Fifty Stone Single Malt

American Single Malt — Maine, USA

4.0 out of 5 stars
Even though this distillery is relatively local to me as a resident of the New Hampshire seacoast, I wasn't aware of Fifty Point until @pbmichiganwolverine mentioned it in the comments of my Oppidan Smoke and Sea review.   I checked out Maine Craft Distillery's web site, and it appears that distribution of Fifty Stone is currently limited to Maine.  Happily, through the site's store locator I discovered the Fifty Stone  just fifteen minutes away, right across the state line at...Walgreens.  For some of you, that may not seem strange, but in the Northeast it's highly unusual to buy spirits alongside toothpaste and deodorant.  But so much about Maine is different, odd, interesting, or all three.   This whiskey definitely qualifies as both interesting and different, due to the seaweed smoking of the malt, which is very distinguishable on both the nose and the palate. The bottle labels the Fifty Stone as a "Highland style malt".  That rings true to me, as it shares much in common with martime Highlands such as Old Pulteney and Clynelish.   On both the nose and palate, there are notes of cereal, vanilla, honey and citrus. Also present is the strongest sea salt note I've scented or tasted, along with distinct seaweed that comes at the end of the palate.  While there's a reasonably strong hit of ethenol mid-palate, there is very little alcohol burn on the finish. There is a mild burnt toast note, however, undoubtedly a byproduct of burning seaweed. While the malt is on the young side, it's not dry, and fairly rich. The whiskey presents itself as two distinct but complimentary components - the malt whiskey and smokey seaweed.  If I had been told it was a single malt finished in seaweed barrels, I (probably) would have believed it, even though I have no idea what a seaweed barrel is. Ultimately, your reaction to this whiskey may be determined by how you feel about the combination of the two very different components - highland malt and smoked seaweed.  I suspect that opinions will be quite polarized. For me the combination is a bit challenging, but it works.  This is a complex dram, and due to the unusual flavors, I suspect the intrigue will remain through the last of the bottle. While it's not a whiskey I'd reach for regularly, it's a very nice departure from the norm. And it captures the essence of so many oceanside towns on the rocky Maine coast.  Props to Maine Craft Distilling for a truly creative dram!  This is a 3.75 that I've rounded to 4.0 because I love the concept and brilliant expression of the local terroir.
49.0 USD per Bottle