Company: Tom & Huck Distillers
Distillery: Firefly Distillery and sourced from undisclosed distilleries in Kentucky and Indiana
Release Date: July 2023
Age: NAS (Aged at least 4 years per TTB regulations)
Color: Light Copper
MSRP: $33 / 750mL (2023)
Honeycomb cereal | Floral | Fresh mint | Light rye grain
Honeydew | Lemon | Lavender
Almond | Sugarcane | Light rye spice | Strange offputting aftertaste
A light fruit and floral tasting whiskey with a finish that struggles to stick its landing.
Firefly Distillery was established in 2005 in Wadmalaw Island, South Carolina before moving to Park Circle in 2020. They are well known for their Sweet Tea Vodka, as well as flavored vodka, rum, and moonshine products. Their bourbon production started in 2013 and their releases have been largely been limited to the state of South Carolina. Bend & Steal doesn’t carry the Firefly Distillery branding and is meant to be more of a premium artisanal release for the company.
The latest batch of Bend & Steal American Whiskey is expanding from a distillery-only release and is now available throughout South Carolina. It includes the distillery’s own distillate but is also blended with whiskeys from Kentucky and Indiana. This is likely to help provide an extra dimension and diversity to their flavor profile.
The whiskey’s nose is very honey-forward with a strong floral undertone. A layer of fresh mint and rye grain is also present creating an enjoyable opening to the sip. The palate is on the simple side with honeydew and lemon providing much of the base with a light lavender note on top of it. The finish is the whiskey’s most perplexing part, with a strong almond note up against sugarcane and rye spice on the backend. There is an additional strange flavor note present that may be an offshoot of the almond, but I am not sure of it. It distracts from the overall sip and creates an off-balanced taste. As with any new distillery producing their own distillate, I look forward to a time when their whiskey is able to showcase more of their own distilling fingerprint. There seem to be a few kinks still present with this batch and while it features some unique flavor notes, not all of them are necessarily welcome.
[Editor's note: This review was updated with correct info about the distillery after its original publication.]