I have reviewed some of the Sonoma County Rye whiskeys in the past and I really liked them. So when I spotted this bottle of Wheat whiskey at Westport Whiskey & Wine, I had to pick it up and look at it more closely. The Sonoma County Distillery is very open and puts a lot of information on the back label and this led to me making the purchase. I really wanted to try this whiskey and I am glad I did.
This whiskey is not a straight whiskey because they do not use new cooperage and the age statement declares it is only one year old. The information they give is that it was made from un-malted wheat from Canada and malted rye from the UK. It is twice distilled using direct-fire alembic pot stills. They divide the distillate equally between used rye whiskey barrels and used “wheated” Bourbon barrels. It was bottled unfiltered. The used cooperage and only one year of aging means the oak has very little influence on the whiskey. There is a little vanilla but hardly any oak tannins to be found in either the nose or the taste.
Matt and I both enjoyed this whiskey on a warm day, smoking some chicken wings and beer-can chicken in his backyard. The whiskey seemed perfect for such activities.
Sonoma County 2nd Chance Wheat Whiskey
Age: One Year Old
- Mike: Vanilla with a hint of new-make whiskey lingering even after a year in the barrel, wheat and dried fruit that reminded me of trail mix.
- Matt: Wheat grain and a dried fruit medley with some vanilla tones.
- Mike: Vanilla, hazelnuts and dried fruits. Tasted with a dried cranberry and a little citrus – lemon and orange zest with a little baking spice. Tasted with a pecan and a French vanilla crème and a floral white pepper spice come out.
- Matt: Vanilla, dried fruit and hazelnuts – a granola bar. The dried cranberry brought out orange zest and ginger spice. The pecan gives the whiskey a taste of orange cream soda – creamy vanilla and orange zest.
- Mike: Short but pleasant. Nutty with dried fruit. The dried cranberry gave the finish some lingering citrus with a hint of white pepper. The pecan made the finish long and spicy with lots of floral white pepper.
- Matt: A short finish with nuts and dried fruits. The dried cranberry made the finish spicy with ginger and white pepper. The pecan brought out a hint of oak with the floral white pepper.
I think that this wheat whiskey would pair well with a mild cigar. Overly strong flavors in the smoke would cover up the flavors in the whiskey. I think a Nat Sherman Metropolitan cigar with a Habano wrapper would be my choice to pair with 2nd Chance Wheat Whiskey.
Photos Courtesy of Rosemary Miller