Like I said in the first few posts, I’m historically a wine guy and when I went to Fairway Wines recently one of the managers was telling me about how great this new American Single Malt Whiskey was. He told me that it comes from a farm that historically sold their barley to other big producers, but because it was so good they are keeping it and making it themselves now. Reminds me of a lot of smaller wineries that used to sell their grapes to big products and are now producing great wines themselves. OK, so I like a good story, even if it’s complete BS, but the bottle looks pretty sharp, and who doesn’t love supporting the home team, so I bought it.
I should have done more research.
Defiant is owned by what seems to be a pretty cool guy who owns a deep sea diving company that does some pretty impressive things–like working on the deepest part of flooded subways post-Sandy. This whiskey thing is a side gig.
Here’s the actual part of the story that makes Defiant whiskey different: it’s only aged for 60 days. Instead of the long maturation process in large barrels, their “proprietary aging process is far more efficient than barrels. We use cuts of hand selected premium American white oak, toasted to perfection.”
So… the only thing left to do is actually try it.
Blue Ridge Distilling Co’s Defiant American Single Malt Whisky, bottled at 82 proof. It is made from 100% malted barley and water drawn from a well under the distillery. It is distilled in hand built copper potstills.
It looks like a 10yr aged scotch, same coppery tones.
The nose: same classic single malt barley nose smell, slightly medicinal.
Now the real test… it actually doesn’t taste that bad. The mouthfeel is lacking, but not as thin as many 41% alcohol single malts are. The finish is short, but it’s not that bad. It isn’t complex though, and is thoroughly uninteresting.
OK… so I don’t hate it, but I don’t find anything great about it either except for that it is probably the only single malt under 1yr that I have had, and for that brief period of time, it is drinkable. It would be very interesting to see if they did more experiments on this system, perhaps one or two years to see if it develops more character, more depth and something that makes you want to go back and try it again. I almost don’t want to grade it because I feel like it is incomplete and needs to go back and try again, but because it is on the shelves, they clearly believe is it a finished product. 80/100.