WhipperSnapper – Oregon Spirit Whiskey Review

WhipperSnapper - Oregon Spirit Whiskey

Made by Ransom Spirits in Sheridan Oregon this isn’t your everyday bottle of whiskey. Everything from the name of the distillery (a reference to the cost of being self-employed) to it’s production process that utilizes aspects of making bourbon, scotch, irish whiskey, and dutch corenwyn are a bit unconventional.

Whipper Snapper is made from 79% white dog and 21% malted barley, aged between six months to two years inside a variety of new and used whiskey barrels as well as Pinot Noir barrels which in my humble opinion is where things get interesting. The odd mixture creates a provocative taste that seems to leave you identifying a flavor that changes just as you start to figure it out… It’s a combination that you just can’t place.

When the whiskey is ready only 8 barrels are selected, mixed and used for bottling which is done with extra tender love and care by being hand bottled, hand labeled, and hand waxed.

All in all this isn’t a whiskey for traditionalist but I’m a sucker for something a little off the beaten path so I was happy to pick up a bottle to share with friends. Don’t let the overall rating fool you, it’s worth trying but for me it’s more of a novelty than a “must-have” item in your cabinet.

Color: Deep amber.

Nose: Fruit, Beer and Barley.

Finish: Warm but quick to fade leaving lingering hints of wine.

Overall: 2/5

Lions’ Pride Dark Oat Whiskey Review

Lions Pride Dark Oat Whiskey - Koval Distillery

I’m sure some of you are looking at the title and wondering if the word “Oat” is a typo or if I’m making this bottle up but rest assured it’s real and really made of 100% Oat. Made by the Chicago based craft distiller “Koval” this Dark Oat Whiskey is one of 5 single grain (both light and dark) whiskeys in their line up including Rye, Wheat, Millet and Spelt all of which are aged for one to two years.

The Proof Is In The Pudding
Reading about the history of the Koval Distillery you can’t help but notice their strong focus on craftsmanship and quality. Their whiskeys are carefully made in-house using only locally sourced grains and wood for the casks. The barrels are even made from handpicked wood and only used once. To add a finishing touch these whiskeys have no artificial coloring and are certified organic and kosher.

Parting Thoughts
To be fair, 2 months ago I didn’t even know that Oat Whiskey existed. I was shopping online for a new bottle to try when I came across a bottle of the Dark Oat Whiskey and was immediately intrigued.  I tend to favor some sweeter grain profiles so the concept of using Oat sounded right up my alley. For the most part I am extremely happy with my purchase and look forward to sampling some other whiskeys by this talented craft distillery.

Color: Golden yellow not quite the color of honey but still a noticeable amber hue.

Nose: Very sweet with undertones of bananas, fresh baked goods and for me a hint of apple.

Finish: A longer finish that starts sweet then moves slowly to a lingering warm spice.

Overall: 4/5

Collingwood Canadian Whisky

Collingwood Canadian Whiskey

If you’re like me you don’t spend much time in the Canadian Whisky section at your local liquor store. It’s not that I’m Anti-Canadian it’s just Canadian Whiskey usually lends itself to a lighter flavor profile more suited for mixing cocktails than served neat or on the rocks. That being said this bottle by Collingwood might just change the way you (or I) think about Canadian Whiskey.

This bottle is a head turner.
While it obviously doesn’t affect the taste, I just can’t get over the amazing package design that went into this bottle. From the logo to the matte black cap and silver seal, you can tell that this bottle was meant to announce that Collingwood was going to be something different, something better than it’s competitors on the shelf. The only flaw on this design is when you take off the cap, you discover a cheap plastic siphon reminiscent of bottom shelf budget whiskey. The bottle does have a wide mouth but I still feel like they overlooked this detail and am hoping the make an update as they continue in order to bring this bottle perfection.

The Process.
Collingwood is triple distilled using water from Ontario’s Georgian Bay and matured in white oak barrels. Collingwood states that the secret to their success is the extra step of post-blending Sugar Maple Mellowing. This step reduces acidic harshness and allows the whiskey to pick up sweet flavors from the sap (note the wood has been toasted, not charred).

The Details.
The spirit appears to be the only Maplewood mellowed Canadian Whiskey on the market and is definitely worth trying. It’s easy to sip at only 80 Proof as well as being easy on the wallet at roughly $27 bucks a bottle.

Parting Thoughts.
Overall I think this is a great Canadian Whiskey and a respectable purchase for a novice just getting into whiskey due to it’s sweet taste and lower heat than higher proof Whiskeys sometimes bring to the table. I would suggest drinking Collingwood neat, it waters down quickly loosing some of the great flavors they worked so hard to achieve if anything is added.

Color: Light amber, similar to honey.

Nose: Sweet with subtle nuances of vanilla and caramel including a touch of fruit.

Finish: Medium length finish, warm with a bit of spice but still leaves a nice sweet flavor on the tongue.

Overall: 3/5