Editor’s Note: This whiskey was provided to us as a review sample by LiveWire Drinks. This in no way, per our editorial policies, influenced the final outcome of this review. It should also be noted that by clicking the buy link towards the bottom of this review our site receives a small referral payment which helps to support, but not influence, our editorial and other costs
Bringing the skills of talented bartenders to the forefront, LiveWire Drinks operates similarly to a record label, working directly with bartenders to release ready-to-drink cocktails inspired by those who have excelled in the hospitality industry. Each collaboration is unique to the bartender and, like a record label, they are paid royalties from each sale of their creation.
Founded by L.A.-based bartender and entrepreneur Aaron Polsky, LiveWire Drinks allows their bartender collaborators to choose the artists they’d like for label designs and guarantees full transparency when it comes to their employees. The brand is still in the early stages, having launched mid-pandemic in 2020, but with the popularity of pre-mixed cocktails on the rise, LiveWire will likely flourish in the days to come.
Alley Cat Old Fashioned was created by Chris Patino, a spirits educator and co-owner of the award-winning cocktail bar Raised by Wolves in San Diego, CA. Considered the “unsung hero in the craft cocktail world” by Polsky, Patino has managed Brand Education and Advocacy programs for such iconic brands as Jameson Whiskey and The Glenlivet Scotch Whisky, carving a name for himself in some of the most successful brand ambassador programs in the country.
Illustrator Mark Reihill is a friend of Patino and is responsible for the frisky design of Alley Cat Old Fashioned label. A blend of straight rye whiskey, California apple brandy, and cherry bark-vanilla bitters, Alley Cat Old Fashioned is slightly sweeter than I would typically have my old fashioned, but it is by no means disappointing. Patino suggests serving the drink over ice with an orange peel, but my ideal pour is neat, as it gives me a little stronger drink to enjoy.
Tasting Notes: Alley Cat Old Fashioned
Vital Stats: Blend of two-year straight rye whiskey, Cali apple brandy, and cherry-bark and vanilla bitters from Bittercube. 39% ABV/375mL. Est. at around $20/bottle. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to charity.
Appearance: Golden brown, texture like sun.
Nose: Sweet with a hint of that cherry-vanilla bitters.
Palate: This is a balanced pre-made cocktail, I can taste a little of everything it’s working with. I think the apple brandy takes it a little too far into the sweet zone, and I’d like a little more of the rye but overall, the flavor profile is smooth and tasty.
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Jerry Jenae Sampson
Jerry Sampson is a freelance writer, editor and screenwriter. Her creative work is ever improved by her love of whiskey and craft cocktails. She enjoys taking cool fall days to explore the great distilleries around Portland to get a closer look at the inner workings of her favorite spirits.