Lost Spirits are a Californian Distillery (Yeah, USA California) producing American whiskey, Rum and other spirits including some interesting whisky under the Abomination brand. Why Abomination? Because what they did here is very unique and different, harnessing their technology to create them. They got some 45-55 ppm peated whisky from Islay, aged for 12-18 months in Bourbon casks before crossing the ocean to California. Some late-harvest Riesling seasoned oak staves were added and then those young spirits were ‘tortured’ by the Lost Spirits Reactor for a few days. The reactor bombs the whisky with light, pressure, oxygen and who know what else, all to fast track the aging process – maybe even up to 15 years in a few days.
Both Abominations were named after a chapter of the island of Dr. Moreau and the difference between them is that Crying of the Puma was ‘reacted’ with Toasted Oak staves while Sayers of the Law was ‘reacted’ with Heavily charred Oak Staves (late harvest Riesling seasoned oak in both cases).
So does the reactor really works? How does it taste with speed aging?
Lost Spirits Abomination – Crying of the Puma (54%, £56.75)
Nose: Unmistakably Islay peat, malt, sweet vanilla and concentrated wood extracts like bourbon , soft sweet smoke.
Palate: Peat, smoke, ashes, sweet vanilla and wood extracts.
Finish: Medium length, dry, ashes, peat and bitter oak spices.
Lost spirits Abomination – Sayers of the Law (54%, £56.75)
Nose: Darker, sweet as well but less pronounced than Crying of the Puma, big peat note, prominent but at the same time it’s also relaxed and gentler.
Palate: Sweet, a bit rough and kicking peat, sweet oak extracts and fruit, vanilla.
Finish: Medium long length, sweet extracts and fruit, peat smoke.
Thoughts: A very interesting duo. As a whisky geek I was very curious to see the impact of the reactor. With souring demand for single malt whisky and the aging time factor which cannot be circumvented (unless you have time travel technology), the reactor could have been a great way for distilleries to ease the pressure on their maturing aged stock. For 12-18 months whiskies the Abominations are excellent, behaving like a few years older whisky (Especially with time and oxidization – The Abominations really like it). Sayers of the Law is very decent – young Islay malt with lots of wood sweetness which can serve as a session whisky. But while the reactor does interesting things to the whisky and does speeds aging, I don’t think it’s ready for prime time just yet with too strong oak influence in the process but I’m looking forward to the next version of Lost Spirits reactor!