Craft whisky is one hot buzzword and many small-scale distilleries pop-up around the globe producing said craft whisky.
Today I’ll review an american single malt whiskey from Lost Spriits comapny, the brainchild of Bryan Davis, the second batch of their Leviathan whisky, formally known as Leviathan II.
What we have here is American malted barley, peated with Canadian peat to a 110 ppm, distilled in a wooden pot still and filled into Semillon (Late harvest Californian wine) casks and bottled at pretty young age.
Wow, that’s a very ambitious and mind boggling whisky, ain’t it? So many unfamiliar variables are involved here.
The peat is from a Canadian evergreen peat bog so not like Islay or Scottish peat at all – no heather, no moss or seaweed. Instead we’ll get conifer and other trees and that will add different and unique flavours to the equation here. 110 ppm is quite high, putting it on a par with the ultra peated Islay whiskies.
The wood still means there’s more wood impact here – not only from the cask but from the distillation process too.
The wine casks adds another layer of flavours, and the casks being made of French oak means there’s additional spiciness.
So many untested-before variables were meshed together here to create this whisky. Hmm, let’s go ahead and try it…
Lost Spirits Leviathan II (53%, €87)
Nose: Strong vegetal note is welcoming us at first, then there’s sweet peat with very little smoke, seaweed and kelp, salt. There’s also vanilla and sweet white wine from the Semillon casks. A few minutes in the glass reveals big time peat notes and BBQ grill smell.
Palate: Big time smoke and wood with vegetal seaweed, touch of fishes leaves, vanilla, peat, white wine
Finish: Wood smoke , lingering sweet white wine and peat. With water it’s still sweet but not from peat and feels more like scotch with added malt and cereal.
Thoughts: It’s a weird whisky. There’s huge disharmony on the nose between the sweet peat and seaweeds/fish notes and the palate is disappointing. Bottom line is: it’s not an everyday whisky but more of an interesting and experimental whisky that will interest only whisky geeks and amateur distillers (or wannabe distillers). For Lost Spirits whiskey, the road to mainstream acceptance is still a long road. I’m sure there will be additional refining to the recipe and I think it also needs more seasoning in the casks. Hey, age does matter here!