8.25.2011

Low Gap Whiskey

Low Gap Whiskey
Craft Distillers
Clear Whiskey
Aged 357 Minutes in Oak
44.8% Alcohol (89.6 Proof)
Every once in awhile, something will catch you off guard.  Something will be so random, so unexpected, that it makes your head spin.  Now I have had quite a few "white" whiskeys over the years, including moonshine, pure corn whiskeys, and several "white dog" mashes of a variety of bourbons (including Buffalo Trace's White Dog Mash Recipe #1 reviewed just a few days ago).  But, the thing that's currently blowing my mind is Craft Distillers' Low Gap Whiskey.  This isn't your grandpa's cough medicine.

Craft Distillers' Low Gap whiskey is distilled by hand in an antique double-distillation copper cognac potstill from Germain-Robin's old Surrenne distillery.  If distilling whiskey in a cognac still sounds odd, that's because it is.  Low Gap is made from Bavarian hard wheat, slowly fermented to 8.8% alcohol, distilled, then brought to bottle proofing with rainwater.  That certainly sounds impressive and guess what?  The end product most definitely is.

Low Gap whiskey is aged for 357 minutes in oak before being bottled, but this liquid is as clear as spring water.  It smells like mildly sweet corn and bread, with some background notes that are almost floral.  Tasting it totally caught me off guard.  Whereas Buffalo Trace's White Dog is almost cloyingly sweet, Low Gap's sweetness is tamed down.  It has much more depth and roundness to its flavor, but it is almost difficult to describe.  There is a delicate sweetness, where the floral notes show up again, some wheat in the background, and an almost ethereal base.  It has surprisingly little alcohol burn.  

Don't let the plain looking bottle fool you, Low Gap is special stuff.  It is easily the smoothest, most elegant white whiskey I have tried.  I craved more after my glass was gone.  I'm excited to try this after it has been aged a few years.  Considering how delicate and refined it already is, several years in wood could give some of the heavily aged Pappy Van Winkle whiskeys some stiff competition.  

This is a white whiskey I may have to keep stocked in my liquor cabinet.  Brilliant, brilliant stuff. 

Drink This: if you want to try white whiskey done well.
Don't Drink This: if you don't drink whiskey neat or with a splash of water.  It would be a shame to mix something of this quality with cola or a sour mix.    
      

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