The sweetest @_lostnemo_ has gifted me another amazing release from the Valentine Distilling cocktail lounge for review. Abby is one of the realest people on earth and I'm so thankful for her indefatigable friendship. Mayor Pingree is a whiskey label used by their Detroit, Michigan distillery. I've enjoyed their whiskey many times before. All preconceived notions aside, I'm ready to go into this with my usual open mind. Let's dive into a quick Monday review!
Company on Label: Mayor Pingree (Valentine Distilling)
Whiskey Type: Bourbon
Mash Bill Percentages: Undisclosed Indiana bourbon mash bill (either 21% or 36% rye)
Age: 16 years
Further identification: This single barrel was distilled in Indiana, it comes from barrel J06-02
Nose: Holy hazmat nose batman! I know this didn't quite crest 140, but the hallmarks are all there from first whiff. Rich caramel, cola and leather aromas invade the nostrils on light inhales. Oak bark, cinnamon stick and rich soil build as further air is drawn off the surface of the glass. Deep inhales off a well rested glass build in graham cracker, brown sugar and creamy white pepper tones. If you were to ask me what kind of nosing experience could beat out George T. Stagg - this would be it. What a gloriously rich and viscous nose-feel. I can't wait to dive in on a sip here.
Returning from a sip offers more deep, rich elegance throughout; the aromas force me to envision a leather saddle hanging off a fence post on a tobacco farm. The sun is bright and a waft of elegant vanilla perfume from under a light cotton dress causes me to fall in love. As I stare off into the distance in this heavenly moment, I eventually walk into a tree. Heavy oak tones come in rich and moist, rather than dry and dusty as some extra-aged whiskeys can do. I'm still swooning. In some ways this aroma is what I imagine dying smells like, the oncoming soggy ground once again becoming full of enough nutrients to rearrange your existence into new beauty - the endless battle against entropy. This glass, like our time on earth, is finite - and as the remainders of the whiskey that was once in my glencairn slowly evaporate, I smell soft maple bread, vanilla saltwater taffy and an unadorned scone.
Palate: As the whiskey hits my tongue here a solid burst of cherry plants itself right in the center of the mouth. It smolders there a moment with cinnamon, allspice and fig demonstrating great restraint. The cherry profile pops and slowly oozes down the sides of my tongue before melting off slowly like a bite of Garcia ice cream. Another sip increases the depth of this pour as orange peel, plum, and creamy chocolate ganache crest and arc like a full feature film. The evolution of this glass is nothing short of astounding. I find juicy red grapes, creamy caramel wafers and Rote Grutze in unending twists of sweet delights. My last sip is powerful with notes of cherry hots, maple sugar, crème brûlée, and smoldering spiced fruit cake.
This is pinnacle whiskey for me. It transcends time, space, memory and the meaningless order of words. Every once in a while, the experience of enjoying a glass of good whiskey is truly ephemeral. This level of quality & meaning often moves me to tears. This is one of those glasses. I'm truly grateful to have experienced it. Thank you again Abby!