Editor’s Note: These whiskeys were provided to us as review samples by the party behind it. This in no way, per our editorial policies, influenced the final outcome of this review.
Lost Lantern was founded in 2020 by self-proclaimed whiskey nerds, Nora Ganley-Roper and Adam Polonski. Before adventuring across the country to find unique and exciting whiskies, Nora got her start as Sales Manager at Astor Wine & Spirits and Adam was a Senior Whisky Specialist at Whisky Advocate. It all started with a road trip in 2018, which took them to 50 distilleries in eight months across dozens of states and another 25 distilleries in 2019.
The 2022 Fall Collection is the largest release by Lost Lantern to date. The collection includes five distillery selections from across the country. The whiskies are not all bourbons either! The collection showcases grain variety with an 8-Year-Old New York Malted Wheat Whiskey (Breuckelen Distilling), two Single Malts from Washington (Copperworks Distilling) and Colorado (Boulder Spirits), and 5-Year-Old Straight Bourbon and 6-Year-Old Rye from Iowa (Cedar Ridge).
Breuckelen Distilling began milling, distilling, aging, and bottling spirits in 2010 at their Brooklyn facility. Coming from a brewing background, founders Jason Park and Micah Nutt founded Copperworks Distilling in 2013. Although his family had been farming and distilling for generations, Jeff Quint founded Cedar Ridge in 2005 to produce bourbon since Iowa is the number one corn-producing state in the US. Alastair Brogan, a Scottsman and Royal Air Force veteran, longed for a single malt in the land where bourbon reigns. His pursuit at Boulder Spirits came at a time when the American Single Malt category was fledgling and beginning to take off.
Co-Founders Nora Ganley-Roper and Adam Polonski chose to focus on a theme of “discovery” when they selected the whiskies to be released in the Fall 2022 Collection. “All the single casks in this collection come from distilleries that are locally or regionally beloved and very highly regarded, but not that widely available outside of their home markets,” Polonski said in a prepared statement. “With this collection, we want to help whiskey drinkers discover some really unique whiskies from distilleries they may have heard of, but not been able to actually get their hands on until now.”
Tasting Notes: Breuckelen Distilling New York Malted Wheat Whiskey 8-Year-Old
Vital Stats: 69.45% ABV, 138.9 proof. Made with only malted red wheat. The oldest single cask released by Lost Lantern. 165 bottles available. 750ml $120.
Nose: Cherry and clove instantly greet the nose on the initial whiff. Cinnamon stick and burnt orange mingle with brown sugar maple porridge. Overall, the whiskey reminds me of freshly baked cherry pie.
Palate: The whiskey is a sweet cherry bomb on the tongue. Stone fruits add to the sweetness, but provide a bit of depth. Although there is a bit of sourdough loaf to the whiskey, overall, it reminds me of Dr. Pepper.
Final Thoughts: There are wheated bourbons and then there are one hundred percent wheat whiskies like the 8-Year-Old Breuckelen New York Malted Wheat. The whiskey is so much sweeter than bourbon, but the fruit profile is delightful. One of the best out of Lost Lantern’s Fall Collection.
Tasting Notes: Copperworks Distilling Washington Single Malt
Vital Stats: 58.45% ABV, 116.9 proof. Made with only Baronesse malted barley from the Joseph’s Grainery family farm in Colfax, WA and aged for 3 years. 225 bottles available. 750ml $100.
Nose: Imagine walking through the mall and you pass Cinnabon. Warm dough, cinnamon brown sugar filling, and cream cheese frosting fill the air and kick this whiskey off. Madagascar vanilla is also pungent with ripe bananas. Near the end, the whiskey is quite musty like an old book. On the back end is pineapple.
Palate: The whiskey starts off tropical with vibrant mango but then it begins to taste like a stale cigar. Ash deepens to the point it reminds me of my amma’s black acrylic ashtray filled with cigarette butts. However, it does go back to being tropical with grilled pineapple. All that comes to mind for the aftertaste is blood— iron with salt— like when you cut your finger. It is a bit starchy on the finish too.
Final Thoughts: I kind of like it, but I kind of don’t. The Copperworks Single Malt for Lost Lantern rides the wave. I love its tropical flavors, but for a girl who likes tobacco and ash on the palate of her whiskey, those traits don’t mesh here.
Tasting Notes: Boulder Spirits Peated Colorado Single Malt
Vital Stats: 74.47% ABV, 148.94 proof. Made from only peated Scottish barley and aged for 5 years. Colorado’s high altitude results in high-proof spirits. 164 bottles available. 750ml $130.
Nose: The fresh scent of baby powder first greets the nostrils. Apart from the sweet bubblegum and cotton candy notes, the nose reminds me of port wine. The sweetness is followed by smoked vanilla. Soon after, the nose turns fruitier with lush blackberry and pomegranate.
Palate: The Colorado high-proof is no joke, but it is quite lovely. The mouthfeel is oily but not extremely hot. There is a bite of smoke at the beginning but it becomes mellow after a few seconds. It is very fruity like the nose with more berries. The finish is a little dry with oak that lingers on the palate.
Final Thoughts: Probably the best out of the five whiskies in the Lost Lantern Fall Collection. The Boulder Spirits Peated Colorado Single Malt has changed my mind about Colorado whiskey. The proof does not detract from the flavor profile. Very yum!
Tasting Notes: Cedar Ridge Iowa 5-Year-Old Straight Bourbon
Vital Stats: 61.54% ABV, 123.08 proof. Made from 75% corn, 14% rye, and 12% malted barley. 100 bottles available. 750ml $100.
Appearance: Dark amber
Nose: Cherry is bright and bold at the beginning. Cinnamon and cedar are pungent but give a sense of dryness. The citrusy oils of lemon and orange peel mingle with butterscotch. Overall, the whiskey reminds me of musty old books in a library.
Palate: The mouthfeel is oily and hot. It tastes like cherry pie or Shirley Temple cherries. There is too much cinnamon on the palate similar to that of Fireball. On top of everything there is a medicinal or charred red meat note to the whiskey. The aftertaste is bitter.
Final Thoughts: The 5-Year-Old Iowa Straight Bourbon from Cedar Ridge is not my favorite in the Lost Lantern Fall Collection mostly because of the finish and aftertaste. The dryness from the cinnamon and oak makes my mouth pucker. While it is bold, overall the bourbon is jarring.
Tasting Notes: Cedar Ridge Iowa 6-Year-Old Straight Malted Rye
Vital Stats: 60.15% ABV, 120.3 proof. Made from 51% malted rye, 34% rye, 12% corn, and 3% malted barley. 211 bottles available. 750ml $90.
Nose: Right off the bat, I am impressed with the herbaceousness of the nose. It is like walking through an herb garden of mint, sage, thyme, and lemon verbena. The middle fills out with buttery Ritz crackers. Toward the end of the nose is a bowl of fresh strawberries and cream.
Palate: The bubblegum is there from the nose. Mint, thyme, and tarragon really sell the herbaceousness. On the palate, there is a bit of lemon oil. The whiskey also has a touch of earthiness to it. Overall, the whiskey is full of fresh summer fruit.
Final Thoughts: The 6-Year-Old Iowa Straight Malted Rye from Cedar Ridge is unlike any rye I have ever had. It is summer fruit in a glass, and I just want to drink this on my patio. Would be wonderful for a mint julep come Derby Day!
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Courtney Kristjana is a leading whiskey taster in the country. She left a career in Gerontology after an article on Heather Greene inspired her to follow her passion for whiskey. She is studying to become a Master of Scotch and someday hopes she is nominated for the Keepers of the...