Editor’s Note: This whiskey was provided to us as a review sample by Creek Water. 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.
There are a lot of moving pieces to this whiskey. It’s a celebrity-affiliated whiskey from American rapper Yelawolf, released by his Creek Water brand and produced by Next Century Spirits (NCS), which is based out of Raleigh, North Carolina. Next Century Spirits is a full service sourcing distillery that, according to its website, is dedicated to helping clients “create the perfect spirit for your private brand or private label business.”
To understand this whiskey better, we turn to Creek Water, “Sometimes Y”, and Yelawolf. Creek Water is a whiskey brand from Slumerican founder and American rapper Yelawolf. We’ve all seen the celebrity alcohol game before; an artist, for whatever personal or pecuniary reason, decides to “create” a liquor. Dos Hombres, 818, Crystal Skull, and Blackened Whiskey are all celebrity-affiliated, to name a couple of the dozen or so labels out there. Arguably they try to market to the population that intersects with their existing culture. In this case we have a “country rapper,” so whiskey is a natural choice.
Creek Water has two standard offerings: a 100 proof whiskey and a cinnamon whiskey. Now, with the help of NCS, they are releasing “Sometimes Y” whiskey, named for the artist’s most recent album. A major departure from the standard $22 +tax bottles, this 600 bottle limited run of 18 year-old whiskey has a starting price of $400. This is an 18-year-old rye whiskey double-barrel finished in heavy toast virgin American oak casks and light toasted French oak casks. The whiskey comes in a “premium hand-made custom wood box with silver serpent emblems and hand-crafted leather details.
Like the Sometimes Y album, the whiskey bottle itself evokes the artists’ refined outlaw-loving spirit. This whiskey is really a love letter to fans of my music, apparel, and whiskey,” said Yelawolf. “Like the music throughout my career, this whiskey is a bit more nuanced, and refined but still packs a punch when you least expect it.”
After researching, I don’t know too much about the technical details of this whiskey. It’s a rye whiskey. The packaging is rather ornate, but at $400.00 and a run of 600 bottles, I would hope so. Do Creek Water and Yelawolf have the draw to sell nearly a quarter million dollars in whiskey? With these questions, we turn to the glass.
Tasting Notes: Creek Water “Sometimes Y” Rye Whiskey
Vital Stats: 97.9 Proof, 48.9% ABV. MSRP $400.00
Appearance: A golden color with thin evenly spaced legs.
Nose: The nose on this is one of the more inviting I have ever reviewed. Simply put this is sweet and warm. With the first whiff I stepped into an apple orchard full of ripe green apple, followed by spring flowers and wild grass. A return smell brought forth milk & honey, dark sugar, and caramel. There is some alcohol present, but nothing too distracting.
Taste: The smell and taste are compatible, but not a perfect transition. I found charcoal on the foretaste with some anise. The whiskey is semi-dry but clings to the teeth nicely. There is a solid burn to the throat but nothing intrusive. We are greeted with some oak, dark chocolate, red wine, and mild sweetness. The finish is medium to long. It sticks around, but I wish it would hang around a bit more. There is a mild oak char and caramel left on the tongue.
Whiskey Review: Creek Water “Sometimes Y” Rye Whiskey
This whiskey is a solid but not a complete package. It was approachable and fun to drink. The nose was exceptional to me, and I would be happy to smell it all day. The whiskey itself left a little on the mixing room floor, however. At 18 years old I feel the whiskey needed more depth of character, I found myself wishing for more complexity from the oak.
However, in the end the whiskey was good, and I enjoyed it. It could easily hang with many other whiskies out there, and you wouldn’t be disappointed in a glass. This may still be more marketing stunt than product, but as far as marketing stunts go, the product isn’t bad.
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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...