Distilled at Castle & Key with direct oversight from Jim Rutledge (listed as Master Distiller for this batch), and blended by Shaylyn Gammon for Blue Run, this is the new Flight Series from the brand. Blue Run has been in the news left and right lately, from the announcement of their own distilling facility to a recent, major, financing deal, so it's no surprise they've elected to roll with the "good news in threes" principle. Today's review covers the not-yet-released Flight Series - a new collection of micro batches coming soon from the brand that seek to demonstrate what a small (ahem, micro) batch really should be, and their blending chops as a company helmed by one Shaylyn Gammon, previously of Wild Turkey. Comprised of at least two barrels, but never more than 5, the canvas is well defined for Blue Run's team. This specific micro batch was distilled using a mash of 65% Yellow Corn, 30% rye and 5% malted barley, was fermented using C&K Yeast #927 and matured entirely in #4 (alligator) char barrels. The scenery looks a bit different here as I carried this bottle to Greece so I could share my review with you all well ahead of the launch. Let's dive in.
Rich up front, plenty of char, toffee, a light kick of cherry and cocoa. Ginger snap cookies, spirit-y ethanol and a bold caramel note.
Rich on the palate. There's a bit more ethanol than you might originally have signed up for given the proof, but it works in much the same way that Booker's ties together bold, brash tannin and a two finger pour of punch. Rich, viscous mouthfeel laced with oak, sweet cream, dry tannins, candied ginger, honey and a bold peanut brittle note. Sweet at first, the back palate is all tannin and spice, a fat stack of cocoa, char, caramel and ginger once more.
Long finish, this is easily my favorite part. Alpine Meadows has hangtime, and it sticks with you. The caramel, ginger and clove carry for ages, with a fresh burst of cherry and chocolate to see things off.
Overall, you have to enjoy "big" whiskey to love Alpine Meadows, and that's a compliment to say the least. Powerful and unmistakably the intersection of proof, great blending and heavy char, Blue Run's new Flight Series seems like a bold departure from the current flavor profiles one can find in the portfolio. The first release of 6, or so I'm told, I may yet have another flight to catch once I cruise through this bottling, which is taking less time that I'd expect. For fans of a wild ride, mix 2oz of this with 5oz spicy ginger beer and a dash of cherry bitters. It's weird, it's wild, it's wonderful.
Disclosure: The producer provided this sample to review free of charge, and without expectation of review or rating.