Classification: American Single Malt
Company: Flag Hill Distillery
Distillery: Flag Hill Distillery
Release Date: September 2022
Age: 6 Years
Mashbill: 84% Distiller’s Barley, 8% Peated Barley, 8% Caramel Barley
Color: Light Mahogany
Malted barley | Whoppers candy | Cinnamon | Fresh oak | Dab of caramel | Balanced but light overall
Raw grain | Baking spices | Light baking chocolate | Hint of honey buns | Light caramel | Sharp oak
Tannic oak | Youthful grain | Sharp peppercorn spice | Quick heat | Light fresh bread | Lingering spice-filled finish
A delightful nose shows the potential of this American single malt from Flag Hill Distillery, but the time spent in oak needs to be honed in.
Flag Hill Distillery is in New Hampshire and was the first legal distillery in the state after Prohibition. The distillery produces a number of different liquors and wines, including American single malts. Flag Hill states in their press release that, “Our Single Malt is aged in new American Oak barrels for 6 years at Flag Hill Distillery in Lee, NH. Aging in NH is different than aging in Scotland. We are able to mature our spirit faster than Scotland due to the lack of temperance in our climate. In fact, our plan was to release this at 10 years old when we distilled it, however the spirit aged faster than we expected. Had we waited the whole 10 years it would have been vastly over-oaked. In fact we wish we would have released this at 5 years! Spirits age differently all over the world. This whiskey is incredible proof of that!”
I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I would agree with Flag HIll Distillery’s own assessment that less time in the barrel would have suited this whiskey better. Flag Hill American Single Malt Batch 1 starts with really nice aromas of malted barley and Whoppers candy joined by delightful cinnamon and oak. The palate starts to show the first signs of wood, grain, and varying spices butting up against a sharp oak note. The finish is full of sharp notes that throw the overall sip off balance and lose all the goodwill that the delightful nose bought. Flag Hill American Single Malt Batch 1 shows signs of good potential, and if Flag Hill Distillery can hone in its oak notes and what age they pull it from the barrels, there is no doubt that this will be a solid American single malt to contend with. I’ll be excited to track and revisit this line in the near future.