Thursday, September 29, 2022

Review: Clayton Distillery New York Straight Bourbon Whisky (Batch 16.16 Barrel #3)

 Color (5%): lovely rich honey 4/5

Nose (10%): Very, very oaky. a bit overaged maybe, or barrels too small. There's a little of that corn/honey sweetness. faint maltiness. 5/10

Palate (20%): not bad, very low sweetness on the front of the palate. Holding it on the tongue gives a bit of that stinging corn sharpness. That might just be my personal preference but I find whiskeys have an innate sharpness. For a bourbon, it is very rounded and clean. Not the most complex, but good. 15/20

Finish (10%): a little chocolate milk ball finish. Whoppers, or whatever brand of malt you prefer. Not a very heavy alcohol burn for 46%, well distilled. Medium duration. 8/10

Overall Impression and Harmony (30%): It's a fine whiskey, I wouldn't call it that unique or top tier in any sense. Sort of generic with a little extra-aged character. Well made and balanced, but nothing inventive. Does the job. 24/30

Retry on Ice (25%): chocolate maltiness pops a bit more. a little bit of rye spice starts to come out. light notes of cassia bark (mild cinnamon), neat to see it open up. I'm actually going to try this equal parts with just water to see if there is some nuance that is lost when this is drunk at full proof. Nope, it's not the dilution it's the temperature. 18/25

Total Ranking: 74% Legendary, Amazing, Great, Good, Fair, Average, Tolerable, Swill

Estimated Fair Price: $37 per 750ml
Actual Price: ~$50 depending on market

Conclusion: You're paying for the story and the small-batch craft in this whiskey. The farm where this is made and the crops are grown is picturesque and was even featured on Martha Stewart Wedding in 2013, an odd accolade to feature on your website. If you are around the Thousand Islands please check out their facility, but I wouldn't buy a dram of this if I were out of the area. Of course, you should support local and small businesses, but you don't need to buy a case of this. Maybe another batch or another barrel. Or try some of their other spirits. The distillery offers a lovely selection of vodka, moonshine, liqueurs, and gin. This particular whiskey falls flat for the price.

Fact Sheet:
Distillery Location: Thousand Islands New York
ABV: 46% ABV, 92 proof
Age Statement: Aged 3 years.
Ingredients: Estate-grown corn, malted barley, wheat and/or rye
Method: Double pot stilled. bottled one barrel at a time. 

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