Whiskey Review: Stoll & Wolfe - The Whiskey Wash

Whiskey Review: Stoll & Wolfe

Stoll & Wolfe Batch 1Pennsylvania brand Stoll & Wolfe, formerly Bomberger’s, recently released their updated branding after a lawsuit from Michter’s forced them to discontinue using the Bomberger’s name. For more details on that lawsuit, read our coverage from last year.

The bottle shape and label design of the updated release are more or less the same, but the name has been changed from Bomberger’s to Stoll and Wolfe, the last names of the company’s head distiller, Dick Stoll; and its founders’, Erik and Aviana Wolfe.

Unlike many startup craft distilleries, Stoll & Wolfe has some serious distilling experience to draw on. Dick Stoll is the former master distiller at Bomberger’s Distillery, a historic distillery in Shaefferstown, Pennsylvania, where he made the original Michter’s whiskey as well as the legendary A.H. Hirsch Bourbon.

While they build their new facility, Stoll & Wolfe is a non-distiller producer, but their releases so far have gone beyond the most obvious sources for distillate. “Because we were sourcing, we wanted to do some blending,” says Adriana Wolfe. “Stoll used to do a lot of blending at Michter’s.”

The original Bomberger’s release, which I reviewed last year, was made from a sourced blend of 75% MGP bourbon, and 25% McKenzie Rye whiskey from the Finger Lakes Distillery. Batch 1 of the Stoll & Wolfe iteration keeps that MGP bourbon, but replaces the McKenzie Rye with two-year-old Straight Rye from Death’s Door Spirits in Middleton, Wisconsin.

Tasting Notes: Stoll & Wolfe Batch 1: A Blend of American Straight Whiskeys

Vital Stats: 86 proof, 60$ for 750ml, batch 1, bottle 325

Appearance: Warm, rosy gold. The hand-numbered bottle is hefty and pleasing in the hand, with a nice narrow neck that makes pouring very satisfying.

Nose: An initial impression of stonefruit – apricot, white peaches, nectarines –combined with a sweet-tart aroma suggests gummy candy and sugar syrup. Hints of dill and wet paint make for a very light, high-toned, lively nose

Palate: The flavor is also quite light. It’s sweet, with some lush herbaceous qualities, no bitterness, light oak, and notes of light plum and peach with an underlying, appealing clean brown sugar sweetness. The finish is short and crisp. Tastes well and intentionally made.

Conclusion:

This is a great aperitif whiskey. It’s not going to wear you out, but it does have an appropriate complexity: the sweet elements of bourbon and savory elements of rye are discrete and discernable. I can imagine it fitting right into a highball with a glug of soda water and ice.

It doesn’t really taste matured, but it lacks the graininess that plagues many underage craft releases. It also doesn’t taste like it’s ever seen the inside of small barrel. This is a bottle you could safely bring to a summer BBQ that would make pretty much everybody happy.

FINAL SCORE: 89/100 [SHOP FOR A BOTTLE OF STOLL & WOLFE]

About the author

Margarett Waterbury

Margarett Waterbury is a full-time freelance writer and editor. Her work has appeared in Spirited Magazine, Edible Seattle, Sip Northwest, Capital Press, In Good Tilth, Civil Eats, Travel Oregon, Portrait Magazine, Artisan Spirit, and many other publications. She is the former managing editor of Edible Portland, as well as the cofounder and former managing editor of The Whiskey Wash. In 2017, Margarett won the Alan Lodge Young Drinks Writer of the Year award. She received a fellowship for the Symposium for Professional Wine Writers in 2017 and 2019. When she’s not reporting stories, Margarett likes helping people use words to make interesting things happen in the world. She consults on communications and marketing projects, helps organizations raise money, and writes commercial and advertising copy for companies and brands with stories to tell. www.margarettwaterbury.com @margarett_maria