Hillybilly Hooch goes Hipster at Silverlake Wine Whisky Tasting

on 01/10/10 at 3:06 pm

BoozeBlog, Spirits

Civil War style

By BoozeNews reporter D.R. Stewart

Apparently, as Hipster beards become more Ken Burns Civil War style – it makes perfect sense they would start to gravitate towards whiskeys approaching Moonshine. I found this out last night, as Silverlake Wine put its operation on the road with a Whiskey tasting at Cliff’s Edge Restaurant .

Why we love Scotland

Silverlake Wine Co-Owner George Cossette gave an in-depth tutorial regarding the various distinctions between Scotch, Whisky, Rye, and Hooch. I’m still confused. Something to do with peat-boggs and the country of Scotland . It was good to find out what makes you blind from bad ‘shine is as Cossette put it — “the heads and tails.” Those parts of a batch of liquor at the front & back end of distilling that hold the most toxins. Cossette poured some Wassmund’s Rye Spirit , which he claimed was as close as you could get to moonshine without having Boss Hoggs track you down. He was wise to position this rocket fuel at the end of the tasting as it was a bit of a mind & palate eraser. Not sure I’m ready for this one.

Cossette said many distilleries claim to be boutique, but he can usually sleuth out their operation, going so far as to find one supposed distillery on Google Maps being in actuality a suburban tract home with a guy mowing his yard. He did say that Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey is an authentic “snow flake” – meaning he will personally vouch for the paucity of production.

My favorite of the night was the Sam Houston Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey . It was like the Overture of Whiskey for someone who still has a nostalgic affection for Jack Daniels. The other Rye we tasted was not as strong. Whistlepig Straight Rye Whisky aged 10 years. Cossette said “it stands up well to mixers.” Apparently Rye originates in Delaware and is the real ingredient  for a spot-on Old-Fashioned. Rounding out the tasting was Hirsch Kentucky Straight Corn Whiskey (requires 80% from corn for this appellation).

Check back for footage of Cossette letting us know what’s what (sorry video cam crashed site…will be posted when all is copacetic) Meanwhile, here is whisky list by candlelight:

Whisky list by candlelight. Actual whisky? Delicious.