Indie bottler Lost Lantern continues its focus on unique American craft whiskeys with its latest single cask collection. The four bottlings comprising the Spring 2023 cohort feature some of their oldest offerings yet from the likes of Westland, Watershed, and Corbin Cash, all bottled without filtration and at cask strength. A bit about this bunch from the folks at Lost Lantern:
The new collection demonstrates just how much the world of American whiskey has transformed in recent years. “Distilleries that began experimenting and exploring new ideas a decade or more ago have now proven that those ideas work,” said Lost Lantern founders Nora Ganley-Roper and Adam Polonski. “Once, Pacific Northwest single malt, estate-grown rye whiskey, and thriving urban distilleries were just intriguing ideas with a lot of potential. But today, they have become realities, thanks to years of dedicated effort and commitment on the part of the country’s most innovative distilleries. The Spring 2023 Collection is emblematic of the growing maturity of innovation in the American whiskey world.
We received samples of each for review. Thoughts follow.
Lost Lantern 2023 Single Cask #1: Westland Distillery American Single Malt 7 Years Old – Distilled from Westland’s signature five-malt recipe and aged 7 years in new oak. There’s quite a lot of stone fruit on the nose at first with sweet notes of apricot and peach, even a squeeze of brighter tangerine. As that subsides, a rich, creamy caramel note arrives alongside toasty notes of cooked cereal. The palate is impressively gentle at cask strength, opening with notes of chocolaty malts and whole cloves before a bit of black pepper spice and candied ginger arrive to complement a simmering, yet measured, warmth. The finish is round and malty with a mix of baking spice and dry notes of dusty grain and seasoned oak. 215 bottles produced. 105.7 proof. B+ / $130
Lost Lantern 2023 Single Cask #2: Westland Distillery American Single Malt Finished in a Red Wine Cask 8 Years Old – Distilled from Westland’s signature five-malt recipe, aged 5 years in new oak, and finished for 3 years in a Cabernet Sauvignon cask from an unspecified Washington winery. The aroma is sultry with plump blackberry and raspberry notes alongside chai spice, some wood smoke, and a soft undercurrent of cinnamon stick and cocoa. The palate is perhaps even more approachable than the unfinished offering with early top notes of dark red fruits that suggest a profile more lush and sweet than what actually develops. Instead, the fruit notes dry to raisin and prune and find an elegant balance with notes of cigar wrapper, chocolate bar, and old oak. The finish is an ideal wine-and-chocolate pairing with a subtle hint of pipe smoke. 185 bottles produced. 107.68 proof. A- / $140
Lost Lantern 2023 Single Cask #3: Watershed Distillery Ohio Straight Bourbon 7 Years Old – The oldest straight bourbon yet from Lost Lantern, distilled from Watershed’s five-grain mashbill and procured by Lost Lantern as a 5-year-old product before additional aging in Vermont. A deep, oak- and caramel-driven nose sets the stage for a massive palate of butterscotch, dark brown sugar, cherry cola, and molasses. It’s impressively approachable at such a high proof with an even warmth that never turns peppery or biting. The finish, however, is a rather abrupt transition to earthier notes of lumberyard, walnut shells, and oiled leather that linger with a burnt sugar sweetness. 65 bottles produced. 132.2 proof. B+ / $120
Lost Lantern 2023 Single Cask #4: Corbin Cash California Straight Rye 7 Years Old – Lost Lantern’s oldest rye whiskey offering to date, distilled from 100% estate-grown Merced rye and aged for 7 years in heavily charred new oak. This is a bright, evergreen rye with a fresh aroma of Andes mints and cut grass. The palate is bold and peppery with an immediate rush of green chilis and peppercorns that gives way to sweeter wintergreen, vanilla bean, and chocolate sauce. The finish is somewhat dry with barrel char and dusty oak notes, but with enough herbal sweetness simmers – think warm, minted black tea – to give things a truly worthwhile conclusion. A real bruiser of a rye but not without considerable charm. 217 bottles produced. 128.72 proof. A- / $120