Curtis McMillan
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American Snow & Single Malts

18th February, 2013 by Curtis McMillan

It has been one of the worst months of my adult life. On the upside I have come out the other side with something to smile about.

LeviathanLet’s go back about a week.

I was just getting ready to head over to my local liquor retailer and pick up the side ingredients I needed for this week’s pre prohibition scotch cocktail. Then the news came in that the American north-east was about to get hit with one of the largest snow storms in the last 20 years. I turned home and battened down the hatches of my dwelling.

Two days later we have 2 feet of snow in the Boston area, and drifts taller than myself. After another two days of digging out my car, I then started to feel ill and became sick with the flu. I’m just starting to come out of it, but just don’t have the power to whip together a cocktail.

So I feel this is a great time for me to talk about the Leviathan. When I say Leviathan I’m not just talking about the snow storm I dealt with, but a new American single malt.

To understand what I mean by American single malt we need to look at the root. It’s popular to assume that single malt’s only come from Scotland in the form of Scotch. In truth many areas outside of Scotland build Scotch like whiskey in homage. Some great like the ones made at Nikka in Japan and some not so great like the ones made in the US generally.

There has been a few highlights like Hudson’s single barrel, and Colorado whiskey. Both single malts are great, but something about the use of the wood, always feels a little off. I can say that in my years of sampling whiskey I can’t seem to think of a year when an American whiskey has took the award of best whiskey of the year in my own personal judgment.

After drinking many whiskey’s this last year. I got a bottle of Leviathan from Lost spirits distillery in Monterey California. From the first sip I was hooked. I have never seen the kind of depth and taste in any single malt.

Lost Spirits - Leviathan

Lost Spirits – Leviathan

This dram was by far the best dram I have had in 2012. From the use of a new type of peat to the wine barrels that did not over oak like most American single malts do. It’s soft with flavours I have yet to ever taste before. In name you would expect a cheap Islay knockoff, but in truth this dram holds the key to my over obsessed desire for designer whiskey. It’s almost so good that writing about it does it disservice.

I know we are working on cocktails, and I’m jumping off the topic to do a review, but I feel it’s important that you know about this. I’m not sure how easy it will be to buy. I’m not sure if I’m screwing myself by putting the word out. I just feel I would be letting you all down, if I did not point out real genius when I taste it. More so if you have the power to find a bottle and taste it for yourself. The real hope is you all find it, and we all help Lost Spirits grow. When they grow they can build more whiskey brands like this. Industrial distilleries need to fear flavour this good, and drams this creative.

One Response to “American Snow & Single Malts”

  1. Nice post on American Single Malt whisky. It’s true what you said that there are now a lot of nice single malts on the market from distilleries outwith Scotland. Thanks for sharing, and when I’m in the States, I’ll need to check out this whisky.

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