On first nosing this, I get rich, plummy notes. Stephen (reading the label) claims there’s a muted mesquite aspect. Bill offers “athletic socks after a light workout.” I don’t know what he’s reading, but I’m just suggestible enough to get on board with that idea. Closer inspection gives us unripe persimmons—three of them—arranged into a green snowman. There are also cactus-shaped petroglyphs carved with a spear.
More of that mesquite wood arrives on the mouth, but at no point does it dominate or become unruly. Indeed, there’s enough subtlety that chocolate notes surface, as if there are spice- and cocoa-dusted dried fruits in a saucer. Think sour cherries, but attenuated sour cherries, and definitely not sour grapes. The richness suggested on the nose is repaid in spades here. I take a peek at my iPhone 3GS just to open the “I am rich” app and for a minute I think I can see the Colkegan bottle silhouetted on the screen.
The finish finds the straight line of mesquite wood broadening and deepening like a great conversation. I want to say this is New Mexico’s reply to Orkney peat. In any event, the balance of this whiskey can now be fully appreciated. I feel like all of the finish work in the house has been complete; the joints are true, the edges sanded, the surfaces polished.
On the scale of cask members on This Old House and Ask This Old House—
The Santa Fe Spirits Colkegan American Single Malt Whiskey is Tom Silva–Watching his work on the show helps you appreciate the artistry of craft.
–Our thanks to Santa Fe Spirits for the sample!