- Distiller: Dark Door Spirits
- Spirit: New American Rye Whiskey
- Aged: “At least 1 day” (more on this in the review)
- Proof: 96
- Purchase Price: $46
- Dark Door Spirits Website
About The Distillery & Bottle:
- “This dark door leads you to a new world of expieriences. Mysterious. And, at times… experimental. The rare and unusual are waiting for you here. Ancient and mysterious, yet modern and crisp, this is where long lost spirits are brought back to life.”
- “The classic Pennsylvania style rye whiskey – aged at least 1 day – begins with a heavy spice nose of cloves, black pepper, and allspice with hints of citrus peels. You will get a medium mouth feel with cinnamon, vanilla, caramel, and cocoa notes with a finish full of spice and heat.”
Notes & Review
Nose: licorice, baking spice, vanilla, red hots, jelly bellies, cloves
Palate: tangy rye, cinnamon, allspice, burnt caramel, deep brown butter
Finish: dry roasted oak, cinnamon, star anise, cloves
Review: Dark Door Spirits out of Tampa, FL is trying something different. If you didn’t notice, they very plainly put on the bottle “aged at least one day.” Now, I know what you’re thinking. I can hear it from here. “How did they get the liquid so dark in one day? Is this some marketing gimmick like the PBR whiskey?”
I’m happy to report, no it isn’t. We got to see the facility firsthand, and what they are doing is not only unique, but pretty cool from a scientific standpoint as well.
See, when a mommy distillery and a daddy distillery love each other very much… just kidding. Whenever there is a new distillery, they have to either have an insane amount of capital to be able to float the distillery for years while their product ages to a reasonable level fit for human consumption, or they have to take their whiskey and source their bottles from other distilleries (like Dickel or MGP).
Well, Dark Door chose a third option that few have the courage to try: innovation.
They didn’t want to source their products from the other guy, they wanted to make something their own while also making their spirits, well, you know… enjoyable while their other barrels aged the old fashioned way. So they concocted this super cool machine that circulates whiskey over wood while increasing and decreasing the internal temperature of the whiskey cycled so that each day is like a “mini year.” Seeing it at work was crazy, and seeing how much flavor is packed into a bottle only a few days old at most is mind-blowing.
I’ve got to give them credit here. While the classic option was to just buy your whiskey from another guy and slap your own label on it, they’re doing their own thing since day one. And here’s the crazy part, it’s pretty good. Especially knowing what they are doing.
The nose has some unusual characteristics in a good way. The rye is very sweet smelling, but not overpoweringly so. The licorice is a different spin, and something I don’t usually nose or taste. It’s unique, and complements the rye surprisingly well in the palate where you’ll also get more spiced flavors. The finish is unique, with clove making an appearance. The licorice makes a resurgence here at the end and is a more sharp flavor, the dry roasted oak more of a mellow and distinct flavor, while the clove ties it together.
It’s definitely something to try if you have some at your local spot, which should be soon since they have a rather aggressive distribution planned for the next year.
User Review( votes)
Greg Sinadinos started his spirits journey writing a whiskey periodical for Fine Tobacco NYC Magazine. He began answering review requests under a social media page he named “Whiskey Culture,” which quickly merged with Greg’s passion for connecting with others and his interest in history.
Today, Greg travels the country not just looking for great whiskey, but also exploring the history and individuals that the whiskey community is founded upon. He has authored “Whiskey History From Around The World” and is the host of “The Rickhouse” web series.