McKenzie Pure Pot Still

"A rarely seen American single pot still that still lacks enough character against the Irish"

(Photo from Whiskybase)

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On the east shore of Seneca Lake in Upstate New York, Finger Lakes Distillery produces whisky next to other spirits such as vodka, gin, brandy and grappa. What makes them rather special is that, besides the usual rye and bourbon, they also produce pure pot still whisky, or single pot still as it officially has to be called after 2012. Made from local barley, this type of whisky can rarely be found in the US. As they also mention on their website, single pot still reaches back to the Irish origins of American distilling. However, if they would really got back to the methods of yesteryear, they should have included other grains besides barley, like rye and wheat, since those were originally included in the old mash bills. They do not disclose the mash bill, so who knows, or maybe they are planning that in the future. I would like to be among first to taste that. Anyway, let us see what we have on our palate today.

Nose

Oh, very buttery and sweet with a sharp edge from a young spirit. I find a hint of liquorice, like I often find in Irish single pot still, even liquorice allsorts. Butterscotch, slightly hint of young cheese, barley sugar, citrus sweets, caramelised lemon zest. It develops into a more sour mood with the citrus fruits leading the way.

Taste

Very balanced, but young. Barley, butter, slightly fatty like fresh milk from the cow, whihc is balanced by some lemon juice sourness. Slightly short aftertaste with more sour and sweet notes. Very natural whisky.

Overall

Simple, natural and balanced whisky that slightly resembles the Irish style. What really misses here is the spicy side of the Irish single pot still. Maybe I put again my suggestion forward to put some rye in the mash bill. For old times sake?

What others say

Whiskybase: 78.00 (8 votes) * @TheWhiskeyWash: 82/100 * @Distiller: 80/100 * @WhiskeyReviewer: B-
Read for yourself

Big thanks to for sharing the sample!

Scores

these are my personal views, so do not take them too seriously… nothing beats tasting these for yourself •

Cask influence
20%
Sweet <-> Spicy
35%
Nose 81%
Taste 80%
Balance 82%
Depth 77%
Finish 78%
Score