Corti Brothers Exquisite Whiskey

Here I was thinking no one knew anything about this Corti Brothers project but me and a few guys in Sacramento. Yet, I woke up this morning to find my friend SKU had reviewed the exact same whiskey! That lead to a funny email exchange of "Wow! You too?" In any case, I've linked his review. Both of us have pretty much the exact same impression: the whiskey is very good, but hardly recognizable as Bourbon. In fact, when I let my colleague Joel taste it yesterday, he said, "That's the best American single malt I've ever had! Even better than Cut Spike!"

"It's actually Bourbon," I replied.

"No, I mean the sherry-aged one I just tasted," he answered.

"That's the one. It's Bourbon aged in sweet wine casks," I stated again.

He grabbed the bottle with a puzzled look on his face and stared confusedly at the label.

There are two sizes: 750ml and 375ml. We have way more of the latter. While the larger size is obviously the better deal, this is quite a rich whiskey so it may not be something you need a whole bottle of.

Here are my notes:

Corti Brothers 7 Year Old Exquisite Whiskey 375ml $29.99 - half bottle size.

Corti Brothers 7 Year Old Exquisite Whiskey 750ml $49.99 - Those looking for Bourbon flavor will want to look elsewhere, as the sweetness of the Mission Del Sol wine is the star of the show. I never in a million years would have guessed wine-enhanced Bourbon. The nose is all molasses and brown sugar, but the spiciness of the Bourbon keeps the palate from being anywhere near as sweet. Rich, however, it is. Big tawny Port flavor with a dash of dried herbs. The finish is all Bruichladdich circa 2007, back when they were releasing those big, oily whiskies finished in red wine casks. There's that earthy, vinous character on the back end. Knowing that it is indeed Bourbon, however, and not single malt, you can taste the oak and the clear Bourbon profile for about two seconds on the initial sip, but moments after that it gets buried by a gigantic wave of Amador County Mission Del Sol. Easily the most exciting and unique whiskey I've tasted this year. And one of the few moments in recent memoryif not the only momentwhere I've looked at the price and said, "That's it?!"

Must have. Buy two or three.

-David Driscoll

David Driscoll