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Clyde May’s Special Reserve A High Octane Alabama Style Whiskey

Clyde May Special ReserveClyde May’s Whiskey is described as an “Alabama-style” whiskey which takes older bourbon stock (i.e. sourced) and finishes it with a slight “infusion” of dried apples and cinnamon to give it a distinct flavor profile. It has already been named the official state spirit of Alabama, and now coming to market is a “special reserve” line extension that clocks in at a higher proof.

The new Clyde May’s Special Reserve, like the more base whiskey, is said to be “based on original recipes created by Clyde himself.” May is described as a former Alabama farmer and war hero who, in the late 1940s, lived in his state’s Conecuh Ridge region, where he did some moonshining. He reportedly “aged small batches in charred oak barrels and experimented until he perfected his own unique finish – Alabama Style. He added oven-dried apples to his barrels and the resulting hint of green apple made his whiskey particularly smooth.”

As to what exactly the Special Reserve version is, those behind the Clyde May’s brand describe it by stating that

three distinct higher-proof Alabama-style whiskies were created to characterize the best features of five to six year-old bourbon stock. The bourbon is aged up to six years and finished non-cold filtered with a slight hint of apple, in the Alabama style. The final liquid was bottled at 110 proof, and will be available in different lots, each exhibiting subtle variation and tasting notes.

“One of the features that has pleasantly surprised people who’ve tasted Special Reserve is its smoothness,” said Ron Call of Clyde May’s in a statement. “At the 110-proof level, there can be an expectation that the liquid is going to knock your head back. But the Alabama-style finish just smooths it out – it’s almost counterintuitive.”

Clyde May’s Special Reserve should be available at retail now for around $70 a bottle if you want to pick one up from an online retailer.

Nino Kilgore-Marchetti

Nino Kilgore-Marchetti is the former founder of The Whiskey Wash, an award-winning whiskey lifestyle website dedicated to informing and entertaining consumers about whisk(e)y globally. As a whisk(e)y journalist, expert, and judge, he has written extensively about the subject, been interviewed in various media outlets, and provided tasting input on many whiskeys at competitions.

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