Wednesday, October 29, 2014
America's Oldest Craft Whiskey: Old Potrero 18
Old Potrero, made by the Anchor Distillery in San Francisco, was one of the first craft whiskey makers on the scene back in the 1990s. Their ryes have always been some of my favorite craft spirits. Their Hotaling's series is a bottled in bond rye that they have released at several age points. Like all of their whiskeys, it is made from 100% malted rye. Last year's Hotaling's release was an 18 year old, making it, as far as I know, the oldest craft whiskey bottled in the modern era. It is aged in a once used barrel. These are very limited runs, so they can be hard to find.
Old Potrero Hotaling's 18 year old, 50% abv ($190)
The nose is Hawaiian Punch with some brandy notes. On the palate, it's a huge fruit monster with tutti fruity notes. The finish is light and sweet with a dash of spice in the finish.
This has a surprising lack of rye character, particularly compared to Old Potrero's other offerings. The last Hotaling's I had was the 11 year old which had much more rye character; I definitely preferred it to this one. While generally good, the 18 year old is very fruit forward without much in the way of rye.