Classification: American Whiskey Finished in Madeira Casks
Company: Tom & Huck Distillers
Distillery: Firefly Distillery and sourced from undisclosed distilleries in Kentucky and Indiana
Release Date: July 2023
Color: Light Amber
MSRP: $40 / 750mL (2023)
Caramel creams | Creme brulee | Light
Vanilla custard | Bubblegum | Caramel | Thin but enjoyable
Bubblegum | Cotton candy | Raw sugar | Medium length
What Bend & Steal American Whiskey Finished in Madeira Casks lacks in depth it makes up for with pure drinkability.
Bend & Steal was established in 2022 in North Charleston, South Carolina as a brand extension of Firefly Distillery. 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 Finished in Madeira Casks 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.
Bend & Steal American Whiskey Finished in Madeira Casks is approachable above all else. It starts with sweet scents of caramel creams and creme brulee on the nose. Vanilla custard and caramel come forward on the palate, along with a prominent bubblegum note that carries through the rest of the sip. Overall it’s a straightforward pour, and while it may not draw everyone in due to its low proof point, it is one that whiskey drinkers who seek a sweet, manageable sip will enjoy.
[Editor's note: This review was updated with correct info about the distillery after its original publication.]