This bottle comes from the second release of the Hopscotch Vermont Single Malt which is a continually changing project from Mad River Distillers. This means there’s no real consistency between batches, but when you’re goal is to make something interesting and different each year that’s not exactly a concern.
In Mad River Distillers’ Words: Hopscotch Vermont Single Malt
“For our second batch of Hopscotch, we decided to distill an existing beer from Stone Corral and chose their Scotch Ale for obvious reasons,” explained Alex Hilton, general manager and distiller at Mad River Distillers. “The result is a rich and malt-forward whiskey, much like the beer itself.”
Hopscotch is a supple, flavorful whiskey that bridges the ground between the classic American whiskey style and the smoky tang of traditional Scottish single malts. It was distilled from Stone Corral Scotch Ale, which is brewed with peated malt.
Tasting Notes: Tobacco, ale maltiness and a kiss of hop on the palate. Smoky on the finish with flavors of peat.”
I’ve reviewed several distilled beers here on TWJ and for the most part they’ve all been “ok” at best. But I’ve never had one that started as a Scotch Ale, which I enjoy, so I have high hopes. On to the Hopscotch Vermont Single Malt review!
Hopscotch Vermont Single Malt Info
Region: Vermont, USA
Distiller: Mad River Distillers
Mashbill: 100% Malted Barley
Cask: New Charred Oak
Age: 18 months
Hopscotch Vermont Single Malt Review
Tootsie rolls, toffee, craft oak, spice, taffy and a bit of orange zest and vanilla.
Tootsie Rolls, toffee, wood, orange peel, spice and a slight bit of char and hops.
Medium fizzle of spice, craft oak, cocoa and orange peel.
BALANCE, BODY & FEEL
Ok balance, medium body and a soft oily feel.
Hopscotch Vermont Single Malt smells and tastes like alcoholic Tootsie Rolls. The actual delivery is more complex than that, but in a nutshell it’s like a waxy chocolate stout with a bit of hops in it. It’s unique and interesting, but it’s also noticeably young.
That young craft oak character sticks out across all aspects of the whiskey which is a bit distracting with the acetone sliding through the aroma, palate and finish – making itself undeniably present. Hopscotch Vermont Single Malt is on the higher end of craft whiskies for sure and with a few more years (and/or the use of large barrels) to let the oak round it out it could be a stellar whiskey.
SCORE: 83/100 (B)
*Disclosure: This Hopscotch Vermont Single Malt was graciously sent to me by the company for the purposes of this review. The views, opinions, and tasting notes are 100% my own.
Hopscotch Vermont Single Malt Review - Score Breakdown
- Nose - 83
- Palate - 83
- Finish - 83
- Balance, Body & Feel - 83
Hopscotch Vermont Single Malt is decent.