Updated: Jan 30, 2021
Score: 8.6 / 10
Distillery: Cat's Eye Distillery
Type: Indiana Light Whiskey
Alright, hold your pitchforks before you start shouting that, "tHaTs nOt A bOuRbOn". Correct - technically its a Light Whiskey, but these are beginning to explode in popularity.
So what's the deal with Light Whiskey? Well originally it was designed to compete with clear spirits like grain alcohol and vodka back in the 60's & 70's. Distilleries would bottle the whiskey at a high proof with intent to strip it of its flavors giving it the name "Light Whiskey". I even found that some brands boasted the slogan, "a taste the underwhelms" which is some top tier marketing (sarcasm). Light Whiskey can't be bourbon because enters the barrel over 125 proof and is generally distilled from 160 to 190 proof.
Well its 2021 and enter Cat's Eye Distillery from Bettendorf Iowa - I had a friend send me this bottle just for the name. Seriously, Obtainium? Thats magical. In today's whiskey scene where allocated whiskey bottles are getting harder and harder to find finally we have a bottle thats not "unobtainium".
This expression is aged 14 years and finished in port wine casks. Welp - let's try it out! Served neat in a Glencairn glass - 131.2 proof - 65.6% alc/vol
Nose: Very chocolatey, lemon, vanilla, caramel, astringent rye spice and big ethanol (sniffing too long is like cutting onions and just makes your eyes watery).
Palate: Lemon rind hits the tongue first and leads into a burst of creamy vanilla before exploding into a peppery caramel spice which fades after a short stint leaving potent dark and milk chocolate.
Finish: Long lingering, but strangely not tannic nor juicy. It leaves notes of red fruit (berries), caramel and sugar. A flavor that reminds me of those strawberry hard candies with the gooey center.
I googled it and they are simply called Strawberry Hard Candy and you can order them on Nuts.com - no joke. Apparently they're also called Strawberry Bon Bons.
S+ Sensational - The Pinnacle (9.5+)
A - AXEceptional (astounding) (9-9.5)
B - bravo (step aBove average) (8-8.9)
C - competent (7-7.9)
D - disappointing (6-6.9)
F - flush it down the toilet (fail) (5.9 below)
Availability? Uncommon. At the rate I see these posted and flying off of shelves I think it's safe to say that they may become Un-Obtainium in the future. I hope not, it's overall a solid and different pour.