27 Nov 2012
As a whiskey fan and a New Yorker, I’ve always been quick to give New York spirits a shot. Such was the case when I came across this whiskey from Breuckelen Distillery in Brooklyn.
Breukelen is made in Sunset Park, barely a mile from the neighborhood where I grew up. While I hadn’t heard of the operation until I saw it in a Park Slope wine shop, the distillery seems to have cut its teeth making small batch boutique gin and, more recently, moving into whiskey.
They call their whiskeys “77 Whiskey” and they come in two varieties: Black Wax (made from 100% New York wheat) and White Wax, which I picked up for $42 for a bottle. White Wax utilizes local New York grains (90% rye and 10% corn).
The whiskey is relatively young (just 235 days to be exact) and demonstrates surprising complexity for its age. Light and copper-colored, it features a bright nose with sugared dates and cherries. The palate has tropical fruit, oak, and pepper with a gritty mouthfeel and quite a bit of alcoholic heat. The medium-length finish has oak and dried fruit.
It’s an interesting spirit that goes well with a variety of cigars, particularly full-bodied cigars. I tried it with a Tatuaje Halloween Mummy, RoMaCraft Aquitaine, Oliva Serie V, and an Aging Room Quattro, while all of which paired very well.
Essentially a rye whiskey, the youth of the 77 Whiskey leaves quite a bit of grittiness, but it still has plenty of interesting flavors. I suspect Breuckelen Distilling releases this so young in part because the cost of aging it longer would tie up too much capital, and yet if they ever decide to leave this spirit in barrels for a few years I think it could be fantastic. Still, it’s an interesting, artisanal whiskey with lots of character.
photo credit: Stogie Guys