“The way in which to achieve a very good popularity is to endeavor to be what you want to look.” – Socrates
If you’re a kind of people who frequent digital whiskey areas you then would possibly agree after I say that Uncommon Character is the bourbon model du jour. Owing partly to the characters behind the model, the enchanting array of customized paintings adorning every bottle, and (in fact) the standard of the liquid contained inside, Uncommon Character whiskey has change into a extremely sought-after commodity in simply the final two years.
With an invite-only Fb fan web page numbering practically 2,000 members within the earlier 8 months alone (and devotees in way more important portions to be discovered over on Instagram) it’s clear that there’s real curiosity within the model regardless of the very fact it at the moment solely has a single “daily” providing. Fortuna, Uncommon Character’s flagship expression, enjoys a good bit of reward within the aforementioned digital areas, however their namesake single barrel sequence has garnered many of the consideration.
Is that as a result of inherent nature of the one barrel whiskey expertise, whereby members of these choice teams change into acolytes each of the model and their particular person barrel picks? Certainly, loads of manufacturers have been constructed on that premise, and so they’ve loved outsized success for that very purpose. Nonetheless, as you could know, expensive reader, there are additionally a good variety of manufacturers comprised primarily of single barrels which might be derided or, worse, altogether ignored available on the market.
I requested Uncommon Character co-founder, Pablo Moix what he attributes their success to and he mentioned, “I don’t know! I feel that folks get pleasure from Uncommon Character due to the variability we provide. Sprinkling in issues like Obliteration and Pleasure of Anderson County has helped, nevertheless it’s robust for me to nail it down, and I truthfully can’t wrap my head round it. I feel individuals outdoors of the model could have a greater perspective.”
There are a selection of firms in right this moment’s overcrowded sourced whiskey market that stake their popularity on merely choosing higher barrels than the subsequent man. They will’t all be proper, however absolutely not less than considered one of them is. As an out of doors observer, I consider that is without doubt one of the secrets and techniques of Uncommon Character’s success. Whereas there are manufacturers in a position to seize lightning in a bottle for a launch or two, there are a plethora of Uncommon Character single barrel releases I’ve had which might be actually distinctive… and that’s not together with their Distinctive Sequence, so-named as a result of it’s comprised particularly of barrels that the corporate deems to be so. Merely put, Pablo and co-founder Pete Nevenglosky have completed a wonderful job of using their relationships, shopping for high-quality barrels, and following Socrates’ recommendation above.
That brings us to the topic of right this moment’s assessment, an intriguing bourbon from Uncommon Character’s Single Barrel Sequence. The person who chosen it – Harsha Bethi – named it “The Demon Bottle” as a result of in his phrases, “It was scary after we realized how good it tasted, and much more so when came upon how brief the barrel was,” with solely 60 bottles surviving the angels’ thirst. Harsha, who has owned Beverage King in Norwalk, CT for the previous 7 years, has developed a wholesome nationwide following for his picks, as a result of superlative high quality of his single barrel choices.
For this choose, Harsha traveled with a small group that included Michael Hertzberg – founding father of the Uncommon Character Fb fan web page – to Las Vegas in February this 12 months. They tasted over 30 samples earlier than touchdown on a trio of choices, together with the Demon Bottle. The choose quickly started garnering consideration on-line after members of the choice group – together with a couple of well-regarded voices within the digital whiskey house – started singing its praises as maybe the most effective bottle of Uncommon Character thus far.
A type of outstanding acolytes was Emerson Shotwell. Emerson is understood within the digital whiskey world for being one of the vital outspoken and educated Willett lovers round, and he seldom regales different manufacturers together with his approval. He’s additionally one of many few individuals to do this explicit barrel, each earlier than it was chosen and after it was bottled. Catching wind of his distinctive perception into the liquid, I reached out to Emerson for his ideas, and he supplied the next, “That bottle is one thing completely magical. It truly tastes like a barely youthful King of Kentucky to me. Individuals are rightfully raving about these HR7 bottles, however I feel that the Demon Bottle is the one absolute honey barrel from that run.”
