Whenever my stocks of whiskey run low at home, my wife is always willing to pick something out for me. In fact, she enjoys doing it, trying to find a gem among those that I haven't previously tried.
In this instance, though, when she came across O.Z. Tyler honey whiskey at the grocery store, she had other motivation. Our firstborn son is named Tyler. Our third child, our other son, is named Owen, and, accordingly, has the initials "O.Z." So, when she saw the name "O.Z. Tyler" staring at her from the shelf, she felt she had to purchase it, even though she knew I have little interest in flavored whiskeys.
Nonetheless, I was willing to give it a try. First, however, I was intrigued by the distillery, as I had never heard of it, and there was not a lot of information readily available. After a bit of digging, though, I learned that O.Z. Tyler is a chemist who, through his company, Terresentia, has patented the TerrePURE technology--a means of chemically aging and filtering spirits.
Based on what I've read, the company primarily offers this service to other distillers and bottlers. Apparently they will age your spirits for you. This whiskey, however, Mr. Tyler apparently put his name to, and it was bottled by TerrePURE Spirits out of South Carolina.
So, going in, I already was biased against the whiskey for being flavored, but, after reading up on the company, I was also skeptical that a chemical process can manufacture and replicate the aging process.
On first sip, my lips pursed and face grimaced at just how incredibly sweet this whiskey is. In that respect alone, this was very difficult to put away. I felt like I needed to brush my teeth after each sip. The honey flavor is overpowering and tastes cheap and artificial.
More importantly, though, is that this did not taste anything like whiskey from a barrel. It tasted almost metallic. Perhaps my prejudice got in the way, and all I could picture was a whiskey made in a lab, and so I got that sterilized lab smell stuck in my head. But, I couldn't shake it.
This bottle took me quite a while to make my way to the bottom. I found the only way I could drink it and not hate it was with a whole bunch of ice. Accordingly, I would pour a glass generally only after already having had a few drinks.
The only reason I didn't give this a failing grade is that I was, at least, able to finish it, unlike some whiskeys I've tried, but this was incredibly close. Sure, it has an awesome name (at least from my perspective), but as is always the case, it's what's in the bottle that counts.