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Bourbon

Old Elk Cigar Cut Island Blend

$129.99

OVERALL
RATING

9

Whiskey Review: Old Elk Cigar Cut Island Blend

Tasting Notes:

About:
A blend of Old Elk’s bourbon, rye, and wheat whiskeys finished in former Port, Sauternes, Sherry, and Rum barrels before being bottled at 111.7 proof.
Appearance:
A vibrant amber color is in the glass for this one, supported by vivid legs and dense viscosity.
Nose:
The aromatics on this go in so many directions that it is hard to describe them, but there’s really near-perfect synergy in the balance. Expect nosing notes of tropical fruits, sweet vanilla, baked bread, some rye spice, molasses cookies, plums, caramel, and some oak.
Palate:
Ok, this is quite lovely on the palate. An initial sweetness washes over things, offering up some tropical candy-like notes that drift into a drier mouthfeel as it runs its course. Notes of consideration here include gingerbread, vanilla, a tiny touch of smoke, some oak, a brown sugar consideration, pineapple, molasses, and a slightly dry spice.
Finish:
The finish on this is rich and warm, much like fresh rain on a tropical island. It ends clean and of moderate length before fading off.
Comments:
Old Elk has a winner here in its Cigar Cut Island Blend expression. Mastery of blending shows itself in the best of ways, especially given the mix of whiskey styles and barrel types in this offering. This will be great with cigars or just a summer sipper on a warm night. It’s a true gem to add to your home bar.
Old Elk Cigar Cut Island Blend review
We review Old Elk Cigar Cut Island Blend, a blend of Old Elk’s bourbon, rye, and wheat whiskeys finished in former Port, Sauternes, Sherry, and Rum barrels before being bottled at 111.7 proof. (image via Old Elk)

Editor’s Note: We received a review sample of this whiskey from the brand. However, in accordance with our editorial policies, this has not influenced the outcome of our review in any way.

Old Elk is one of Colorado’s more prominent craft distilleries these days. Founded in 2013, the distillery team here is led by Master Distiller Greg Metze, a decades-long veteran who learned his trade at the old Seagram’s Distillery in Lawrenceburg, Indiana, and Melinda Maddox, who joined Old Elk in 2019 as the Beverage Director and, more recently, she became its first Master Blender.

Old Elk has its whiskeys contract distilled for it, leveraging “an existing distilling facility and their equipment to bring to life” its custom mash bills created by Metze. A particular focus of Old Elk is its so-called “Slow Cut Proofing Process,” in which water, instead of typically being added in a very short period to whiskey to proof it, is added over weeks in “small increments” to keep the liquid cool” and save “the delicate flavors” produced during “mashing, fermentation, distillation, and maturation” that is said to be lost when gallons of water are added nearly all at once.

Old Elk’s whiskey products focus on four key areas: core bottlings, a “Master’s Blend” series, a “Cask Finish” series, and some more specialized offerings. A high-malt bourbon helped put this distillery on the map, and these days, it is joined by wheat whiskey, rye whiskey, and wheated bourbon, among others.

What’s in the bottle

The whiskey being reviewed here, Old Elk Cigar Cut Island Blend, is another one of Old Elk’s specialty products and the second in a “Cigar Cut” lineup. It blends straight whiskeys finished in former Port, Sauternes, Sherry, and Rum barrels. More specifically, the mix here is two Old Elk 6-Year High Malt Bourbon finishes (Sherry – 2 years finish, Port – 6 to 10 months finish), Old Elk 6-Year Rye (Rum – 8-month finish), and Old Elk 6-Year Wheat (Sauternes – 6-month finish).

This whiskey, bottled at 111.7 proof, is priced at $129.99.

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Nino Kilgore-Marchetti

Nino Kilgore-Marchetti is the founder of The Whiskey Wash, an award winning whiskey lifestyle website dedicated to informing and entertaining consumers about whisk(e)y on a global level. As a whisk(e)y journalist, expert and judge he has written about the subject extensively, been interviewed in various media outlets and provided tasting input on many whiskeys at competitions. He also maintains a large private collection of whiskey from which he continually educates his palate on this brown spirit type.

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