Up for review today is Clyde May’s 10 Year Old Cask Strength Alabama Style Whiskey (try saying that name out loud five times fast). This cask strength whiskey is part of an annual limited release from Conecuh Ridge Distillery, though the whiskey is sourced from an unknown provider. After reviewing the company’s straight bourbon whiskey, I’m excited to try something with a bit more heft.
The Cask Strength releases seem to be grouped together instead of presented separately. Here’s what the Clyde May’s website has to say:
An exclusive limited release of only a few thousand bottles every consecutive year. Currently aged 8, 9 and 10 years, all finished with a kiss of apple. Bottled at cask strength with a nose full of citrus, peach and cedar to deliver a rich spice, apple and oak. Finished with notes of zesty orchard fruits and hints of pepper.
- Whiskey Reviewed: Clyde May’s 10 Year Old Cask Strength Alabama Style Whiskey
- Distiller: sourced (unknown)
- Mashbill: unknown
- Bottler: Conecuh Brands
- Age: 10 years
- ABV: 57% / 114 proof
- Aged in: Charred American Oak barrels
Clyde May’s 10 Year Cask Strength comes bottled in a truly unique bottle. Though the shape is nothing to behold on its own, the label is a thick, deeply debossed, and feels heavy and metalic (something like copper). It certainly makes a statement.
In the bottle, the whiskey itself is a deep auburn color, almost like Cherry wood. In the glass, the color is a lighter amber with some darker copper tones.
The nose packs a bit of heat (don’t inhale too quickly) but releases tantalizing aromas. Notes of vanilla, cinnamon, brown sugar and fresh cut apples with a base aroma of freshly baked bread.
Everything I want in a cask strength spirit. On entry, the 10 Year Cask Strength is smooth but assertive, with brown sugar, caramel and vanilla flavors. As the liquid pools on the tongue, flavor blooms (with a touch of heat). Bright notes of toasted oak, lots of rye spice, black pepper, and some fruit notes expand and overwhelm.
It’s a great flavor profile.
Long, strong, and slowly fading, with a decent amount of ethanol burn. Really enjoyable though, with lingering flavors of sweet bread, oak, and some chocolate. As the finish fades, it’s surprisingly clean, leaving none of the circus peanut sweetness behind that many bourbons leave.
Clyde May’s 10 Year Old Cask Strength is, in my view, a winner. It doesn’t achieve the same finesse or complexity that my favorite single malts do, but it gets close. What I most appreciate is how this whiskey weaves together a complex bouquet of flavors that seem remarkably well matched. At $160, this whiskey is an investment, but a worthy one.
Final Score: 91
Disclaimer: though not my first bottle of Clyde May’s whiskey, the bottle reviewed was gifted by Clyde May’s. Though appreciative, I retain all rights to speak my mind.