Editor’s Note: This whiskey was provided to us as a review sample by the party behind it. 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 in this review our site receives a small referral payment which helps to support, but not influence, our editorial and other costs.
Company Distilling is from Townsend, Tennessee. No, I did not forget to insert the name of the distillery as if this was a form letter. The brand is Company Distilling. They are a relatively new company breaking into the distilling scene. This year Company Distilling presented one of their newest whiskey releases that I’m reviewing here, a three wood straight Tennessee Whiskey finished in apple wood.
Founder & Master Distiller, Jeff Arnett, stated in a press release “Tennessee Whiskey was the logical next addition to our product portfolio. At 86.5 proof, we feel it is the perfect complement to our tasting lineup and brings some welcomes sweet notes to the spiciness of our rye. The proof point is the area code for our Knoxville area, which we think is a fun hidden fact and continues to create a sense of place for our products in East Tennessee.”
My colleague, Carin Moonin, wrote a very interesting article around Company Distilling’s first release, a Straight Bourbon finished in Maple Wood. Carin pointed out until 2009 only three distilleries existed in Tennessee. I had always pictured Tennessee and Kentucky as kindred spirits when it came to spirits. In reality Tennessee is going through a distilling boom and new distilleries are being built yearly around the state.
Tennessee whiskey, unlike Bourbon, must be made in the state of Tennessee to be labeled this whiskey category, according to official state level regulations. In addition to physical location to garner the official moniker of “Tennessee Whiskey,” it must also be run through sugar maple charcoal after distillation and prior to entry into the new charred oak barrel for maturation.
Arnett spent over a decade with Jack Daniels before venturing out to start Company Distilling. He described their whiskey as “the kind of whiskey you don’t have to save for a special occasion. . . it has the kind of drinkability and price point that allow it to be your go-to. I like to refer to is as ‘approachable Complexity.’”
This is Company Distilling’s fourth whiskey and first Tennessee Whiskey. It is a distillery exclusive at their Thompson’s Station and Townsend distilleries in Tennessee. With that, we turn to the glass.
We review Company Distilling Tennessee Three Wood, a three wood straight Tennessee Whiskey finished in apple wood. (image via Company Distilling)
Vital Stats: a three wood straight Tennessee Whiskey finished in apple wood. 43.25% abv or 86.5 proof.
Nose: Cinnamon apple pie crust – it’s a burst in the nose. There is a touch of alcohol and lime citrus? With a touch of cherry.
Taste: The sip fills the mouth and reveals a healthy dose of baking spices: pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg. It is cloying to the palate. It evolves into charcoal with sweet sugar and dark chocolate or cocoa. Successive sips find the whiskey is watery, and the cloying is gone.
As we mature into the finish there is oak and char. The finish is rather blunt and arrives to say, “The End.”
Whiskey Review: Company Distilling Tennessee Three Wood Straight Whiskey
This needed a good amount of time to open up to get a fair shake. My first impression with this whiskey was harsh, the notes were jumbled and hard to decipher. Once it warmed in my hand and opened, say 10-15 minutes, the notes became easier to find and more distinct. Most whiskeys benefit from opening and allowing them to aerate in the glass. I would strongly recommend that with this one.
Charles Steele is a Portland area attorney, born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. His legal education affords him an analytical approach to understanding whiskey and other aged spirits. Traditionally a legal writer, freelancing for The Whiskey Wash will prove a unique opportunity to flex his writing skills. Although he...