What happens when a mezcal barrel meets a 5 ½-year-old Kentucky American Whiskey for 8 months … The result - a perfectly balanced blend of Kentucky and Oaxaca flavors that highlights the dark, rich oak of aged whiskey and the bright vanilla and citrus notes of mezcal - with just the right amount of smoke. Bottled at 111 proof, El Jefe balances strong, smooth, and sweet.
Shortbarrel is proud to bring to life this unique blend of flavors that pushes the boundaries of finished whiskey. Consisting of only 4 barrels, this super small batch American Whiskey is a blend of 5 ½-year-old Kentucky Straight American Whiskey (91% corn, 9% malted barley) finished for 8 months in ex-reposado mezcal barrels.
Aroma: Sweet American Whiskey upfront with a gentle hint of smokey mezcal (almost woody) on the first nose. Slight notes of vanilla, charred orange, pepper, sweet corn, and herbal background.
Mouth: Orange’s, smooth creamy vanilla, honey, cinnamon spice, very bright citrus keeps going and going. This is 111 proof after all. Even with the proof, this offer’s up a buttery-like taste because of the 91% corn in the mashbill. The smokey flavor is there but not overpowering. The smoke shows up more with an ice cube in the glass which also enhances the normally known mezcal finish you would expect.
Finish: The extra time in the barrel helped here and so does the proof. This is one of those finishes that will make you want to grab a second/third glass as you try to figure out the nose and mouthfeel on this. The finish is long as you would expect from a 111 proof whiskey but it’s not a punch in the chest. This finish whiskey is creamy, almost buttery at times, the mezcal impact becomes increasingly evident as the warming finish develops, adding nuance to a palate that finds room for all the tasting notes.
Final notes: This mezcal finish was made to be drunk neat, with a cube or in a cocktail. We highly recommend adding a small ice cube or a drop of water to this whiskey to really let the finish shine. At this proof, mixologists should have a great time coming up with new and exciting recipes. Salud! to high standards and great friends. Shortbarrel hopes you enjoy this whiskey as much as we did experimenting with it.