Three things right off the bat. #1 This is the second best spirit whiskey I have had to this point in my life. #2 I did not pay for this bottle and was sent it specifically for the purposes of writing this review. #3 I am not saying it’s the second best I’ve had because it was given to me, but because it really is quite good when compared to similar style whiskeys. The best I’ve had being whippersnapper which is a spirit whiskey from Oregon that I just haven’t gotten around to reviewing yet.
If you’re not familiar with Spirit whiskey it is a blended whiskey made mostly of neutral grain spirits and blended with some form of straight whiskey for flavoring. To be labeled a blended whiskey in America the grain neutral spirits (think Everclear or moonshine) can make up no more than 80% of the blend with the last 20% being a straight whiskey of some sort. If the GNS is more than 80% but less than 95% then it is called a Spirit Whiskey. Seeing how closely they are related and part of a relatively small group I’m comparing this against both American Blended and Spirit whiskeys.
The first thing that you can help but notice about this whiskey is how sweet it is. Vanilla laden dessert qualities come tumbling out of this bottle the second it’s opened and to honest I was a bit terrified of it at first. I’m not a big fan of sweet whiskey or dessert in general (I’m a savory salty kind of guy) and was worried it would taste more like a whipped cream vodka than anything identifiable as whiskey. I’m happy to say I was 1/2 right.
While you’re not going to find much in the way of a traditional whiskey spice like you would find in a rye or a bourbon it has more body and finesse to it than you get with flavored vodkas. I’m not going to go out on a limb and call it a daily drinker for myself, but my wife and her friends who tried it all seemed to like it. In cocktails it’s natural sweetness appears to work very well and enhances some of the more savory characteristics found in older cocktail recipes.
The overall flavor profile is rather similar to Jim Beam’s Ghost and it reminds me more of a rum than a traditional whiskey, which is a welcome flavor when you’re comparing it to all the other American Blended rotgut out there. For the time being I’m happy to have it to experiment with, share with folks and I’m happy to have tried it. If you’ve tried it I would love to hear your thoughts and tasting notes in the comments below.
Kansas Clean Distilled Spirit Whiskey Review
Price: $26 – $30
Distiller: Fabulous American Beverages(?)
A soft pale yellow like a light rum or tequila.
The first sniffy sniff immediately made me think of light rum with the sugar coming out in full force. Giving it a second to breathe let an aroma of vanilla buttercream frosting surface and it became the key smell that all others orbited around. Circling that vanilla buttercream are hints of buttery caramel corn, a citrus mashup along the lines of 7UP and some coconut notes.
The first taste was very much like buttered popcorn which was a bit strange because the almost overwhelming sweetness which is largly due to their 100% wheat mashbill. Vanilla and coconut are the dominant flavors with some hints of ripe orange, sweet grains and caramel coffee syrup (Torani). Overall the flavor brings me closer to some poorly done light rums I’ve had, but if you add ice or too much water watch out as it quickly dissolves into something more closely resembling a sweet whiskey flavored vodka as that grain neutral spirit really rears it’s head the more watered down it gets.
Candy corn that fades to a vanilla salt water taffy that morphs into a coconut salt water taffy. It has an incredibly strong aftertaste, I can still taste it after having drank it before writing this review.
Candy corn that fades to a vanilla salt water taffy that morphs into a coconut salt water taffy. It has an incredibly long finish and I can still taste it after having drank it before writing this review.