The story behind the un-aged whisky that originates from Death’s Door is one of those occurrences in life that while it was an accident, I for one am glad it occurred the way it did. For the whole story I spoke to Brian Elllison, the founder of Death’s Door.
Earlier this year, while a friend and distributor were visiting the Brian at Death’s Door distillery, they began tasting what at that time was the first step in creating an aged whisky, the white dog(pre-aging). Once the visiting friend sampled the un-aged whisky, he decided he wanted 50 cases. This request took Brian by surprise. That night he submitted a label to the TTB as a light whisky rather than as moonshine. And thus was born Death’s Door un-aged whisky, a combination of 20% malted barley and 80% organic hard red winter wheat that’s locally grown in Washington Island, Wisconsin.
Brian has the whisky sit in stainless steel barrels for three weeks and then oak barrels for 3 days, at which point it’s bottled.
For a product that isn’t aged, it has a very unique nose combining melon with hints of barley.
When sipping it, the initial hit is soft and mellow, which then stays and sits on your tongue and dances with nuances of honey, green apple with cinnamon occasionally showing itself. It ends with a warming sensation that fills your entire body, as a whisky should.
As this review was written in July, I’m looking forward to trying this whisky again during the winter months, when that warming sensation can best be taken advantage of.