Corsair Single Barrel Triple Smoke Review – 3 out of 5 Noses

by Ernie Ayres on December 16, 2010

Corsair – Single Barrel Triple Smoke review
Corsair Triple Smoke Whiskey
Corsair Triple Smoke
Quick company profile:
Corsair is a small distillery with two locations, one in Bowling Green, KY which includes a gift shop, and the second, with a brewery, in Nashville, TN.  The Bowling Green location touts a 50 gallon copper still that is used to make products ranging from absinthe to whiskey.  The Nashville facility boasts a 240 gallon still and is housed in the old Marathon Motors building which previously held the Yazoo brewery.  I’ve been there several times for Yazoo so now I’ll have to make a trip to see the new tenant.
Before tasting Triple Smoke for the first time, I looked at the description on the website to see what I was in for.  Here is the description from the web (and on the back of the bottle):

“We take three fractions of malted barley, each smoked by a different fuel – cherry wood, peat, and beechwood – to craft this deeply complex whiskey.  Pot distilled then barreled in new charred oak, Triple Smoke has the sweetness and barrel notes of an American Whiskey and a single malt’s rich smoke, broadened by tones of cherry and beech.  Excellent mixed or neat.
The fact that this is released as a Single Barrel ensures each bottle is exquisite, offering up subtle nuances to the taster.”

On to the review.

The labeling on this bottle is great!  I’m not sure if the picture is supposed to reference the Reservoir Dogs directly or indirectly, but it’s the first thing I thought of when I saw the label. One point Corsair.  Although…the labels do look as though they were made for a bottle that’s shaped a little differently than the one it’s on.  That’s just me being picky, but it kind of stands out as “hey, this is wrong!”

In the bottle, the color has a light, honey color.  I would have expected a smoky whiskey to be a little darker, however, the color does fit the taste for this whiskey.  In the glass it’s the same light, honey color.

The first thing we all do when pouring a new whiskey is to smell it.  Without water, the first thing that I got from the smell was sour.  Not really like sour mash either.  Just…sour.  Clothes maybe?  After taking a few whiffs I could pick out a definite cherry aroma.  Soon after, the woody aroma hits.  And try as I may, I never did smell the smoke. 

The first ounce I tried was straight.  That’s where the smoke comes out.  It’s kind of like a smoky, fruity, woody bite.  Not too bad.  It was actually kind of nice, nothing like the initial nose.

Next ounce, I put a splash of water.  I prefer my scotches with a splash to open up the aroma.  Triple Smoke became a lot fruitier and lost some of the smoky with that splash.  No need to add a splash to this whiskey.

The last ounce was with an ice cube.  Before the ice melted it tasted very much like the straight pour.  I like that.  Some whiskey’s flavor and aroma close up with a cube or two.  After the ice melted, well, just refer to ounce number two.

The best way I can describe the finish is to say that it “fades.”   It is nice and light unlike smoky scotches that I love like Lagavulin and Laphroaig.  I didn’t taste it after 30 or so seconds but it didn’t just evaporate either.  It just faded.

Triple Smoke gets 3 out of 5 noses from me.  It has the potential to be something very, very good.  However, the initial sour smell really drags down the score.  I would keep a bottle of this around to remind me why I love Scotland and it’s nectar so much.   

Go out and buy a bottle (if you can find it).  It’s worth a try, but I bet after a few more years and a little tinkering on the part of the Corsair group, this will be a great whiskey.

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