This Un-Gnome Whiskey challenge came from another rendition of an Instagram giveaway that @saxybourbon ran to celebrate 7,000 followers (wow - this guy really outpaced me)! You can find the giveaway post here, a video of the winners who are participating here, and I look forward to seeing everyone's notes and guesses from the 'Lucky 7'! I'm stoked to be able to participate in another one of these. The goal of the challenge is to have 7 people taste the sample blind and try to identify the brand, proof and age as close to correct as possible. This will go down as Un-Gnome Whiskey Blind Review #7 ironically enough!
By some miracle I won the last giveaway and blind tasting competition - you can check out the results of that one here.
The sample in this review was provided to me at no cost.
Bottle information will be posted after the giveaway ends & a winner is announced on @SaxyBourbon's page
The color is on the lighter side with a distinct haziness; I notice what might be slight flocculation and tiny particles of what I hope is barrel char... Rolling the glass to coat the walls produces a thick, oily sheet that refuses to form legs for quite some time.
Nose: Bright linen, soft toasted caramel, and younger - though aged to satisfaction - oak aromas greet me upon first raising the glass. Soft cherry skins and slight floral tones come off the cool surface of my glass. Mmm, as I warm the glass with my hands creamy crème brûlée begins to waft up powerfully. Bright vanilla bursts forth on the swirl of the glass, though it's not quite blinding or too potent. There's a great mixture of sweet creamy tones and just a hint of smoke in the back. Time for a sip.
Returning to the nose shows off the prominence of the oak again which is beginning to smell a bit older than the early nose let on. Creamy butterscotch is a nice late addition to the limited volume I'm working with. The end of the glass returns to the soft linen tones I started with and layers in just a hint of the expected aroma of new paper - a subtle undulation of lignin.
Palate: My first sip produces explosive caramel. Soft cinnamon sizzles on the tip of the tongue as creamy lemon meringue pie creeps in late. The mouth coating is thin, but viscous much like the legs of the glass showed and it carries a lovely bit of char and smoke. Another sip and swish produces much more spice than the first sip as nutmeg, cinnamon and allspice culminate aggressively. The remaining sweetness that prevails is a lovely treat of cherry, plum and juicy peach. Again the smoky linger hangs on like none other I've tried. It definitely feels like a single barrel - I find no telltale sign like a flip-flop of flavors that suggests there is a blend going on here. Hmm, now things are really taking a turn (just as I said there was no flip-flop...). Alongside the spice I am starting to find some tropical fruit like mango, pineapple and hints of coconut. With the addition of a cooling sensation reminiscent of a faint, minty mojito... I am thoroughly confused, though I like what I am tasting. My last sip is another sweet one with cherry skins, minty raspberry and zesty spices.
Rating: Thumbs Up!
Final Guess: Old Elk Wheat Whiskey, 114.5 proof, aged 6 years
(MGP distillate, 95% wheat / 5% malted barley)
Reveal: Mayor Pingree Single Barrel Seelbach's Pick, 121.2 proof, aged 6 years
Close! We got the right base distillate (MGP), was in the top 4 for proof, and nailed the age statement spot on. All that culminated in a weighted win for team Amongst the Whiskey! I'm honored to have clutched out a small victory in a group as talented as this one. Cheers to the fellow tasters:
@jenny_loves_whiskey - 2nd place!
@bourbonboot - 3rd place!
@drewsdram - best proof guess!
@ky_waterman - backup guess on point!
@sipnngrilln - damn good guess and one I thought of too!
@bourbon_browneyed_gal - a champion does their homework!