Saturday, November 14, 2020

Chattanooga Whiskey Cask 111 Straight Bourbon Whiskey


VITALS:

- $45
- 111 Proof
- 2 Years
- Batch No. 20A20R
- Tennessee

I knew very little about Chattanooga Whiskey prior to getting this bottle. Quite frankly, I know very little about it now. But, I had at least heard of Chattanooga Whiskey, and I had certainly heard at least some positive feedback. So, when my assistant took a trip to Chattanooga to take her daughter to college, and she asked me what she could bring back for me, this was the first thing that came to mind. After all, at that time, it just wasn't something that I could find in Illinois (though I did see it here for the first time a couple days ago).

This bottle is young, with an age statement of "greater than 2 years."  However, they do provide a lot of information on their label. The mashbill is yellow corn, malted rye, caramel malted barley and honey malted barley. The batch size is 6-10 barrels, and the barrels used were 53 gallon barrels, apparently both toasted and charred. And it's unfiltered. This all came from the label. It even provided the fermentation period! So, with all that transparency, with a unique mashbill, high proof and no filtration, I was excited to try this regardless of its young age.

The nose gave off that apple note that I get off of young whiskeys, but rather than an overripe apple note, it was more of a crisp, fresh apple note. I actually kind of enjoyed it. It also had some graham cracker to it, some corn notes, as well as a bit of caramel, reminding me a bit of caramel apples. I also got a sweet butterscotch pudding note as well that I thought was interesting.

As to the flavor, I didn't get that crisp apple note, but I did get other bright fruits. It was on the sweeter side, and I got distinct flavors of apricot and orange. I also got a light bitterness to go with it, like melon rind. The amount of citrus was unexpected.

I also got the sweet, dessert-like flavors that I got on the nose. There was a healthy amount of caramel and butterscotch to counter the citrus flavors and that bitter note. At times I got some red licorice notes as well, even leaning towards a cherry cordial flavor. 

The finish was more of the same, but with an added black pepper spice that I didn't get anywhere else. The caramel notes seemed to stick around for quite a while as well, lending to a nice sweet and spicy finish.

Overall, this was pretty good. While it had some of the characteristics of young whiskey, those characteristics worked and were actually interesting, as opposed to being a turn off.  I think that it's priced right for what you get here, and it's certainly worth a pick-up.

Grade: B

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