Hammer Head Whisky Review

Hammer Head Whisky Review

Hammer Head Whisky is a Czech Single Malt that stems from a single run done in 1989 before the Velvet revolution and right before the Berlin Wall fell. After the cultural dust settled the whisky was forgotten about till someone else bought the distillery, discovered the casks and bottled the whisky. It was created with the idea that it would compete with the decadence of the Western World and so they pulled out all the stops to create it.

The distillery installed a hammer mill to mill the grain (hence the name), they created oak casks from 100% Czech oak and they only used the purest source of water they could get. What exists on the market today from this run of Czech single malt is all that’s there since it wasn’t in continuous production, so let’s dig in and see what the Hammer Head Whiskyis all about!

Hammer Head Whisky Info

Region: Czech Republic

Distiller: Pradlo
Mashbill: 100% Czech Barley
Wood: Czech oak
Vintage: 1989
ABV: 40.7%

Price: $62+

Hammer Head Whisky Review

EYE
Straw

NOSE
Incredibly floral with a strong astringent undertone and a stale maltiness. The best I can do to describe it would be if there was a barley perfume and someone had sprayed it in a windowless room several hours before you walked in. There is also a light bit of floralness and spice to it; the spice is kind of like cinnamon, anise and clove… but not quite. On the whole the aroma is rather amorphous and not wholly pleasant with that sharp acetone bite upfront.

PALATE
The palate is also quite floral, perfumy and astringent with that same weird stale maltiness. There is a light nuttiness and spice to the palate accompanied by something that’s a bit like Earl Grey tea… but not. Like the nose, the spice on the palate both is and isn’t cinnamon, anise and clove and then there’s something that’s kind of like burnt coffee beans and oak.

FINISH
Short and perfumy floral malty with a touch of spice

BALANCE, BODY & FEEL
Not well balanced, medium body and a lax feel.

OVERALL
Hammer Head Whisky is not pleasant, but it is incredibly fascinating – like being in a science experiment instead of just observing one. It’s perfumy and none of the notes are solid, they’re all flighty and shifting, appearing like off-center copies of bad faxes.

It’s as if someone heard about whisky in a badly translated book and tried to create the flavors and aromas out of things in their kitchen. By no means would I ever buy the Hammer Head Whisky now that I’ve had it, but it’s also such a weird and interesting thing that I think if you get the chance to try it you should; it’s an experience for sure.

Though be weary of the price you’re paying for that experience because while it’s weird and interesting it could quickly go from a fun novelty to an over-priced and underwhelming.

SCORE: 70-72/100 (C-, not consumed at home)

Hammer Head Whisky Review - Score Breakdown
  • Nose - 70
  • Palate - 70
  • Finish - 70
  • Balance, Body & Feel - 70

Summary

Hammer Head Whisky is an interesting experience, but not something I want to experience more than once!

Hammer Head Whisky Label

Josh Peters
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Josh Peters

I read about, think about, write about, and drink whisk(e)y. In short, it's my passion.
Josh Peters
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4 Responses to Hammer Head Whisky Review

  1. Couldn’t agree more! A bizarre science experiment and slice of history but under no circumstances could be considered a ‘good’ whisky. Can spark a great conversation though! 🙂

  2. I’m SO intrigued by this, but can’t bring myself to buy such a subpar whiskey (this is certainly not the first review like this that I’ve read). What I really want is a friend with a bottle of this. Y’know, for science.

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Hammer Head Whisky Review

 

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