This tasting note is a bit of a turn in my usual stroll through single malt Scotch and American single malt whiskey. I have spent a little time exploring a Rye now and the, but I think this is my first review of a bourbon. I have been enjoying discovering less well known whisky, ones I cannot often find in local shops. I came across this one on the Flaviar web site, and the reviews intrigued me, so I had a bottle delivered.
Old Hell Roaring is a double barreled straight Bourbon whisky produced by Crooked Water Spirits in Minneapolis, MN. It is bottled at 45% ABV. It is distilled at the Yahara Bay Distillery in Madison, WI using the recipe developed by Crooked Water Founder and CEO, Heather Manley. It is then finished at Crooked Water Spirits a combination of new oak barrels and a secondary maturation in new oak barrels prepared using a proprietary toasting and smoking process.
On the nose, my first sensation is of molasses and oak. On a later pass, I pick up a bit of caramel.
My initial sip brings a modest sweetness, like a peach cobbler with spicy vanilla undertones. On the back end there is the sensation of a lightly smoked crème brule.
The finish is very pleasurable, long, spicy and warm. As the spicy element fades, there is dry end with a whisp of smoke and tea.
Overall, this bourbon delivers a rich and refined flavor profile. With the caution that I am not well-versed in the full range of bourbons, I find it more to my liking than many I have sampled. Old Hell Roaring is certainly a whisky that I will add to my cabinet. A decision made all the easier by a price point of under $60 and supporting a women owned and operated business. I should add, the labeling illustration on the bottle is superb.
According to the Crooked Water website, Old Hell Roaring has recently fared well in national and international spirit competitions:
Silver – 2018 San Francisco World Spirits Competition
Silver – 2018 Los Angeles International Spirits Competition
Silver – 2018 New York International Spirits Competition
Silver – 2018 American Craft Spirits Association
A little more information about Crooked Water Spirits from their website:
“Owner and CEO, Heather Manley, created Crooked Water Spirits in 2013 based off an infatuation for spirits and love for growing idiosyncratic brands that radiate life, values and passion. Born and raised in Minnesota, Heather intends to create a line of uniquely finished spirits (bourbon, vodka and gin) utilizing Midwest grains and botanicals for distribution in Minnesota. The 1st MN Woman-Owned Bourbon to market.”