Thursday, September 29, 2022

Review: Clyde May's Original Alabama Style Whiskey (Batch No. 52, Recipe No. 1)

Color (5%):  lovely light brown / bronze fading to a very thin clear edge, a long gradient. 3/5

Nose (10%): light honeyed apple note, 4/10 alcohol, mild spice, powdered sugar/sherbet, can't quite place it. Sort of nondistinct. 6/10

Palate (20%): I taste vanilla, spice, and apple. It's an interesting mash bill. I'm used to bourbon, rye, and single malt. There's a bit of wheat or something else in here. Corn is in there, but I will surprise myself with this tasting. It has a rather mild flavor, leaning me toward wheat. 16/20

Finish (10%): a rather long finish, lovely caramel apple lingers, sherbet. It's sweet, reaffirming my guess of corn. 9/10

Overall Impression and Harmony (30%): A very mild whiskey by my standards. The alcohol impact is undoubtedly there and represents what it is. The nose isn't all that much, but I do really enjoy sipping this. It reminds me of some Irish whiskeys I've had in terms of intensity, which is to say, lighter. Certainly sweet, not the most candy-like whiskey I've had, but sweet, butterscotch sweet. 24/30

Retry on Ice (25%): nose pops a bit more. The sweet finish lessens. Baked apple and oak come through more. Not as good as neat. 16/25

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

Estimated Fair Price: $37
Actual Price: $33

Conclusion: I recommend this whiskey with light foods, appetizers, salads, etc. Watermelon salads come to mind. It doesn't fall into any particular style, but everything can find its place. Turns out it is finished with real apples. Doesn't hold up to intense flavors, so doesn't fit the whiskey niche for cocktails. It is more of a brandy/calvados. It's actually sold as an aged moonshine rather than a whiskey. The story that this brand sells is a good one, harkening back to prohibition and some historic styles. Who should I pitch this to? A whiskey novice won't get a good education from this. A whiskey connoisseur will have the types that they like best. The flavoring component will put off purists. But this is good, and I do recommend it. I want this to start a meal, not finish it, which is rare for a whiskey. And that's cool. 

Fact Sheet:
Distillery Location: Florida, USA
ABV: 42.5% (85 proof)
Age Statement: 4 years
Method: Finished with a hint of apple
Awards: 93 pt 2017 Ultimate Spirits Challenge, 93 pt 2012 Wine Enthusiast Magazine Top-50 Spirit

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