Food & Drink

3 New North American Spirits You Should Know

Sherry-Cask Single-Malt From the Rocky Mountains and a Veteran-Run Distillery From Florida

By Hadley Tomicki ·
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Just get a load of our enterprising countrymen. They're out there crafting new and sundry ways for everybody to get smashed. Here now, three stand-out U.S. spirits new to the market and deserving of your attention. 

Stranahan’s Sherry Cask: For the last ten years, Denver-based Stranahan’s has been making a renowned U.S. single-malt with malted barley and Rocky Mountain water. This newest introduction is an Iberian-influenced whiskey aged in 40+year-plus Oloroso sherry barrels procured in southwestern España’s sherry triangle. Huge notes of vanilla, oak, raisin, almond and dark chocolate ring out on the nose, with a honeyed palate rich with nuttiness, fig, blackcurrant and sour cherry and a spicy, caramel finish. The 47% ABV spirit is now available for $89.99 a bottle.

Rekker Rum: This is a silver rum from American Freedom, a brand-new and not-so-subtly named distillery in Saint Petersburg, Florida, the first of several planned spirits that will eventually include an eight-year barrel strength bourbon. American Freedom? Yah. According to their marketing materials, the distillery was founded by U.S. combat vets who are the subjects of the CNN documentary Legion of Brothers, as well as a feature film called 12Strong coming out next year. 

6,000 bottles are being initially released in Florida this month, with a wider national release coming in 2018. The pot-still-distilled rum has only three ingredients, including 100% organic panela (unrefined whole cane sugar) derived from fresh cane juice, putting it in a similar sphere as French Agricole rum, as opposed to rums that employ molasses and/or syrups as their base. Complex flavors of grass, mint and sugared pineapple have been reported. The 42.5% ABV rum is available for $24.95. Who's sorry they don't live in Florida now?

TinCup 10: TinCup is another Colorado whiskey founded by Jess Graber, who also endowed the world with the aforementioned Stranahan’s. TinCup 10 is the brand’s latest release, a blend of rye, corn and barley sentenced to a minimum of ten years of solitary American oak aging. It comes out and gets cut to proof with Rocky Mountain water and rather than ever go back to that dark barrel, sacrifices itself to your palate in a blaze of leather, raisins and sweet pepper, with a biscuity caramel finish. 42% ABV and $54.99.

Hadley Tomicki lives in Los Angeles. He is probably going nowhere on the 10 Freeway this very second.

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