open-air fermentation, to double-distilling of their Vendome pot/column nonetheless, via getting older and bottling. The one step they don’t do is rising the grain, however they supply that from inside Colorado, in line with their web site.
Beginning out with their signature 4 Grain Straight Bourbon Whiskey – made with a mash invoice of 60% corn, 20% wheat, 10% rye, and 10% barley, all from Colorado, the distillery has gone on to supply some fascinating takes on these grains. These expressions embrace their Secale Straight Rye, Triticum Straight Wheat in addition to sub-expressions of these like single-barrel cask power variations and Bottled in Bond variations, the latter being made with grains from a single season’s harvest.
During the last yr or so, they’ve began a Particular End Collection, through which they end their 4 Grain Straight Bourbon in casks which have held other forms of alcohol, corresponding to 2017’s Armagnac and Sauternes finishes.
This yr, A.D. Laws is releasing at the least a pair extra – a Ruby Porto cask end and a Rum cask end – and people would be the concentrate on this four-part assessment, which additionally consists of their Triticum Straight Wheat and Secale Straight Rye Cask Power.
Whereas A.D. Laws has some of the detailed and informative web sites I’ve ever seen from a distiller, they make scarcely a point out of this collection on their web site, a lot much less particular particulars concerning the new additions to the Particular End collection, and most on-line retailers don’t have these on the market simply but.
Tasting notes: 4 Grain Straight Bourbon completed in rum casks
Very important stats: Based mostly on the common 4 Grain info, the rum cask end is made with Colorado grains and a mash invoice of 60% corn, 20% wheat, 10% rye, and 10% barley, fermented in open air, twice distilled, aged no less than three years, and bottled at about 47.5% ABV. It’s clearly completed in rum casks, nevertheless it’s unclear how lengthy.
Look: Packaged in a chic, rectangular bottle that evokes an old-timey western really feel, the rum cask-finished 4 Grain Straight Bourbon – each the bottle and the glass – is on the browner and darker aspect of whiskey, with a coppery tint including a little bit of purple to the colour.
Nostril: At first inhale, this bourbon hits the nasal passages with a well-balanced, tropical bouquet. Tart pineapple is the strongest scent on the outset, mellowed with an undertone of vanilla and notes of ginger and oak. That eases into an earthier mix of caramel and purple apple, this time with extra pronounced oak and a contact of allspice.
Palate: The pink apple theme sticks round within the first sip and supplies a refreshingly restrained sweetness as this bourbon hits the tongue, with only a contact of caramel and wheat taste giving it a mellow taste on the outset. That develops into an fascinating spice mixture of cloves and rye on the forefront with notes candy corn, allspice, and a contact of coriander, with a burn that builds as much as a average depth because it sits within the mouth. Then the burn appears to virtually utterly stop after swallowing, leaving a obscure allspice sweetness on the tongue till the clove and rye builds up slowly all through the corners of the mouth, virtually imperceptibly so till the burn is average once more. That slowly fades into an oaky, barley-like sweetness that lingers within the mouth.
The Takeaway: Whereas not one I might drink each day, the rum cask-finished 4 Grain Straight Bourbon is a singular expertise that definitely deserves making an attempt. It appears to the touch on all of grains that make up its mash invoice whereas taking over some tropical flavors harking back to the rum casks it was completed in. The spice mixture that outcomes is unconventional and refreshing, although maybe greatest saved for whenever you’re feeling within the temper to be stunned.
Tasting notes: 4 Grain Straight Bourbon completed in Ruby Porto casks
Very important stats: Once more, utilizing the common 4 Grain as a information, the Ruby Porto end is made with Colorado grains and a mash invoice of 60% corn, 20% wheat, 10% rye, and 10% barley, fermented in open air, twice distilled, aged no less than three years, completed in port casks, and bottled at about 47.5% ABV.
Look: Very similar to its rum cask-finished sibling, this bourbon can also be a darkish brown, this time with out the coppery tint, leaving it showing like an amber ale.
Nostril: The nostril on this bourbon begins off on the reasonably sweeter aspect, like pink apple with caramel and a contact of nutmeg. That yields to earthier aromas of molasses, oak smoke, fortified wine, and salt, with the smoke and wine attributes constructing in power over the subsequent few seconds,
Palate: The port-cask end definitely makes an influence on the 4-Grain Straight Bourbon, as is clear from a salty, barely bitter style that makes its method onto the tongue within the first sip. That affect comes off as a salted caramel taste when this whiskey first hits the tongue with notes hay, yeast, wheat and cloves coming collectively to offer it a spicy bitter taste general. The wheat and cloves construct up increasingly as this whiskey sits on the tongue right into a spicy-sweet mixture. Swallowing sends a burst of candy, barely spicy wheat by means of the mouth adopted by the clove constructing again up into a light burn, earlier than fading again to a barely salty caramel sweetness that lingers on the tongue.
