Tag Archives: tennessee

Roaming Man Tennessee Straight Rye Review

Roaming Man Tennessee Straight Rye – Distiller: Sugarlands Distilling. ABV: 61.7%. Age: 2 years. Mash bill: 51% rye, 45% corn, 4% malted barley). Price: $50 (375ml).

Sugarlands Distilling is a young distillery in Gatlinburg, Tennessee–opened in 2014–that makes a wide range of flavored moonshine. But its bid for whisk(e)y geeks’ hearts comes in the form of their Roaming Man Cask Strength Rye.

The Roaming Man Rye starts by taking transparency to new heights. Sugarlands reveals not just the age, barrel size, and mash bill–2 years; 25 gallons; 51% rye, 45% corn, 4% malted barley–but very well packaged bottle bottle comes with a gas chromatograph chart showing the shifts in the chemical makeup from new-make to final release.

That’s a good way to grab a whisk(e)y geek’s attention. The other way is with the juice–and they do that too.

It’s a potent 61.7% ABV. The nose has toffee and a yeasty dough note up front. But from a fresh bottle, the heat of the spirit masks everything else. Fortunately with a bit of aeration and water the heat declines considerable. Caramel apple comes to the fore, with heavily toasted tobacco and vanilla bean just behind it.

The palate explodes with flavor: rye, mint, licorice, sweet oak, mahogany. It’s also fiery at first, and benefits significantly from some time and air. Gradually it becomes much milder and more accessible. Candied pecans late on. The finish is endless, with very dark bitter chocolate, clove, maple, and a touch of birch beer.

The first two batches of the Roaming Man Rye sold out fast, even at a pricey $50 per 375ml, and I can see why. It’s a bold and accomplished young rye by an ambitious distillery that’s got nothing to hide. Sugarlands just released its third batch of the Roaming Man in late October 2017. Craft whiskey fans, keep your eyes peeled.

Cheers, friends! – BO

Tennessee Whiskey Trail Launch

Move over, Kentucky–Tennessee now has its own whiskey trail! Twenty-five distilleries from the mountains to Memphis. Full details below…

Tennessee Distillers Guild Announces Official Launch of the Tennessee Whiskey Trail

Tennessee distillers come together to unveil a 25-stop whiskey tour across the state. Three launch celebrations planned throughout the year in East, Middle and West Tennessee.

NASHVILLE, Tenn., JUNE 19, 2017 – The Tennessee Distillers Guild, a membership organization consisting of 25 Tennessee distilleries, is proud to announce the official launch of the Tennessee Whiskey Trail, a 25-stop distillery tour across the state of Tennessee.

“The Tennessee Whiskey Trail is a joint effort by all of our Guild members to feature Tennessee whiskey and moonshine, as well as the craftsmen and women that make them,” said Kris Tatum, president of the Tennessee Distillers Guild. “On the Trail, visitors can learn about the art of distilling and about the history and the culture of whiskey-making that is legendary in our state.”

The Tennessee Whiskey Trail consists of 25 distilleries ranging from boutique-sized distilleries to large internationally-recognized operations that span from East to West Tennessee. Along the Trail, visitors can get a taste of the history, tradition, and novelty of Tennessee whiskey, as well as experience the rich landscapes, must-see landmarks, and genuine Southern hospitality that embody the great state of Tennessee.

“This Trail puts an international spotlight on Tennessee and its whiskey culture,” said Tatum. “We hope to see people come from all over the world to just to get a taste of this once-in-a-lifetime Tennessee whiskey experience.”

The Trail’s official launch will be feted by three statewide celebrations in East, Middle and West Tennessee throughout the course of its inaugural year. The first celebration will take place at the Little Brick Theatre at the Factory in Franklin on June 19, 2017. The second celebration will coincide with the Tennessee Distillers Guild’s annual Grains and Grits Festival in Townsend, TN on Nov. 3-4, 2017, and the third and final celebration will take place in Memphis in May 2018.

To embark on the Trail, visitors can get their free passport booklet on tnwhiskeytrail.com or pick them up at select distillery locations and collect stamps at each distillery en route. Those who collect all 25 stamps will receive a commemorative gift to mark their achievement. The Trail can be completed distillery-by-distillery or in regions at a time. Serious whiskey enthusiasts who hope to complete the entire Trail in a single trip can find a 10-day itinerary on tnwhiskeytrail.com. To get your free passport booklet or to plan your trip, visit www.tnwhiskeytrail.com.

Come join us and see why Adventures Run on Tennessee Whiskey.

About Tennessee Whiskey Trail:

The Tennessee Whiskey Trail consists of 25 distilleries across the state of Tennessee ranging from boutique-sized operations to well-known distilleries that have been making good ol’ fashioned Tennessee whiskey for ages. Along the Trail, visitors can get a taste of the history, tradition and novelty of Tennessee whiskey, as well as experience the rich landscapes, must-see landmarks, and genuine Southern hospitality that embody the great state of Tennessee. From the rolling hills of Appalachia to the lively blues-filled streets of Memphis, the Tennessee Whiskey Trail is a journey through time, a rich experiential adventure through Tennessee’s picturesque countryside and lively cities, and a memorable experience for whiskey connoisseurs, adventurous travelers, and history buffs alike. For more information about the Tennessee Whiskey Trail, visit www.tnwhiskeytrail.com.

Corsair Triple Smoke Review

Distiller: Corsair. No age statement. ABV: 40%/69.35%. Price: $50.

The folks at Corsair in Nashville, TN, pride themselves in breaking rules. Oat whiskey, quinoa whiskey…there’s nothing they won’t try.

Corsair’s Triple Smoke is a blend of three batches of malt whiskey – one smoked with peat, one with cherrywood, one with beech. It won Whisky Advocate’s Artisan Whiskey of the Year in 2013, and during a recent whiskey-related trip, I had my first pour of it and learned what the fuss was about. Upon returning, I told Mrs. McDram I thought she’d enjoy it herself. She laughed and suggested that perhaps there was a bottle lurking in the house. It turned out to be an anniversary co-gift–and it wasn’t just any Triple Smoke, but a monster cask strength single barrel.

At 69.35% ABV, it packs a wallop. Sans water, it’s all fire and smoke, and you miss the glory lurking beneath. But add some water and it comes to life as the best ones do. The nose carries smoke and char, yes, but also cherry and other red fruit–strawberry? The palate is where the power really kicks in, with honey joining the cherry and smoke. The finish is a sustained one, much like the dying embers of a fire.

I loved it from the first dram, and it only got better from there. Cheers, friends! – TM

Buy Corsair whiskey online at Mash + Grape

George Dickel Barrel Select Review

Distiller: George Dickel. 43% ABV. Age: 10-12 years. Mashbill: 84% corn, 8% rye, 8% malted barley. Price: $35-40

The George Dickel Barrel Select was a Father’s Day gift from Mrs. McDram. The bar has been set high for next year.

The Barrel Select is a blend of 10 barrels chosen by Master Distiller John Lunn. Like all Dickel whisky, it’s charcoal filtered (one of the reasons it isn’t classified as bourbon), which is said to yield a smoother, mellower flavor. Because of the true small batch nature of it, there will be variations, but the one I got was a peach.

Though the ABV is only 43%, it feels much richer and more potent. The nose carries vanilla and toffee with maybe a tart fruit on the back end. There’s minerality, but restrained, unlike some of the chalkier Dickels I’ve had. The palate has more of the vanilla, along with rich notes of caramel and hints of rye and fennel. There’s a long warming finish that brings back the vanilla and caramel, plus plenty of bright spice.

For me, this is now a must-have on the shelf. – TM