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.
Founded by outdoor enthusiasts Matt Hammer, Jason Senior, and Karl Anderson, Shelter Distilling can be found amongst the Sierra Nevada Mountains of Mammoth Lakes, California. The distillery has become a favorite of the sports crowd, as Mammoth Village is a hotbed for winter activities like snowboarding and skiing, while warmer weather attracts hikers and bikers.
Known primarily for their beer brewing, the group has recently dipped into the whiskey world, and have enjoyed the steady rise in whiskey production. Co-founder and Director of Marketing and Branding Matt Hammer couldn’t contain his excitement of this newer venture and the ability to showcase Shelter’s distinctly California whiskey, stating, “The distillery and our spirits are a labor of love for the entire Shelter family. It also reflects our love for adventure. The only thing that comes close to the joy of ripping down the mountain, is settling down with one of our premium whiskies and recapping the day with friends.”
The pending designation of American Single Malt has had a long journey to become recognized by the TTB (Tax and Trade Bureau). The Distilled Spirits Council and the American Single Malt Whiskey Coalition have campaigned hard for regulations around American Single Malt, with rules that encompass the quality assurance that regulation ensures.
The standards of an American Single Malt have been listed as the following – The whiskey must be the product of one distillery, distilled from 100% malted barley, matured in oak casks that are no larger than 700 liters, distilled to maximum 160 proof, bottled at the least 40% ABV/80 proof, and mashed, distilled, and matured solely in the U.S.
Shelter American Single Malt is a double pot distilled whiskey made with the crystal-clear snowmelt of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The whiskey has a unique flavor profile that offers a nice complexity and maintains a warmth and tone that stretches strongly through the tasting.
Tasting Notes: Shelter Distilling American Single Malt
Vital Stats: Double pot distilled. Aged no less than 6 months. Distilled from 100% Malted Barley. Aged in American Oak barrels with Hungarian Oak chips. 90 proof (45% ABV). SRP $49.99.
Appearance: The whiskey is a pellucid burnt orange.
Nose: Notes of vanilla and popcorn present early on. After a minute or so the aroma opens and intensifies, adding peppery elements along with a malty sweetness.
Palate: The vanilla carries over into the palate, adding to that elements of cola, bittersweet chocolate, pineapple, and salted potato chips. The whiskey has a buttery mouthfeel with a nice medium finish.