Washington State’s Oola Distillery is one of the many fine whiskey producers heralding from this part of the Pacific Northwest. Though best known for their Waitsburg Bourbon, they also produce a limited edition “Discourse” series of whiskies which are designed to bring together uncommon elements in this brown spirit category to foster “conversation” on it. The latest release in this line up is Discourse Smoked Whiskey.
Oola Discourse Smoked Whiskey is designed to spark creativity “between the peated smokey notes of a beautiful Highland Scotch and our sweet, house-smoked American Whiskey,” according to the distillery. To this end they start with a whiskey with a mashbill similar to their bourbon (corn, rye, malted barley and wheat). Where things first get interesting is that the barley in their whiskey is “smoked with apple wood and cherry wood” along with their own bourbon barrel staves. It is then aged.
From here, according to Axis of Whisky, it is then blended with a “young sourced Highland scotch” that’s also been aged in their own barrels. It is a very interesting experiment in crafting such a unique American whiskey – you don’t often see domestic distilleries bringing over Scotch to make with their own product.
“This is a whiskey about subtlety and balance—not a smoke ‘monster’ by any standard,” said Oola’s Kirby Kallas-Lewis in a statement [PDF]. “Our goal was to create a balanced beautiful Whiskey that explores smokey elements but is not overpowered by them. You really do want to come back for more of this one.”
Official tasting notes for this 90 proof whiskey are below if you are curious. The bottling, limited as it is, is available right now at the distillery as well as a small number of online liquor retailers for between $60 and $70.
Deep, rich nose with mostly sweet, fruit elements and just a hint of smoke. On rst taste smoke is present, but the focus on your palate quickly becomes a delicious sweet and ripe stone fruit (think plum, peach & apricot)—Very smooth and rich with no burn or bite. [Its] lingering finish creates a subtle conversation between peated and sweet smoke.