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.
One of three releases I’m reviewing today is the Shelter Small Batch Blue Corn Bourbon, a whiskey that, as per the team that created it, celebrates the American West with non-GMO Heirloom California Blue Corn.
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 can’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.”
Shelter Small Batch Blue Corn Bourbon is blended from two to three hand-selected barrels and is made with the crystal-clear snowmelt of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Master Distiller Jason Senior is proud to share the Blue Corn Bourbons with their growing audience, using the blue corn to create the base of the whiskey profile.
Senior says in a prepared statement, “We build on those tasty base flavors using modern fermentation techniques, different types of wood and high Alpine aging in traditional American Oak barrels to finish off these great whiskies. Whiskey fans will not be disappointed.”
Tasting Notes: Shelter Distilling Small Batch Blue Corn Bourbon
Vital Stats: Distilled from Blue Corn, Wheat, Malted Barley, and Rye. Aged for no less than a year. 90 Proof (45% ABV). SRP $49.99/750 ml.
Appearance: The whiskey is a translucent hay yellow color.
Nose: After a minute or two in the glass, I was presented with notes of cornflakes and honey, reminding me of Saturday morning breakfast, alongside the aroma of dried mango and sunflower seeds.
Palate: The whiskey is very mild at the front of the palate, but the intensity spreads nicely and grows mid-way through. The honey of the nose is joined by orange zest, buttered corn, and clove, with a lightly spicy finish that has a vegetal flavor, similar to fresh parsley.