HR7 refers to a gaggle of barrels from Uncommon Character, however what makes them so distinctive? In a sequence of occasions that’s unlikely to be replicated, your complete lot of barrels was aided by a contented accident that resulted in them spending time outdoors, the place they have been immediately uncovered to the weather. Although they weren’t meant to be Uncommon Character’s reply to the well-known Twister Surviving expression from Buffalo Hint, the prevailing idea is that Mom Nature’s contact positively impacted the flavour of these HR7 barrels in an identical method. Moreover, within the opinion of everybody I spoke to, none of these barrels was as favorably impacted because the one which grew to become the Demon Bottle.
Let’s define the specs of the bottle earlier than we begin with the assessment, lets? The Demon Bottle got here from MGP, HR7 barrel 340, and was aged for 7 years and 4 months earlier than being bottled at 120.24 proof (60.12% ABV). It ought to be famous that there’s hypothesis it’s truly nearer to eight years previous, however we’ll go along with what the label says for the aim of this assessment.
The bottle is priced at $300, with $200 from each sale going to charity. That’s as a result of it would solely be made obtainable on the upcoming Blankets for Bourbon annual charity occasion in November, offered by Beverage King. I’ve beforehand highlighted this charitable effort because it’s one I personally assist, and with The Demon Bottle being supplied this 12 months, I’ve little doubt that much more cash might be raised to assist these in want. For extra details about the charity occasion merely go to BevKingCT.com.
We’ve mentioned the background, we all know the specs and heard the lore. Now, the one factor left is to style and assessment Uncommon Character The Demon Bottle.
Uncommon Character Single Barrel Sequence “The Demon Bottle” – Evaluate
Coloration: Darkish copper.
On the nostril: Blueberry pie and ripe plums tumble out of the glass at first. Following these fruit-forward aromas you get the aroma of wealthy leather-based, barrel char, orange rind, and gooey caramel. Dashes of clove and confectioners’ sugar punctuate the fruit notes and, after time within the glass, I start to select up a good bit of cola together with a notice harking back to pistachio baklava. It favors the darker finish of the everyday bourbon aroma spectrum, which is true up my alley, however let’s see the way it tastes.
Within the mouth: The blueberry and plum jam flavors sashay atop the palate as this pour instantly comes throughout as wealthy and dense. Nutmeg, clove, and cardamom streak up the roof of the mouth like a operating again hitting the hole, whereas darkish candy notes pool on the palate, coating the tongue and taking root as they proceed to blossom via the end. There’s a flash of cigar ash that seems midpalate earlier than cola, brown sugar, and leather-based satisfyingly wash it away in waves. Moreover, there’s an elusive cinnamon-dusted butter pecan ice cream notice that by no means absolutely develops, however teases the periphery of the tongue together with the creativeness. Complexity is its most placing function, together with the very fact it comes throughout as considerably older than its said age; my guess could be within the 12 to 14 12 months vary.
Merely put, that is chic. Whereas many whiskeys are nice as a result of they merely succeed on a number of ranges, The Demon Bottle is a whiskey that excels on a number of ranges. It checks the bins on being balanced and full-flavored whereas that includes a viscous texture that leads the way in which for the prolonged and lingering end. The place the Demon Bottle falls brief is that, regardless of being filled with daring taste commensurate with being well-aged and well-made, it lacks the mellowed refinement of superlative whiskeys that spend twice as a lot time in a barrel. It’s this commentary that makes me recall Emerson’s notice about it tasting like a youthful King of Kentucky, which is appropriately excessive reward.
That brings us to the ranking. In comparison with the scores of different sourced bourbon on this age vary, The Demon Bottle is an absolute moonshot. It significantly outpaces virtually each limited-edition craft whiskey I’ve had when it comes to high quality. When contemplating that almost all of legacy distilleries have elevated their restricted choices to the $200+ worth vary, we come a bit nearer to appropriately inserting The Demon Bottle into the context of the modern bourbon market.
To be clear, $300 for 7-to-8-year-old bourbon is a tricky promote. Does the truth that $200 of that sum goes to charity ease the burden? I definitely suppose so, although you’re greater than welcome to disagree with me. I’d cease simply wanting calling it a good worth, however – given the sizable charitable donation per bottle – I’m keen to name it an excellent worth.
In summation, The Demon Bottle is a sadly restricted and exorbitantly priced bottle that readily reveals the uncommon character that its namesake model was constructed on. Judged merely on its superlative high quality and sparing a deduction as a result of worth, I’m comfy grading this as “Distinctive” on the Malt scale. That is absolutely a bottle that I’ll grieve when it’s completed.