Finger Lakes Distilling: McKenzie Pure Pot Still Whiskey

February 10, 2012 § 8 Comments

On one of Brian McKenzie’s, owner of Finger Lakes Distilling, recent trips to NYC, we had the chance to meet up for dinner at one of my favorite restaurants, Joseph Leonard, where, much to my surprise, he revealed the latest in his whisky collection; the McKenzie Pure Pot Still Whiskey.  Before anyone could say another word, we had popped the top and was sipping this bright, smooth, happily curious spirit and of course, passing it around to anyone with a willing palate.

In a matter of … oh … probably 10-15 minutes we had easily polished off 1/2 of this bottle.  Rightfully so.  This is smooth, and interesting, and it has this flavor-balloon effect in the mouth that is so compelling you keep going back for more … and a little more … and …

McKenzie Pure Pot Still Whiskey

As soon as you open this bottle, the air around you starts morphing into the most beautiful fruit/oak/mash combo smell.  I wish Brian could figure out how to make a candle like this!

Here’s what I have to say about this beauty:

The stats: 100% malted & unmalted barley grown in the fields surrounding his New York’s Finger Lake region distillery.  Distilled in just the copper pot part of his German Holstein pot & column combo still (talk about having the ultimate in distilling flexibility!) bottled without caramel coloring or chill filtration (floaties & chunks are a GOOD thing!), 40% abv/80 proof in standard 750ml bottles.

NOSE: copper drinking cup/metallic, corn husks, honeysuckle flower, honeysuckle juice, leather, sweet tobacco, dried granny smith apples

PALATE: mild front, a slight “water in copper cup” metallic flavor on the tip of tongue, moves into a strong dried apple & apricot middle with rye-like spice on back-end and top back of the throat.  It balloons and swells as moves back which is very intriguing.

FINISH: tip of the tongue is left with that copper-meets-clove spice that lingers a bit, middle to back of mouth is left pleasantly refreshed

Overall:  I would say this is a medium bodied whisky that is very smooth & approachable.  A happy choice … if you are lucky enough to find it!

Quick addition since publishing this post: Just saw that Drink Up New York has (as of the day of this post) added it to their site for online sales!  Click HERE for the link!

Thank you, Brian, for leaving the bottle in my excited hands.  It’s a pleasure to keep revisiting!

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