Origin: Wisconsin (USA)
Type: Brewer Malt Whiskey
Ageing cask: Ex-Bourbon
Added colouring: No
Owner: Dream Whisky
Average price: € 80.00
Official website: dreamwhisky.com
It cannot be said that the two minds (and two hearts) behind Dream Whisky are sitting on their hands.
Not long after the five bottlings of the Metamorphosis series, and after the launch of the very interesting Materiae project, two bottles of the new American Oak series were released (and are already sold out).
These are two very special bottlings (and it couldn’t be any other way), where the Maltagliati/Mazzieri couple moved to the United States and teamed up with Jerry Thomas Project, the founding father of American bars in Italy, to look for unique and special casks with which to continue their journey of passion, dissemination and sharing of whisky.
Both casks come from the Death’s Door distillery, founded in 2005 in Wisconsin, on Washington Island, by brothers Tom and Ken Koyen, who undertook the cultivation of a variety of wheat called Red Winter on the island, with the intention of reviving ancient recipes dating back to the pre-Prohibition era. The company built a distillery in Middleton in 2012, producing various spirits as well as whiskey, until it declared bankruptcy in 2018 and, despite an attempt to revive itself, closed down for good some time afterwards.
So we come to this Il Frutto (The Fruit), a combination of both column and pot still distillates from barley malt with a part of Red Winter, aged for five years not in a virgin cask, as is customary for American whiskeys, but in a cask that had contained bourbon from Heaven Hill, all presented at an alcohol content lower than cask strength, obtained through slow dilution, in 250 bottles for the Italian market.
The nose is intense and dark, with a woody charge that is initially almost overwhelming but which soon opens up to softer, more layered tones. Hints of damp woods, resin, freshly cut wood, strongly spiced aromas (nutmeg and cloves) that envelop a heart of sweet liquorice, dark chocolate, sour cherries and candied orange. At times decadent, with ripe fruit such as dates and plums, figs with almonds, it shows an underlying balsamic vein that just lightens the tones. Sumptuous.
With the alcohol content that is also perfectly integrated on the palate, the wood confirms itself as the protagonist in all its mellow spiciness, the backbone and structure of a full-bodied drink that is still very dark, with ripe fruit (blackberries, dates, sour cherries, figs), liquorice, chocolate, macadamia almonds and candied orange. Impressions almost of fortified wine, a silky and dry texture that invites you to sip.
The finish is long and dry, spicy, with sweet liquorice, orange, almonds and a balsamic touch.
An astonishing whiskey, which finds its perfect representation in the acorn on the label: a hymn to wood and its complex vitality, with a richness and liveliness rare not only in American spirits but in spirits around the world.