The Takeaway: I need to confess that I’ve by no means been a fan of port, and I used to be not keen on the salty and bitter attributes that the port-cask end imbued onto this whiskey. Nonetheless, I used to be impressed by how a lot affect that port end had on the ultimate product and the attributes that confirmed by means of. Whereas this gained’t be one I hunt down, those that take pleasure in whiskey, port, and whiskey influenced by port would do nicely to select up a bottle of this bourbon.
Tasting notes: Triticum Straight Wheat
Very important stats: Triticum Straight Wheat is made with a mash invoice of Gentle White Centennial Wheat (a varietal of Spring wheat) grown in Colorado’s San Luis Valley. It’s twice distilled, aged for 3 years in new American white oak barrels, and bottled at 100 proof. A $750mL bottle goes for about $70 apiece.
Look: Whereas this Triticum seems to be comparatively darkish brown within the bottle, as soon as poured its hue is far nearer to a mean golden amber than the others.
Nostril: This one is nice and wheaty from the get-go, like a shiny vanilla with an excellent dose of ginger and lemon giving it a little bit of a bitter edge and simply touches of sandalwood and lavender. That mellows into an earthier vanilla with parts of hay, lilac, allspice, orange, banana, and oak.
Palate: Triticum is nice on entry, tasting just like the caramelized sugar on a creme brulee with delicate notes of orange, rose, and oak. A spicy component steadily eases its approach throughout the tongue with a clove-like character with a contact of hay maintaining it comparatively delicate at first. Holding the sip on the tongue permits the clove to construct right into a average burn, till swallowing sends rush of a spicy grain all through the mouth – tasting like wheat however the burn of a rye. That eases again down into an earthy honey that tingles with clove and oak for the subsequent minute or so.
The Takeaway: Once more, not one which I might need to drink each night time, however Triticum Straight Wheat is definitely an expertise value having. Whereas wheat-based whiskeys are typically very candy, this one manages to maintain that aspect whereas creating a rye-like spiciness, all of the whereas letting neither aspect get so overpowering that they eclipse another flavors. That nice stability makes this one I’d reserve particularly for sipping, one which I’d hold for a cool autumn night time with a fireplace and the delicate burn of this Triticum to maintain me heat.
Tasting notes: Secale Straight Rye Cask Power
Very important stats: This Secale (Latin for “rye”) Straight Rye is comprised of a mash invoice of 95% heirloom rye – half of which is malted and the opposite half uncooked – and 5% heirloom barley grown within the San Luis Valley in Colorado. A bitter mash is fermented in open air and aged for no less than two years in new, charred oak barrels earlier than being bottled at barrel-proof. Getting old time and proof varies from barrel to barrel, and the one I reviewed got here from barrel 172, was aged for four.three years, and bottled at 71.6% ABV. Pricing on this one appears to range significantly between barrels, and retailers don’t appear to all the time distinguish this one from the common Secale. That stated, costs I noticed ranged from $90 to $110.
Look: Once more, the bottle design makes this one look darker than it does within the glass, however as soon as poured to appears like an ordinary golden amber with only a contact of purple.
Nostril: One other candy and acidic one to start out off the nostril, on this case with a brilliant vanilla as the bottom alongside an orange scent giving it a little bit of tartness, and a little bit of oak rounding it out. Whereas the orange sticks round, the vanilla mellows right into a richer, earthier caramel with touches of espresso, nutmeg, and a vaguely floral scent.
Palate: The primary sip hits the tongue with the sweetness of a drop of clover honey with mushy notes of grass, nutmeg and lilac, however it takes barely a second for the cask-strength proof to say itself. Shifting to extra of a butterscotch base, this rye shortly builds in depth with tingling the tongue with the spiciness of cloves, cinnamon and notes of charred oak. That sears the sides of the mouth the longer it stays on the palate, till swallowing give a momentary aid of caramelly sweetness. These spicy flavors construct up as soon as once more, although, to a searing level, earlier than fading again to go away an smoky, oaky, honey taste within the mouth. Including a contact of water to the glass usually retains the identical expertise however curtails the spicier attributes whereas make the honey sweetness extra pronounced all through.
The Takeaway: Whereas I’m typically daunted by cask-strength whiskeys, particularly ones which might be almost 72%ABV, I actually respect that this one was left cask power. Whereas the spiciness of the rye mixed with the excessive proof makes it arduous for me to take pleasure in this neat regularly, it nonetheless exhibits complexity regardless of these elements. Though my contact of water was imprecise, that addition pushed this to be among the many sweeter rye whiskeys I’ve sampled. Leaving it at cask power permits the drinker to decide on what sort of expertise they’d like, which strikes me on this case as a acutely aware selection relatively than only a whim on the a part of a grasp distiller.