Editor’s Note: This whiskey was provided to us as a review sample by Grand Teton Distillery. This in no way, per our editorial policies, influenced the final outcome of this review.
Idaho isn’t exactly the first state to come to mind when considering whiskey production, but there are several aspects of the mountainous state that lend themselves to small batch craft distillation. Grand Teton Distillery, founded in 2011 and located in Driggs, Idaho, started with vodka production. Today the brand is most well-known for its award-winning vodkas. In addition to vodka, the distillery has also developed a small line of whiskey expressions, including today’s tasting of theGrand Teton Private Stock Straight Bourbon.
Grand Teton previously released its first Private Stock bourbon on the heels of a 8,000 square foot expansion to the distillery that allowed for extra storage and more production equipment, as well as a larger tasting room. The second offering under the Private Stock label, this eight-year-old is the oldest whiskey from an Idaho distillery. The 6,500 feet elevation in the Teton Valley and high levels of mineral rich glacial snowmelt result in pure mountain water for proofing.
Head distiller John Boczar says of the release, “We’ve tasted this whiskey year after year to see how it would age in our climate. It has been extremely difficult not to release it until now, especially because we lose over a quarter of each barrel to angel’s share, but it only kept getting better with time.” The fact that the whiskey is produced at such a high elevation and is aged within extreme weather conditions is not lost on this tasting. There is a clean but very mild quality to the whiskey that could be the result of cold weather during the aging process.
Tasting Notes: Grand Teton Private Stock Straight Bourbon
Vital Stats: Mash bill of 75% corn, 21% rye, and 4% barley. Aged eight years. 50% ABV (100 proof). Proofed with mountain water. SRP $79.95/750 ml bottle.
Appearance: The whiskey is the color of redwood trees.
Nose: The scent of woodfire, the cork from red wine, and candied pecans come through, along with notes of dried papaya and maple.
Palate: This is a classic and clean bourbon. Apple pie, orange peel, and subtle notes of Sichuan peppers present alongside more expected vanilla flavors. There’s a strong but shallow aspect to the whiskey, just shy of the punch that is desired from the finish of a good bourbon.
Whiskey Review: Grand Teton Private Stock Straight Bourbon
The reality of this whiskey is that tastes nice, it has a fine profile, but there is something lacking that I can’t put my finger on. I appreciated the nose on the bourbon, as I was able to pick out some distinctly unique aspects, but I wanted more complexity and a longer finish that just wasn’t there. Despite this, I did enjoy the whiskey and think it will perform nicely in a winter cocktail.
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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.