Classification: American Single Malt
Company: Lost Lantern
Distillery: Sourced from Santa Fe Spirits and Whiskey Del Bac
Release Date: November 2023
Age: 1 Year:
-Whiskey Del Bac: 1 Year | Aged in new & used American oak, finish in a Pineau des Charentes casks
-Santa Fe Spirits: 3-4 Years | Aged in ex-Bourbon Barrels
Mashbill: 100% Malted Barley
Color: Dark Mahogany
MSRP: $100 / 750mL (2024)
Caramel | Honey | Mesquite | White grape
Honey | Hazelnut | Burnt sugar | Black Pepper | A touch of clove | Barrel char
Smoke | Spiced chocolate | Earthy
Those open to a smoky whiskey will be rewarded with a single malt that works its barrel finishes to a rewarding effect.
Smoked whiskeys still remain an acquired taste for many bourbon and rye lovers. While not as polarizing as peated whiskeys, many have a hard time singing their praises. Lost Lantern seems to be ever up for the challenge, as two of their late 2023 Blend Series releases involve smoked and peated whiskeys.
Their latest smoke-focused release, aptly named Lost Lantern Flame, is a blend of two south western distilleries: Santa Fe Spirits and Whiskey Del Bac. Smoked whiskey is made in a similar way as peated whiskeys, except the peat is replaced with mesquite wood. There’s no denying the smoky influence in many of Santa Fe Spirits and Whiskey Del Bac’s whiskeys, but this blend has managed to be more than just a sum of its parts.
On the nose, the mesquite wood influence is unmistakable, but it's the inclusion of caramel, honey, and, oddly, white grape that caught my attention the most. Surprisingly, the Whiskey Del Bac whiskey was finished in Pineau des Charentes barrels, and it's absolutely noticeable and essential to this blend which tends to skew sweeter than I expected. The smoke is nicely layered, and while it's a dominating force throughout the sip, it's more tempered than I’d expect, especially coming from the two distilleries involved. Lost Lantern Flame’s age statement is also deceiving as only part of the blend is from 1 year stock from Whiskey Del Bac, which is typical for them as their whiskey tends to benefit from less time in the barrel. A little smoke always goes a long way, but this blend works its barrel finishes to its benefit. If you’re open to having a bit of smoke in your glass of whiskey, Lost Lantern Flame will likely satisfy with its pleasant distinctiveness.
Editor's note: We incorrectly stated that Santa Fe Spirits was located in Arizona, when in fact they are located in New Mexico.