Nassif Family Reserve Quick Stats:
Spirit: Nassif Family Reserve
Distiller: Cat’s Eye Distillery
Aged: Blended, a 3 year 10 month bouyre and a 14 year light whiskey from MGP
Proof: 107 Proof
About The Distillery:
Cat’s Eye Distillery is a small family owned micro-distillery. Their mission is to create truly EPIC tasting products. John Baker, one of the owners, previously worked at Honey Creek Distillery in Van Buren County. There, he gained his initial experience distilling products. Since then, he has done considerable research and met with owners of 22 different micro-distilleries in Colorado.
About Nassif Family Reserve:
Nassif Family Reserve was first developed by co-founder Gene Nassif. He wanted it to be a whiskey he could enjoy with his family and friends for his wedding. They enjoyed it so much that he decided to bottle it as a permanent, entry-level whiskey for the Obtainium brand. Nassif Family Reserve is a blend of 50% 14-year light whiskey from MGP and 50% 3-year 10-month bourye (a blend of 36 rye bourbon and 95 rye distillate aged together in new oak). The blend 107 proof. The result is a whiskey that is both approachable for a novice, great in cocktails, yet complex enough to be enjoyed neat by a whiskey enthusiast.
We had seen this bottle on shelves in the area, often next to Obtanium Light Whiskey. This, however is a much more paired down version, settling at a popular 107 proof rather than the 130+ that Obtanium is often found at.
We wanted to find out if this bottle held up to the standard Obtanium set forth. So, we grabbed a bottle and decided to see for ourselves!
Proof vs Heat
Nose: Standard Whiskey nose, vanilla, caramel, some oak and a little hibiscus and golden raisin.
Palate: Nice balance between oily and watery. Appropriate amount of heat for the proof, gets softer the more you sip. Spicy citrus on the front end. Orange, baking spice and a bit of red licorice.
Finish: Swelling notes of that baking spice and fading out into a caramel coated candied tobacco.
Nassif Family Reserve is from Cat’s Eye Distillery, a relatively new distillery and this is one of their only two releases as of writing this. It is described by the distillery as “both approachable for a novice, great in cocktails, yet complex enough to be enjoyed neat by a whiskey enthusiast.” and I think they nailed that mark. It’s something you can pop open at 107 proof and shell out pretty much exactly what something in this price range and ABV should deliver.
The nose is familiar, a standard combo of sugar, spice and everything nice that is included in a typical whiskey nose. Vanilla and caramel are the conductors of this ethanol fueled train. Some notable passengers are the hibiscus, golden raisin and oak that take seats a few cars back from the engine. The nose has an appropriate amount of burn for the proof and is a good barometer for what you should expect from a whiskey around 107 to 110 proof.
Appropriate, is the adjective that keeps coming to mind when describing this whiskey, and that isn’t a bad thing. The palate is very well balanced between oily and watery which means I’m most likely going to get a good duration of flavors without too much of a lingering burn.
The finish for this is something that one would typically find in a rye, a hit of the baking spices. It brings the finish back into a something more bourbon like with the notes of caramel and candied tobacco.
Overall, this is a $40 bottle that is a blend of an almost 4 year bouyre and, you’re reading this correctly, a 14 year light whiskey from the coveted MGP. A solid and interesting pour for a good price.