Classification: Straight Bourbon Finished in Ex-Madeira Casks
Company: Altmar Brands
Distillery: Sourced from an undisclosed Tennessee distillery(ies)
Release Date: April 2023
Age: 15 Years (Includes 1 year of finishing time)
Mashbill: 84% Corn, 8% Rye, 8% Malted Barley
Color: Red Mahogany
MSRP: $120 / 750mL (2024)
Dark fruits | Raspberry | Fruit cup | Seasoned oak | Autumn leaves | Caramel undertone
Black currant | Black raspberry | Cocoa | Red velvet cake | Baking spices | Mineral note undertone
Rush of spice | Slight cinnamon | Christmas spice mix | Cranberry | Lingering spice & dark fruit mix
High n’ Wicked “The Jury” layers a wide range of flavors onto a familiar base.
High n’ Wicked describes itself as “an importer and specialty bottler of exceptional whiskies.” The company was founded by L. Lyons Brown, III and Kevin E. Sachs in 2019, both of whom were former Brown-Forman senior executives. The company is extremely transparent in the fact that they source their whiskey, but also in listing every detail possible a consumer would be interested in knowing about the whiskey they are purchasing, down to the type of still the sourced whiskey came from. However, they don’t actually reveal the source of their whiskey, though they may be unable to based on the fact that this information is often restricted by non-disclosure agreements with the source distilleries.
High n’ Wicked No. 8 “The Jury” Cask Strength is part of the company’s Singular Limited Releases series, which includes domestic and global whiskey styles, many of which have been Irish whiskey to date. While it’s deceiving at first due to the bottle design, the whiskey’s label contains a wide range of background information. The exact age, including the 1 year finishing time in ex-Madeira casks, barrel entry proof of 115 and barrel exit proof of 104, the whiskey being non-chill filtered, the mashbill (notably a popular Cascade Hollow/George Dickel bourbon mashbill, though the source of distillation is undisclosed), the whiskey being distilled using a column still, and even the number of release volume which totals 5,400 bottles.
The whiskey has an interesting yet familiar flavor profile. While no source of distillation is confirmed, those who have experienced older Cascade Hollow distilled whiskeys will notice familiarities with its underlying base, which will weigh in heavily as the deciding factor relative to their individual enjoyment of this whiskey. The 12 months spent finishing in ex-Madeira casks adds a good deal of additional flavors to this whiskey, which seem to layer on as opposed to diminish the underlying base. Most unusual is the autumn leaves note on the nose, and most plentiful are the dark fruit and spice notes on the palate and finish. A touch of red velvet cake emerges, which isn’t a flavor note I’ve ever picked up on a whiskey, and even if it isn’t a flavor note everyone finds, it should give some idea of the variety of flavors layered onto this whiskey. It is, however, a mashup as opposed to an integration of flavors, like hearing multiple songs at the same time. This makes for a really interesting whiskey, but also one that doesn’t reach the level of integration necessary to make it truly great.