Some of you might recall that CityBeat’s 2007 vodka tasting panel named an unlikely local product, Cincinnati’s Woodstone Creek Vodka, our “best of show.”
Well, lest anyone think that master distiller and super-taster Don Outterson is a one-trick pony, world-renowned whisky expert, writer and critic Jim Murray, in his recently released 2009 Whisky Bible, includes the following rave review of Don’s first small-batch, single malt whisky:
Woodstone Creek Single Barrel
#1 92 points (Brilliant)
Nose: Earthy, salty peat much more redolent of Islay than of Cincinnati just beautifully constructed with excellent layering of gentle smoke, grapey fruit and toasted oak: Glorious!
Taste: The silkiness on the palate stuns. All is understated yet the clarity of the riches never fades. Lots of fruit, but the even sweeter peat circles in clouds and dovetails with drier, oak-led incursions. A tantalizing saltiness gives this a coastal dimension which belie the distillery’s location some 1,000 miles inland.
Finish: Surprisingly brittle at the finish, but the smoke shows little sign of abating.
Overall balance and complexity: What a wonderful whisky! Islayfiles will be confused by this one because it displays so many coastal characters. A massive well-done for a first bottling from this new distillery!
For lovers of single malt, it’s particularly interesting to note that the Woodstone Creek crushed the 12- and 18-year-old Macallan (rated 88 and 87 points, respectively) and ran in a virtual dead heat with my personal go-to Islay whisky, the 12-year-old Lagavulin (rated 92.5). To taste Don’s superlative, creative efforts (and support the local economy!), ask for his Woodstone Creek vodka, single malt and Cincinnati-made bourbon at your local bar or state liquor shop. If they don’t stock it, insist that they support Cincinnati’s only micro-distillery and order it in!