Corsair Quinoa Whiskey is one of my three favorite whiskeys coming out of Corsair today and is a great example of Corsair’s dedication to doing things differently. Typically aged for about 5 months and made in 8 barrel batches the Corsair Quinoa Whiskey is made from 80% malted barley and 20% quinoa which begs the question… why is it not considered a malt whiskey?
The Corsair Quinoa Whiskey itself is good, but I have some quibbles about the label. To be considered a wheat whiskey the mash must be at least 51% wheat, rye whiskey at least 51% rye, bourbon at least 51% corn, etc. so how can this be labeled as a quinoa whiskey when it only contains 20% quinoa? Maybe it’s because the front of the bottle says “American Whiskey pot distilled from Quinoa and Malted Barley”, but that in of itself implies Quinoa has a bigger role in the whiskey than it does.
I get it. Corsair Barley and Quinoa Whiskey doesn’t roll off the tongue quite as easily as Corsair Quinoa Whiskey and in using an alternative grain like that you definitely want to call it out. Though especially in this case I feel like more transparency would be better. Malted barley and quinoa should trade places on the lower portion of the label and the mashbill included on the back. On a side note it would also be nice if the TTB would get itself aligned on exactly what it will and won’t approve. Now on to the Corsair Quinoa Whiskey review!
Corsair Quinoa Whiskey Info
Region: Tennessee, USA
Mashbill: 80% Malted Barley, 20% Quinoa
Cask: New charred oak (15 gallon barrels)
Age: NAS (typically age for 5-10 months)
Corsair Quinoa Whiskey Review
Malty grain, caramel, nutty, herbal and sweet vanilla with light alfalfa-like notes, some juniper tree and spice. I really do enjoy sniffing this whiskey. It has odd and interesting elements that scratch a very specific itch.
Grain, nuts, caramel, spice, vanilla, wood, citrus zest get accompanied by light noted of fruit and almonds. Rustic and tasty I’ve spent many an evening sipping on a glass of this with a dog on my lap.
Long and filled with grains, nuts, dark sweets, spice and saw dust.
BALANCE, BODY & FEEL
Good balance, medium body and an oily mouthfeel.
Corsair Quinoa Whiskey is a tasty little gem from Tennessee and over the years I’ve grown to like it more and more. Could be my perception or it could be that their batches are getting better and batter. All I know is that it has a great rustic quality to it that starts in the nose and runs down through the finish and I’m enjoying this batch 27.
Unique and interesting whiskeys like this are why I like Corsair. They’ve carved out their own niche by doing something different and when I want something different and weird that’s when I pull out whiskies like this. It’s not hard for me to understand why some folks don’t like it, but for me and my tastes the Corsair Quinoa Whiskey walks a balanced line of weird and pleasant.
Corsair Quinoa Whiskey Review - Score Breakdown
- Nose - 85
- Palate - 85
- Finish - 85
- Balance, Body & Feel - 85
Corsair Quinoa Whiskey is weird and rustic in all the right ways. I’ve never had a batch that I didn’t find pleasant.