It was a dark, lightning dotted night. The rain fell with a purpose to wound, as it danced in the wind, slapping against the chemist’s bare arms. His horses stirred, agitated by the weather, yet he pushed forward along the slanting dirt road.
Among the black maple trees, on this lone hill in the deserted back country of Kentucky, he fights the weather, searching out shelter in the dead of night. With him are his last chance at life: Two souls rest at home, away from the horror, as he plods forward with his newly aged bourbon.
Another bolt lights up the sky, feasting on another charred maple, igniting the surrounding area with a sickly sweet charcoal. The horses spook at the light, the noise, the smell, and the cart lunches off, twisting against the beasts.
As he falls, the chemist sees his bounty smash against another uncaring tree. The horses are impaled upon errant branches, letting out a sickly deathcry. Blood covers his eyes from fresh wounds. He embraces the darkness. Yet not for long.
Another bolt, and he’s up, yet not on his feet. Rather in another tree, a faceless tormentor, lashing against his body. Thunder proceeds his launch into the night, and a broken arm is there to greet him as he lands in a dull thud. The whisky is flying about, falling into the hollow fallen guards of this hill.
Finally, he is left alone.
As he wakes, he finds himself surrounded by rivers of lost whisky, cored out trees holding the mix. In his desperation to drown out the nights rest, he sips at the bounty… and finds a blend like no other.
And that’s the story of how Black Maple Hill NAS bourbon came to be. Well, not really. Not at all, honestly, but hell, if they aren’t going to give a lot of information, I’ll make it up.
In reality, Black Maple Hill is not a distillery nor a place in Kentucky. It’s an independent label owned by a guy on the San Francisco peninsula. It’s made by Kentucky Bourbon Distillers. Well, not really, it’s blended by KBD, who don’t make whiskey, it’s made by someone else, blended by another Independent Bottler, and then sold by a third independent bottler.
See? Isn’t it better if trees come alive, hurting an aged man in the backwoods of Kentucky, all to show him the beauty of blends?
Price: N/A in Ontario
Colour: Dark Brown
Nose: Mexican cocoa powder, orange peel, passion fruit, sweet corn, milk chocolate, fruit candy
Mexican Cocoa Powder is made up of hot spices, cinnamon, ginger, a tiny bit of orange, and a darker cocoa.
This has a very dark fruit smell to it, almost like it was finished in port. Very nice nose, though some may find it too sweet.
I’m assuming this comes from spending a night in lightning struck black maple trees.
Taste: Candied orange peel, cream cheese icing, oak, ginger, raw green beans, Oreo
Holy eating a bag of candy on Halloween night Batman! This is really sweet. There’s a little earth and wood, which is nice, but it’s mostly candy.
Does not match up with the nose, unfortunately. Can be quite the spook while tasting it.
Finish: Cinnamon, ginger, brown sugar, rosemary, radicchio, wood, carrot
We’re back with the spice and earth (which is because the trees were planted on an ancient burial ground, used by slavers to grow spices in the New World), though I’m missing the fruit from the nose still. It’s not as super sweet as the taste. I like the earth elements.
Conclusion: Dare you enter the Haunted Tree Hill?
Well… yeah, they make alright bourbon. Well… kinda.
The nose draws you in, and is complex and interesting. The taste is super sweet, and lacks complexity. The finish tries, but doesn’t meet the expectations from the nose. Overall it’s disjoint, though not accidentally sticking your hand in your friends face after being dismembered by a monster, more I think one of the elder gods has drawn me into a non-Euclidean space odd.
Not a bad whisky, and there’s quality.
Bourbon Review #37, Kentucky #26, Whiskey Network Review #304
(Thanks to /u/CalZeta for the swap…. again!)
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