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Rare Hare Spirits

The Tempest

Tasmanian Single Malt Whisky

Finished in Port Casks

Distilled by: Undisclosed

Aged 20 Years

84 Proof

Mash Bill: Undisclosed

Retail Price: $999

Poured Neat in a Stölzle Nosing Glass

Color: Golden

Nose: Ripe Dark Fruits, Sweet Cream, Honeysuckle

Palate: Cream, Fig, Plum, Slight Smoke and Tobacco, Cocoa

Finish: Lingering and Viscous with a Warm Sweetness

Overall: The few expressions from Rare Hare Spirits I've had the opportunity to try have been very impressive. This is at the top of the list though. A super well-rounded pour with so much to offer in terms of complexity, flavor and balance. This was the first Single Malt I've had from Tasmania and I'm digging it.

From the Rare Hare website: "A rugged little island off the southeaster coast of Australia, Tasmania boasts a unique ecosystem that conspires to create some of the best whisky in the world. 

The temperate maritime climate of Tasmania, with its long hot summer days, short cold winter days, plentiful sunshine, and low humidity, provides the perfect storm for creating this exceptional single malt whisky - The Tempest.

Produced in very small batches using pristine Tasmanian water and locally sourced malt and barley, The Tempest employs a centuries-old pot still distillation process that spans nearly three days, followed by a secondary slow still distillation to yield a whisky of unparalleled quality and character."

As far as the bottle, it's currently sold out on the Rare Hare Spirits website, but snoop around a bit to see if others intrigue you as well.

Thank you kindly, to the folks at Rare Hare Spirits for providing this amazing sample.

Library Rating: 8.8 / 10

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The Details

The Reverend

Sour Mash Whiskey

Aged 4 to 6 Years (at least 4 Years)

Maple Charcoal Filtered (Lincoln County Process)

Distilled: Not Specified

Produced by: Call Family Distillers

Wilkesboro, North Carolina - DSP-21031

45% ABV / 90 Proof

Mashbill: 76% Corn, 19% Rye, 5% Malted Barley

Barrels Used: New Charred American Oak and First Fill Bourbon Cask

Price: $35.99 (750mL)

Poured Neat in a Glencairn Glass

Appearance: Honey/Light Amber

Nose: Honey, Light Fruits and Charred Citrus, Toffee

Palate: Bright Fruits, Brown Sugar, Toffee, Honey

Finish: Extremely smooth sweetness turning into a touch of rye spice. Medium linger and viscosity.

Overall: It's no surprise how much of a Jack Daniel's history buff I truly am. So when the folks from Call Family Distillers reached out to me about this particular bottle, my senses kicked in to high gear. There's a story. There's a great story. Dates all the way back to the mid 1800s. This story is where I get drawn in. This story is one where I want to sip and read. Here, check this out from The Reverend:

"The Reverend is a small batch, hand-crafted sour mash whiskey that pays homage to seven generations of American distillers and whiskey makers. The Reverend, Daniel Call, mentor to a young Jasper Daniel and friend to trailblazing distiller Nathan Green, gave up his stake in the old No. 7 distillery to live the life of a preacher. However, his descendants carried on his early legacy of moonshining and whiskey making in Wilkes County, North Carolina, where they produce spirits to this day. This premium whiskey is aged for over four years in new charred oak and first-fill bourbon casks before using the same maple charcoal filtration process that was made famous in Lincoln County, Tennessee, to refine and enhance the spirit after it leaves the barrel." - Check out the website HERE

Sounds like the Call Family are continuing on in a process that got me hooked on whiskey very early on. That Lincoln County Process, I tell ya. I have so much respect for the attention to detail and the patience with this added step. Filtration through Sugar-Maple Charcoal brings a smoother mouthfeel and taste to the forefront while not adding, but yet subtracting impurities. It's not just the Lincoln County Process that has me comparing to Old No. 7, the fact the distillate age is 4 to 6 years also has me sitting here with a smirk on my face.

But regardless of the similarities and the lineage to such a historic brand in Lynchburg, this whiskey certainly stands on it's own. It has flavor. Check. It has age. Check. It has a "smooth" finish. Check. And now, it has a new fan. And at the SRP of $35.99, this is hard one to say no to a couple of bottles and make it a daily sipper.

"Preacher, Farmer, Grocer & Distiller" - The Reverend Daniel Houston Call, 1836-1904.

A great big thank you to the great folks at Call Family Distillers for allowing me to try this and weigh in on my notes. NC Proud!

Currently available in: North Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee and Michigan.

Awards: Gold Masked Double Blind Tasting - 2023 Pr%f Awards

Library Rating: 7.9 / 10

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The Details

Never Say Die

Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Small Batch - 2750 Bottles per run

Serial No. NSDUS0002726

Aged at least 5 Years

Distilled in Kentucky

Bottled by NSD Spirits - United Kingdom

47.5% ABV / 95 Proof

Mashbill: 75% Corn, 21% Rye, 4% Malted Barley

Barrels Used: American Oak - Char 4

Price: $60-70 (700mL)

Poured Neat in a Glencairn Glass

Appearance: Deep Gold

Nose: Spiced Citrus, Salted Caramel, Touch of Nutmeg, Vanilla Bean

Palate: Seared Orange Peel, Sweet Cream, Salted Brown Butter, White Pepper

Finish: Light, Sweet Heat to a Lingering Spice

Overall: We all know about the Jefferson's Ocean Voyages and how barrels are aged at sea on barges and sail from port to port. This entertains a very similar approach, but that's only a part of the process. "Kentucky Straight Bourbon" is the clear indicator that this whiskey produced follows all the requirements to be called "Bourbon". In fact, because the label reads "Kentucky Straight", means it was produced and aged for at least 2 years in the Blue Grass State. Huge climate fluctuations between summer and winter and plenty of expansion and contraction happening with each barrel. The "ins and outs" of the distillate in the barrel does something produces flavor from the wood sugars. But what happened the other 3+ years? Well, these barrels took a bit of a "holiday" across the pond to the United Kingdom. I for one am fairly certain I can pick out some extra "salty" or briney undertones while sipping this Small Batch. The excursion on a vessel does something else to these barrels that isn't very common, they're constantly being agitated. More interaction with the surface of the charred oak which creates a washing machine of flavor and color. The final step is resting the barrels in England. The weather in England is clearly different than Kentucky. A typically cooler and more consistent climate means the whiskey "slows" down its aging while still soaking in the flavors from the charred barrel. These barrels are then batched and bottled. In the case of Never Say Die, the Small Batches consist of only 2,750 bottles per run.

Stories of brands, labels and products always fascinates me. Never Say Die is a brand that really piqued my interest based on the back story. "Never Say Die" is the name of a horse, for all that aren't aware. Now, before your eyes start rolling about another brand with a horse, check out the story that brings together the USA, the UK, The Epsom Derby, Queen Elizabeth II, Winston Churchill and The Beatles. Click HERE for more info and the full story.

Finally, you want to know about the whiskey, right? I like it. I feel it has a delicious overall experience and can be a great everyday sipper. The true bourbon flavors are there with a touch of salted coastal aging and some great high-rye spices. I love the story behind the brand and the history that stems from one event to the next.

Neat - absolutely.

On the Rocks - sure.

In a cocktail - light but worth a "shot"

With a Cigar - I'd pair this with a medium to full-bodied smoke to enhance the experience

Library Rating: 7.8 / 10

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