The initial impression of the nose is a clear one: Aftershave used on elephants. And by that, I mean an elephant’s aftershave after it was put on the elephant. For as I nose my glass, I pick up aspects of elephant musk, of course, but also witch hazel, palm oil, and fragrances like bergamot, sandalwood, and cucumber. It is an assertive nose and one that knows what it likes. I imagine that were it embodied, it would be an impudent dog rolling around under a cherry tree. The dog is just exulting in the fallen cherries, half of them fermented, which stain its coat. All of this scatters the embarrassed owners until eventually it tuckers out. As the nose settles out, we get the fragrances of a busy post office sorting center a week and a half before Christmas as packages arrive faster than they can be delivered.
The mouth is really enjoyable. We are fans of stoat and other mustelids, and frankly, I didn’t know that you could make whiskey out of them. (“Dear God, John, it’s made from stout!” says Bill). Okay, wow, that’s good because I was already picturing a strange weasel-like creature trying to join the cast of Glee. It’s easier if I picture a pint of stout as it prepares its audience piece (Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah—lovely choice!) which it performs in an exaggerated show-tune style with a Dr. Dre mashup in the middle. Sounds crazy, right? But it works.
The finish of this whiskey also delights. I find a vibratory aspect here. It’s as if my tongue, desperately overweight, has stepped onto a vibration belt machine to shake away the pounds. Those pounds really added up after I found a recipe for sous vide chestnuts. For there is a milky finish, rather like there was with the android, Ash, in the first Alien film.
–On the scale of etymological facts about stoats–
The Sons of Liberty Uprising American Whiskey (Batch 22) is stout, which is the Dutch for “naughty”– And I think that’s precisely what I would say about this whiskey in one word. It’s got feistiness and pluck, but above all it’s naughty.
–Our thanks to Mike Reppucci and Sons of Liberty Spirits for the sample!