The Uprising is the first release from the new Sons of Liberty Distillery (the only whiskey distillery in Rhode Island at present). The Uprising, so called because “every revolution begins with an uprising,” is a more or less unaged whiskey that’s made from a stout beer. I say more or less unaged because this is not a white dog, even if it’s technically quite close to one: this white dog is just “kissed” with oak, or in oak barrels for a very, very short time. The result is a nose that is cereal-y, but also bright and fruity: there are strong notes of gin or maybe even tequila on the nose, but also pomegranate and green pear…no wait, make that green apples. Slices of green apples. In a panda’s armpit. You’re getting that, too, right? You’re not? Keep working on it–it’s in there.
The mouth offers a different and less complex flavor profile. It’s a bit like drinking a really smooth Long Island Iced Tea, only with hints of orange cotton candy, pine cones, and maybe an old hardwood rocking chair. There are faint hints of smoke and sweetness, as if someone put out her cigarette in a saucer full of Goldwasser liqueur–in the back of the closet in the next room. This dram is very smooth in the mouth, so smooth in fact that if I came across it in a blind taste test of white dogs, I’d be taking out adoption papers. Goooooood doggie.
The finish is peppery and lingers beautifully, especially for a whiskey that’s spent so little time in wood. It’s gentle, but fiery: it’s a baby wipe used to clean up the last thimble full of habañero extract. The finish is long and fiery, but not otherwise terribly complex or flashy. Nonetheless, it gets the job done, and satisfyingly so: it’s the tortoise finally winning the race while the hare sleeps with everyone he can get his paws on.
There’s some good stuff here, but this whiskey feels almost like a promissory note for even better things to come. If this whiskey is simply kissed with oak, just think what it’ll be like when it makes it to second base.
–On the scale of groundbreaking jazz albums–
The Sons of Liberty Uprising is Ornette Coleman’s The Shape of Jazz to Come–It’s no A Love Supreme, but as one critic said (and I’m paraphrasing), it throws down a gauntlet others might not pick up for a while.
*–Our thanks to Mike Reppucci and Sons of Liberty Spirits for the sample!