Whiskey Review: Corti Brothers Good Honest Whiskey

Corti Brothers Good Honest WhiskeyCorti Brothers, based in Sacramento, was started in the 1940s by Italian brothers who wanted to expand the “culinary experiences” of those around them by offering foods that were not readily available in Northern California. Seven decades later, these grocers and wine merchants have expanded into the world of whiskey.

At first, the name of this new bottling turned me off: Corti Brothers Good Honest Whiskey. I’m not a big fan of the over-promise. Don’t tell me what something is. Show me instead. Especially since their previous effort was named “Exquisite Whiskey.” Bit Trumpian, no?

The Good Honest Whiskey is a sourced bourbon courtesy of nearby Amador Distillery, which uses a mash bill of 70 percent corn, 21 percent rye, and 9 percent malted barley. It was distilled in spring 2012, aged for four years in American white oak that originally held whiskey, and then finished in barrels that aged a singular Amador county wine, Harbor Mission Del Sol. It’s 92 proof and a bottle costs about $50.

Tasting Notes: Corti Brothers Good Honest Whiskey

Color: The bright, copper shine of a new penny.

Nose: It is very, very, very subtle. I breathed in and out multiple yoga breaths before I could pick up anything. What I did gather was powdered Dutch chocolate, caramel corn, and seawater.

Palate: While the nose is subtle, the palate…is not. Its wine barrel finish is very apparent; it has a fortified taste to it, like a madeira or port. It has a heavier mouthfeel than many whiskies. I’ve tried. This is not something you’d make a drink with; in fact I wouldn’t even drink it before or during a meal. I’d drink it after. It’s definitely an after-dinner drink in the parlor with a Cuban cigar. You know when you finish a big meal and want something sweet to close it out? This is that.

Read More Whiskey News
Whiskey Review: Doc Swinson's Alter Ego Rye Solera Method Rum Finish


Good Honest Whiskey…isn’t. It’s very good, but it’s not a typical whiskey, and that’s cool. It is a pleasant and slightly unusual whiskey, with a lot of wine-like qualities. If you know someone who likes dessert wines and isn’t sure about whiskey, this could be a great introduction.

I’d be happy to have it in my collection: Maybe not for an every-night-after-work libation, but for a dinner party after a big meal sitting around the table with a bunch of people whose company you really enjoy, when you’re talking and laughing until practically daylight? Absolutely.