We have been telling everyone that something is brewing at Manhatten Bar for a few days now and we are sure many of you are curious about our experiment! Well, let us reveal what’s brewing today!
Whisky Butler embarked on an exciting journey with Manhatten Bar recently to find out how the profile of whisky changes when matured whisky is put back into a cask for an enhanced finish. WhiskyGeeks goes along for the ride as we know that something amazing is going to come out of this experiment!
We discovered that there are 2 different experiments as of now. First, there is the Sazerac whisky, an American Rye whisky that is perfect for making the first American Cocktail – Sazerac Cocktail! Instead of making a cocktail, Manhatten Bar put this in a cask that held port wine for a week! Next, we have an interesting combination of Highwest OMG Pure Rye Whisky, DOM Benedictine and Mancino Rosso Vermouth that was married in a cask. As it is not pure whisky, the Manhatten Bar has named it La Louisiane cocktail.
How did they go? Let’s find out!
Sazerac Rye Whisky
Before we go into details about the whisky, let us share a little more about the cask.
The cask is a fresh American oak that was soaked with a 10-year-old port wine for a week to allow the port wine to penetrate and soak the wood properly. Next, the Sazerac rye whisky is poured into the cask and will sit inside for 4 weeks. The cask has a volume of 13.3 litres and is specially made for Manhatten Bar in a small cooperage located in Minnesota, USA.
The whisky after 6 days
WhiskyGeeks get to try the whisky after it was in the cask for 6 days. In comparison to the original rye whisky, we discovered subtle changes! The rye whisky was sweet in nature with some acetone on the nose. It has an oily mouthfeel, maple syrup/caramel palate and is slightly spicy. After 6 days, the nose became sweeter, with sherry influence that converts into caramel and takes on a slight wood spice. The palate is more pronounced with the changes. Sherry influence is strong and reduces the original spice to nothing. It becomes herbaceous and slightly grassy instead.
What to Expect
The whisky will stay in the cask for 4 weeks and after that, it will be bottled for Whisky Butler. We will update our members every week on the progress and how the whisky has changed. The whole idea behind this experiment is to find out how a new cask finish can affect a whisky that has already been bottled. This should give everyone some idea of what they can do with their own whisky!
La Louisiane Cocktail
What about this amazing cocktail? Let’s explore!
The cask is a fresh American oak cask of 13.3 litres, charred to #3. That means that the cask can give the liquid put into it a great amount of sweetness in layman terms. It is also made from the same cooperage in Minnesota, USA. This cask is not infused with any liquid before the cocktail is poured into it.
The cocktail right after mixing
The cocktail is amazing. The nose is full of cane sugar and sweet vermouth, and the palate reflects the same. It almost tasted like a whisky sour, but the different spirits are not yet fully married. The different characteristics of the 3 alcohols came out individually and are not blended with one another. The sweetness can be overwhelming for some as both the rye whisky and the Mancino Rosso Vermouth are sweet.
The cocktail after 3 weeks and 6 days
At this stage, the cocktail takes on deep sherry notes that blends extremely well with the strong cane sugar on the nose. Nonetheless, the sweet vermouth is still evident. The palate is amazing though. The 3 alcohols have blended well together and now the cane sugar mixed beautifully with the vermouth on the tongue. There is no spice at all and the finish is short and refreshing. The overall cocktail is also less sweet.
The cocktail after 4 weeks and a day
Ahh…the perfect balance of the cocktail finally surfaced. The nose boasts of a balanced sweetness between sherry and cane sugar. It creates a sweet nose that is not overwhelming anymore. The palate does not change much from the 3 weeks and 6 days version. The only difference is the vermouth giving out some sourish taste that makes the cocktail less sweet. It becomes more like a whisky sour but much more balanced in its flavours.
The La Louisiane cocktail is a completed product but we feel it can be enhanced further with some bitters. We tried it and it tasted even better. We encourage our members to take a trip down to Manhatten Bar to try this cocktail with some bitters! It is amazing!
What to expect in the next few weeks
WhiskyGeeks will continue the coverage of this experiment in the next week and our focus will be on the Sazerac whisky’s progress. There may be other whiskies but we are kept in the dark as well. We love the suspense and the surprise! We may try to arrange for a tasting session at Manhatten Bar further down the road. Let us speak with Whisky Butler and Manhatten Bar and see what we can do to arrange a session for our members. Stay tuned for more!