Up for review today is McCarthy’s Oregon Single Malt Whiskey. It’s a pot distilled single malt whiskey that I’m proud to review seeing as this spirit hails from my home state, Oregon. Now, if you’re reading and aren’t well versed on the history of whiskey, America isn’t known for making great single malts. That reputation has traditionally been ascribed to Scotland and more recently to Japan. But the whiskey up for review today is proof that enterprising and innovative American distilleries like Clear Creek (owned by Hood River Distillers) are finally producing product that can stand toe to toe with Scotland’s great distilleries.
- Whiskey Reviewed: McCarthy’s Oregon Single Malt
- Distiller: Clear Creek Distillery / Hood River Distillers
- Mashbill: imported peated Scottish barley
- ABV: 42.5% (85 proof)
- Age: 3 years
- Aged in: “air dried” Oregon Oak
McCarthy’s Oregon Single Malt comes in a bottle that brings up a lot of nostalgia for me. The design of the label is in line with other great local brands (McMenamin’s comes to mind), and the center of the label features a quaint illustration of Multnomah Falls, a hike I made many times growing up.
In the glass, the liquid is a light, honeyed gold.
Quite light. Aromas wafting up from the glass include a unique Oak note, moss, and a faint charcoal barbecue-like scent. What’s interesting to me about this whiskey is that though you can smell the peat from a few feet, it’s not nearly as aggressive off of the glass.
Just marvelous. Not too aggressive on entry though the whiskey does betray its age a bit. Flavors kick off with moderate peatiness, malt and round oakiness (presumably the Oregon oak influence). It doesn’t stop there, offering additional flavors of apples, pine, and, if you can bring yourself just to imagine it, the inside of an old wooden cabin in the heart of the Cascades.
Ok that last one might be a stretch. Point being: it’s good.
Sweet, long, and a bit astringent. You’ll want to have a glass of water on hand if you’re going to be drinking much of this whiskey.
McCarthy’s Oregon Single Malt is a classic American single malt, and I’m not just saying that because I’m a native Oregonian. It absolutely refuses to behave as young as it is, sipping like a much older whiskey. It delivers abundant and nuanced flavors that engage the palate and ignite the imagination: exactly what a whiskey should do.