Whiskey Review: Coney Island Carlo Spirits Bourbon - The Whiskey Wash

Whiskey Review: Coney Island Carlo Spirits Bourbon

Carlo Spirits Bourbon

image via Zach Braunstein/The Whiskey Wash

We’ve entered an era in whiskey production where the predominate skill required to bring a product to market is not a detailed knowledge of distilling, nor an understanding of whiskey history or markets. One doesn’t even have to have access to one’s own distillery or supply-chain. All you need is an idea for a brand, and a little bit of cash upfront.

Thanks to Terressentia, whom we’ve written about previously, just about anyone can pay to outsource most to all of the whiskey-making process. Terressentia uses a quick-aging technique that allows them to fast-track the distilling-process. That means no more lengthy storage periods. Come up with the idea for a brand and a bottle, send them off to South Carolina, and by the time you can say “brown alcoholic liquid,” you’ve got your own whiskey label.

Coney Island Carlo Spirits’ “Ultra Premium” Bourbon Whiskey is a perfect example of what happens when technology allows for creation without preparation, intention, or passion. The company, as far as I can tell as their distillery website is dead, was run by a Coney Island tattoo artist named Carlo Fodera, aka Coney Island Carlo. Carlo, who was raised in the bar business, decided to combine his love for design and liquor to create his own line of bourbon, rum, tequila, gin, and wine, on which he’s featured his own tattoo art.

Perhaps sometimes it’s better to just pick a single art form and stick to it.

Tasting Notes: Coney Island Carlo Spirits Ultra Premium Bourbon Whiskey

Vital Stats: Coney Island Carlo’s “Ultra Premium” Bourbon is 90 proof, and that’s about all they’re advertising on the bottle. I’ve been assured, however, that it contains, quote, “the finest ingredients.” It calls itself a bourbon, so we can assume it’s got at least a 51% corn mash. It comes in a 750 ml bottle, and retails for approximately $35.

Appearance: In the bottle it’s a pale, thin-looking amber. When swirled in a glass, it has light, fast legs.

Nose: Like a mix of cinnamon-sugar, chocolate, and gasoline.

Palate: Extremely sharp, with a vaporous aftertaste that rises into the back of the tongue. It’s hard to distinguish flavors past the alcohol-burn, but if you focus there’s a hint of green-apple and rubber.

Final Thoughts & Score/Buy A Bottle (If You Dare):

Score: 59/100

Buy NowDid you ever have that moment as a teenager where you wanted to get drunk, but didn’t know where to get beer, and ended up making a poor decision with the rubbing alcohol under the medicine cabinet? I mean, no, me neither, but I suspect that experience would taste something like Coney Island Carlo Spirits Bourbon. I tried drinking this three times, and I shuddered with each sip.

The label of the bottle has a half-naked woman with the words “Mans[sic] Ruin” on a banner behind her. Yeah, “ruin” is a good word to describe this whiskey. Let’s just leave it at that.


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