Editor’s Note: This whiskey was provided to us as a review sample by Alltech. 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 towards the bottom of this review our site receives a small referral payment which helps to support, but not influence, our editorial and other costs.
Town Branch Malt Whiskey is made by Lexington Distilling, which is owned by Alltech. One might also know the brand as Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co. The company was established in 1999, and offers a full line up of malt whiskey, rye, beer, canned cocktails, gin, bourbon, and other spirits.
With the opening of the Town Branch Distillery in Lexington, Kentucky, in 2012, they became part of the world-renowned Kentucky Bourbon Trail. They also operate another location, Alltech Dueling Barrels Brewery and Distillery, in Pikeville Kentucky. For even more fun and history, Pearse Lyon Distillery at St. James church in Dublin, Ireland, is also part of the brand’s portfolio.
For this malt whiskey review, I tasted a single cask sample of Town Branch Malt Whiskey that’s older than the brand’s core malt whiskey release. The fill date of this cask was in 2014, according to the brand’s labeling convention (14A17, where the first number reflects the year distilled, the letter corresponds to the day, and the last number is the day the cask was filled). It’s not clear whether the “A” stands for April or August, so the sample is either six or seven years old.
In the United States, “malt whiskey” doesn’t have to be 100% malted barley, although malt does need to be the majority grain. In Scotland, Ireland, and elsewhere, the rules are different–malt whiskey (or whisky, as the case may be) must be 100% malted barley. Town Branch’s core Kentucky Single Malt Whiskey is 100% malted barley. This sample isn’t labeled with a mash bill, but I’ll assume it’s the same program as the core release.
Tasting Notes: Town Branch Malt Whiskey 1110
Vital Stats: Proof 110.5. Likely 100% malted barley and six or seven years old. The mash is fermented in large cypress wood fermenting containers in Town Branch Distillery’s glass front room. Town Branch distills in two large, copper pot stills imported from Scotland. The raw whiskey is aged in oak barrels, charred on the inside to char level 5.
Appearance: Pale yellow, like a hay field on a bright, sunny day.
Nose: There’s a pleasant aroma of a hay field or a fresh cut fir tree. It’s fresh and earthy.
Palate: This was a little sweeter than some of the other Town Branch Single Barrels. It’s slightly sweet all the way through to the finish but there’s also hints of black pepper. It’s a nice play between the spice and sweetness.
I was able to try three Town Branch Single Barrels and this was my favorite of the three. Unlike the bourbon and rye, this malt whiskey tastes better than the nose. The palate was sweeter than I expected and less hot. I still prefer the newer bottles more widely available than this particular single cask.
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Melissa D. Jones is a traveler, blogger, photographer, storyteller, foodie, whiskey lover and creative entrepreneur. Living for adventure and new experiences she's photographed her way around all 50 states and 47 countries (still counting!) and wrote her travel knowledge into a book. When she's not traveling you can find her...