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  • Writer's picturePeter Miles

BBQ Whiskey. MurLarkey's Smokehouse.

MurLarkey’s Distillery: Smokehouse Whiskey.

Based in Bristow, MurLarkey’s is one of the more obscure distilleries in Virginia. Operations date back to October 2015, and it is known for products that are innovative variants on traditional American spirits, particularly with the use of infused flavors. The Smokehouse whiskey is based on their flagship bourbon mash bill, and then the spirit is infused with BBQ flavors from casks that have been ‘smoked’ and charred using a proprietary process.

Mash bill: According to the bottle: 70% corn, 20% rye, and 10% apple wood smoked malted barley. (Makes me wonder if the wood smoked, malted barley was sourced from Copper Fox Distillery, the local experts on fruit wood smoke kiln drying).

Batch Size: Small batch?

ABV = 45%.

Matured: Carried out in special BBQ smoke infused American oak barrels, and judging from the color, perhaps char level 4? No age statement, but guessing around 24 months?

Cost: $45 / 750ml bottle

Color: Pretty dark, approaching Burnt Umber: 1.7 (Whisky Magazine scale).

Swirl: Well defined rim with quickly developing multiple ‘legs’ flowing rapidly down the glass.

Nose: Strong with caramel, burnt sugar, balanced by some dried fruits and nuts overlaid with waves of sweet BBQ smoke. Quite impressive.

Taste: Medium viscosity, powerful up front flavor profile, initially very sweet and dominated by the BBQ smoke influences. Burnt sugar again, and a hint of wood emerges over time. Heat develops smoothly. Very interesting and lives up to its name, but not particularly complex or sophisticated.

Finish: Medium to long length, becoming drier and more astringent as it fades away.

Verdict: As advertised. A big fan of grilling myself, I can certainly see me enjoying a glass of this as the flames do their work. A very interesting, flavored whisky, and strongly recommended to BBQ fans.

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