Independent American whiskey bottler Lost Lantern is a up and comer in sourcing from some of the better craft whiskey distillers across the country. To date they’ve released a well received vatted malt (a blend of various American single malts) and a number of single cask expressions. They’ve now recently added five more single cask offerings as well.
The Lost Lantern Spring 2021 release of limited edition single casks, according to those behind it, focuses upon whiskeys representing “three rapidly emerging regional styles: Southwest single malt from Whiskey Del Bac, Texas bourbon from Balcones and cool climate/Northeastern rye from New York Distilling Co.” Of special note, it is said, is “a triad of casks (#5, #6, #7) from Arizona’s Whiskey Del Bac. Lost Lantern Co-Founders Nora Ganley-Roper and Adam Polonski specifically chose this trio to highlight some of their favorite aspects of the range of mesquite-smoked whiskies produced by the distillery.”
“This is a unique opportunity to present a comparison of the casks coming out of Whiskey Del Bac,” commented Nora and Adam in a prepared statement. “We think you can learn a lot about a distillery by trying several single barrels side-by-side, and the variety of flavors seen in these casks shows just how pronounced those differences can be, both as a result of different cooperage and simple barrel-to-barrel variation.”
You’ll find more specifics on each, including some official tasting notes, below.
Casks #5, #6, #7: Whisky Del Bac Arizona Single Malt
The whiskey for each of these three single casks from Whiskey Del Bac in Tucson, Arizona was made from 100% malted barley, 60% of which was smoked with mesquite wood. The distillery’s founder, Stephen Paul, used to make ornate furniture out of mesquite wood before he began producing whiskey in the Sonoran Desert. Today, Whiskey Del Bac is recognized as a pioneer in the Southwest style of mesquite-smoked whiskies.
- Single Cask #5: Whiskey Del Bac Arizona Single Malt
- (66 btls | 129.2 Proof): SRP, $100
- Cask #5 is the most savory of the three Whiskey Del Bac casks available. Aged in second-fill American oak, it has a leathery, smoky flavor, like burnt embers on a grill, but with a rich herbal note that keeps the whiskey in balance. Big, very smoky, and extremely distinctive.
- Single Cask #6: Whiskey Del Bac Arizona Single Malt
- (63 bottles | 130.6 Proof): SRP, $100
- Cask #6 is the most fruit-driven of the three casks available. Aged in second-fill American oak, it has a spicy, rich flavor, with hints of barbecued red fruit and a good deal of smoke. Tastes like a hot desert evening, or at least like you would enjoy drinking it on a hot desert evening.
- Single Cask #7: Whiskey Del Bac Arizona Single Malt
- (66 bottles | 122.2 Proof): SRP, $100
- Cask #7 was aged in a new American oak cask, unlike the other two Whiskey Del Bac casks. The result is that even after just one year in the desert, Cask #7 is the most oak-driven of the three and has an intensely spicy, herbal flavor, with bold oak and baking spice mingling with the mesquite smoke.
Single Cask #8, Balcones Texas Straight Bourbon Whiskey
- (199 btls | 126.8 Proof): SRP, $90
- Balcones is a pioneer, not just in Texas Whiskey but across the board. Their experiments with mashbills, barrel finishes, barrel sizes, and new techniques have helped break new ground in American whiskey. This single cask of straight bourbon whiskey is produced from 100% Texas-grown roasted blue corn, an unusual mash bill for a bourbon. It’s aged for two years in a 60-gallon new American oak cask in the Texas heat, and tastes like charred, buttery corn-on-the-cob dipped in maple syrup.
Single Cask #9, New York Distilling Company New York Straight Rye Whiskey
- (133 btls | 117.2 Proof): SRP, $70
- New York Distilling Co. is one of the nation’s premiere craft distilleries championing the rebirth of cool climate rye whiskey in the Empire State. This single cask was mashed, fermented, distilled, barreled and aged at New York Distilling Co’s Pine Island distillery. A truly distinctive cold-climate rye whiskey, Cask #9 is sweet and aromatic, evoking chocolate-covered Turkish delight. Unlike the apple brandy cask-finished Winter 2020 release (Cask #3) from NYDC, Cask #9 is straight rye whiskey without a finish that has been aged for four years in a 53-gallon new American oak cask.