Classification: Straight Bourbon
Company: Chattanooga Whiskey Co.
Distillery: Chattanooga Riverfront Distillery
Release Date: Ongoing
Age: 2 Years
Mashbill: 75% Yellow Corn, 25% Malt (Malted Rye, Caramel Malted Barley & Honey Malted Barley - exact percentages not disclosed)
Color: Medium Copper
Price: $45 (2019)
Chattanooga Whiskey 111 Cask is the unfiltered, barrel strength expression of Chattanooga Whiskey’s signature high malt bourbon, Chattanooga Whiskey 91. Unlike 91 however, Cask 111 is not Solera aged. It’s made from a single fermentation which is extended 7 days. Each 8-12 barrel batch represents a single distillation run. It’s aged for at least two years in toasted and charred 53 gallon barrels before bottling.
The bottle in review is from batch 19G19R.
Toffee, caramel, and butterscotch meet dark fruit and raisins in this bouquet of scents. It has a malty, almost nutty undertone that softens the delivery and helps keep the individual aromas in check, allowing each to come through without overpowering any others. A whisper of ethanol is also present, but less than expected considering the proof. Overall it's a bit unusual at first, but grows on you after you get to know it.
Rich and full-bodied. The whiskey is characteristically sweet, with raisins, caramel chews, butterscotch, and honey combining to form a base of flavors that combine with an undeniable presence of malt. It has a creamy mouthfeel, and joined with a dash of baking spices delivers a fantastic experience on the palate.
A quick burst of allspice fused with nutmeg is quickly overcome by sweeter butterscotch and toffee. A light pepper lingers on the backend. Medium in length but enjoyable nonetheless.
Chattanooga claims a high malt percentage in the mashbill, using three different malted grains. I was successful in confirming it's made of 75% yellow corn and 25% malt, but Chattanooga Whiskey holds the three malted grains breakdown percentages close to the chest. It's unusual not to see rye or wheat as the secondary flavoring gain, and those familiar with the growing category of American malt whiskeys know just how good they can be.
Here, the combination of three different malts combined with the sweetness from the corn yields a very pleasing result. Being bottled at 111 proof allows the richness of flavors to come through, and the absence of filtering allows for a full-bodied mouthfeel that’s everything you could want in a whiskey. While it’s only two years old, you would never guess that based on the flavor profile alone, which speaks to the quality of distillation taking place at Chattanooga Whiskey's Riverfront Distillery.
Most importantly though, the flavor profile stands on its own. It’s unlike other bourbons on the shelves, and notably not just different with its sweet but malty and rich flavor profile, it's strikingly good.
While Chattanooga Whiskey 111 Cask is only two years old, it is important to remember it was distilled by Chattanooga Whiskey who had been sourcing whiskey for eight years and only recently started distilling in 2015. In fact, if you take away the age statement you would be hard-pressed to guess its age compared to what many other young distilleries are putting out at two years old. Chattanooga Whiskey delivers on a whole different level. Combine this with its higher 111 proof and unique flavor profile, and it’s an easy buy recommendation at $45.
Chattanooga Whiskey 111 Cask delivers a full-bodied unique pour that’s unlike most bourbons out there.
Chattanooga Whiskey has my attention. 111 Cask showcases just how well Chattanooga Whiskey is distilling, and at only two years old, it's not just to the point where I can see the potential, the proof is already in the bottle...no pun intended. Would aging longer make it taste different? Absolutely. Better? Maybe. The point is, the bourbon is really good as-is and succeeds at delivering a different, yet really enjoyable drinking experience. Chattanooga Whiskey 111 Cask is definitely one to pick up.