Mash + Grape is an online liquor store that has come up with a pretty cool idea on how to try a bunch of new craft spirits at once, in a really nice presentable box–perfect for a gift, maybe father’s day? The problem with so many of the sample size packages that I have seen before is that they usually have stuff I have already tried. And another issue with buying craft spirits is more often than not, they are terrible. So Mash + Grape have solved both problems, only putting in limited edition craft spirits ensuring that most buyers have never tried them before, and they also will get to see if they like them before they can buy them. They have called it Mashbox and the price is $99 a year (free shipping) for four quarterly shipments of three 50ml bottles each–all nicely wrapped with cards describing what each one is. The presentation is extremely well done. It is the perfect idea for anyone looking to give the gift of whiskey to their special someone, but is afraid that they might already have everything they want.
I am going to sample each one of this quarters samples:
Barrell Whiskey Batch 002 Sherry Cask Finish… well, this one I actually have tried before and it’s my favorite new whiskey of the year thus far. Well done in picking this great whiskey for the Mashbox. For the full review check below, but, spoiler alert, it’s a 97/100. https://newbourbondrinker.wordpress.com/2016/04/24/barrell-whiskey-002-magical-sherry-cask-finish/
Oak & Rye Wormwood is a 90 proof high rye whiskey that is aged in oak and infused with wormwood, the infmaous ingredient in Absinthe. Mashbox recommends trying it neat or as a substitute for whiskey in a Manhattan. I tried it neat: the nose stings the nostrils, definitely getting that absinthe flavor. Thick mouthfeel, really coats the mouth. Smooth finish. Enjoyable but not one that I will be buying the bottle. Happy to have tried it because of the unique flavors.
Mister Katz’s Rock & Rye is from New York Distilling Company as is a 65 proof marriage of rye and rock candy. Apparently in the 19th century barmen mixed rock candy and citrus to soften the harsh taste of young straight rye. Allen Katz has taken this old approach and applied it to a modern day rye. Mashbox recommends trying it on the rocks with an orange peel. Really sweet nose–the rock candy and citrus is really coming through. Lot of orange peel on the nose. Thick mouthfeel probably from the very high sugar. This one is definitely not for me, it’s way too sugary and sweet for me, almost a cocktail in itself. I could see my wife drinking this though. Again, glad I tried it, but not one I will be buying.
Mashbox is a great gift, and it’s not too late to buy your favorite whiskey lover an annual subscription. Although I did not love all three of the choices that went into the box, all three were very different and I am very happy to have tried each and every one of them–at the very least, this will save me a lot of money not having to buy what I do not like! No one likes having dozens on whiskeys in your cabinet that you hate and never want to drink again… Mashbox solves that problem!