Classification: American Single Malt
Company: Hinterhaus Distillery
Distillery: Hinterhaus Distillery
Release Date: May 2023
Age: 1.5 Years
Mashbill: 38.3% Gallagher’s Best Malted Barley, 25.7% Kilnsmith Malted Barley, 17.6% Pacific Victor Malted Barley, 11.8% California Spirit Malted Barley, 4.5% Admiral’s Hearth Malted Barley, 2.1% Midway Malt Barley
MSRP: $67 (2023)
Cherry | Apple | Grape | Vanilla wafer | Crisp
Nougat | Honey | Butter | Sugarcane | Creamy | Satisfying viscosity | Light & sweet leaning
Malt | Cereal grain | Ritz cracker | Quick drop off of flavor | Short
Where it lacks in complexity, Hinterhaus American Single Malt Discovery makes up for in pure approachability for new malt drinkers.
Located 4,000 feet above sea level in the Sierra Mountains of California, Hinterhaus Distillery “shines a spotlight on the bounty of the region that has attracted generations to [its] rugged landscape.” The distillery is run by a husband and wife team Nate and Bonnie Randall. They produce vodka, gin, and liqueurs distilled from local Northern California wines, and finish their sourced bourbon in a number of used vineyards’ casks that are locally produced.
Discovery is Hinterhaus Distillery's first in-house American single malt which is made with six different types of malted barley. Then 69% of the batch is aged in first fill ex-American single malt oak casks, and 31% is aged in new heavy toast #3 char American oak casks for at least 18 months before being blended together.
The whiskey opens with a fruit-filled aroma of cherry, apple, and grape that are surprisingly absent from the palate and finish. The palate instead is focused on tempered sweet and sugary notes of nougat, honey, butter, and sugarcane. The most noteworthy aspect of the sip is the palate's creamy viscosity. It carries the sweet notes well despite their overall lightness. The finish is decidedly straightforward and malty - though nowhere as malty as many other American single malts. As a result, Hinterhaus American Single Malt Discovery won’t wow you in any specific way, but it is one of the most accessible American single malts I’ve had when it comes to overall approachability. The entire sip is low key, from its gentle nose and palate, right down to its malt forward yet manageable finish. I don’t see experienced malt drinkers getting much out of its sip, but there are many malt-curious drinkers that are intimidated by this category and don’t know where to start. I really would like to see some more aging time here, but as a young malt whiskey, it still has value. There aren't enough approachable American single malts on the market and it’s nice to see Hinterhaus American Single Malt Discovery join that short list.