Santa Fe Spirits New Mexico Single Malt 2020 Single Cask #1 (Lost Lantern)
American Single Malt
Lost Lantern // New Mexico, USA
ctbeck11Reviewed March 15, 2021Nose - candy corn, buttered popcorn, caramel, creamy vanilla, red berry, powdered sugar, mesquite, honey roasted peanut, orange zest, cinnamon, cocoa, nutmeg, yeast, black pepper, anise, hay, light oak, high ethanol burn. Taste - orange, cherry, black pepper, barrel spice, caramel, creamy vanilla, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, mesquite, candy corn, mint, peanut, buttered bread, milk chocolate, moderate to high alcohol bite, finishing medium length with caramel, baking spice, and wood smoke flavors. I thought I poured the wrong sample. I would have sworn I was smelling a corn whiskey if I didn’t know this is undeniably a single malt. The aromas I associate with candy corn and buttered popcorn immediately leapt from the glass. A deeper search yields nice red berry and orange notes along with a host of baking spices and a whiff of wood smoke. It’s not a meaty BBQ smoke, but rather more akin to the smell of a grill at the far corner of the backyard that was used an hour or so ago, but is now cooling down after serving its purpose. The proof hits hard on the palate arrival, but also brings pops of sweet orange and cherry accompanied by buttery, creamy caramel and vanilla along with some smoky chocolate and baking spice notes. The finish is neither short nor long, but brings the palate to a pleasant, albeit slightly youthful and bright, close with some of the same tastes from earlier. I find the mesquite smoke makes its presence known more at this point than earlier in the experience. I’m really excited to kick off this series of Lost Lantern tastings. It’s my first experience with an independent bottler of American spirits and I’m digging their mission, transparency, and respect for the craft. I recommend checking out their website, as there’s a lot of great information along with a detailed analysis of what is contained in each of their bottlings. Overall this is good whiskey, but I think it’s too youthful to receive an extremely high mark. It’s really hot, both on the nose and palate. I feel that the flavors are all very nice, but would be outstanding and much more well integrated with another few years in the barrel. Nonetheless, it’s a pleasure to sample a single cask selection from a relatively small (and previously unknown to me) distillery. A big thank you to @jonwilkinson7309 for providing this sample, as well as the next three I’ll be reviewing from Lost Lantern.
PBMichiganWolverineReviewed January 3, 2021I was given a generous pour of this by my buddy up north @jonwilkinson7309 . A bit of background—-Lost Lantern is a relatively new independent bottler that selects casks from those American craft distillers that are still relatively new or unknown (hence the name Lost Lantern), but provide high quality whiskey. These distillers might not have the distribution channels like the big craft players (Balcones, Stranahan’s), but can go toe-to-toe with any of them. They recently released four offerings—-I bought one of them ( a vatted malt...just because I loved Barrell’s vatted so much), but wanted to try this as well, an offering from Santa Fe, makers of Colkegan. You can clearly tell it’s young—-but the youth is well hidden with quality distillates. And furthermore, three year old for a well established player is young, but it’s actually impressive for new craft distillers. A crisp citrusy flavor is complemented by some smoke. The mesquite is lightly handled...it’s not in your face like Balcones or DelBac. It’s more nuanced and ideal for those just treading into smoky American malts. If you thought Balcones or DelBac was too much, this would be right up your alley. I’d almost compare this to a Peated Balvenie, which is much more muted than an Ardbeg or Lagavulin (granted, different type of peat being Islay than Balvenie’ s peat)...maybe Edradour’s Ballechin would be a better comparison since that’s similar type of peat. I saved myself 1/2 a pour because I’d love to do a side-by-side with Colkegan’s standard offering, just to see if Colkegan is normally a muted smoky flavor by design, or if Lost Lantern purposely chose a muted cask to appeal across a wider spectrum. Thanks Jon for the pour!
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