Seth Dettling of Big Escambia Spirits contacted me and asked if I would like to try his Alabama Bourbon. He told me that he uses full sized
Further conversation with Seth gave me more information on his whiskey. First thing: he admitted that the corn is not an heirloom variety but a yellow/white corn hybrid that is not GMO. The variety has been around a long time and he assumed it was a heirloom variety but has since found out differently. I see no problem with that. He told me that he chose this corn because he believes it makes the best cornbread he has ever eaten. I might see if he can tell me where to get some cornmeal because I do like good cornbread.
In addition to the corn he uses rye, oats Roasted wheat malt, roasted rye malt and roasted barley malt. These flavoring grains make up about 30% of the mash bill and the malts are all beer malts. The rye and the oats are bakery quality grains. He has changed his barrel entry proof as he learned how the whiskey ages in Alabama. He started at 105 proof, then went to 107 proof and right now is at 110. His goal is to have the whiskey change very little in proof as it ages. I am not sure why that is important but I am interested in his results. I personally would have stuck with the 105 and maybe even lowered it to 103 or 102. Then again, Kentucky is a different climate than southern Alabama.
This barrel is a “Double Oaked” having been aged in two barrels, but not on purpose. The first barrel leaked more than he wanted so after a year he put the remaining whiskey in a second new barrel. This certainly gave the whiskey one of the best amber colors I have seen in a 35 month old whiskey. Again, that could also be due to the climate in southern Alabama. The whiskey was then bottled at barrel strength as a one off single barrel. In late 2019 Dettling plans to release a Bonded version of this whiskey. I am hoping I can get him to send a sample when he does release that Bourbon. It should be a very good whiskey.
Dettling 1867 Single Barrel Straight Alabama Bourbon
Age: 35 Months
Nose: Vanilla and corn with lots of sweet oak. There is a hint of cherries and berries in the background that reminds me of a pipe tobacco in the pouch.
Taste: Vanilla and berries with a lot of sweet oak wood and baking spices. Tasted with a dried cranberry will enhance the vanilla but reduces the oak and spice somewhat – it is still there but not as pronounced. Tasted with a pecan enhances the cherry flavor and makes the baking spices definitely nutmeg and allspice.
Finish: Starts spicy with some cinnamon but quickly dries to an oak wood. Very long finish. The cranberry makes the finish shorter and less cinnamon and more oak. The pecan really brings out the nutmeg and allspice flavors and keeps a bit of the oak.
To smoke with this Bourbon I have decided to break out one of my last My Father Don Pepin Garcia 15th Anniversary Limited Edition 2018 cigars. I like the rich tobacco with some vanilla and cedar spice smoke of this cigar. The Bourbon added a bit of fruity sweetness to the smoke while the smoke reduced the oak flavor and enhanced the spice and vanilla flavors. A good choice!
Photos Courtesy of Rosemary Miller