Classification: Single Malt Finished in Sauternes and Pineau Des Charentes Barrels
Company: Lost Lantern
Distillery: Whiskey Del Bac
Release Date: April 2023
Age: 1 Year
Mashbill: 60% Unsmoked Malted Barley, 40% Mesquited Malted Barley
Color: Dark Bronze
MSRP: $100 (2023)
Smoked mesquite | Cherry | Nectarine | Nutmeg | Clove
Apricot | Orange | Cantaloupe | Dried fig | Toasted pie crust | Mildly sweet
Heavy smoked mesquite | Barrel char | Leather | Dark chocolate | Lingering smoky aftertaste
Desert Dessert doesn’t quite live up to its name, but instead offers a nice contrast with a fruit forward palate and dominating mesquite smoke on its backend.
Lost Lantern is a purveyor of single barrels highlighting up-and-coming and established craft whiskey distilleries. Up until now, the majority of their releases were limited to the number of bottles in a given barrel. Like they did with their American Vatted Malt release, Lost Lantern hopes to expand the number of bottles available with a given release by creating micro/small batches for their Single Distillery Series. The total number of bottles in its first wave range between 180-1,100 and will also be given creative batch titles, not too unlike what many single barrel clubs do for each of their releases.
For “Desert Dessert,” Lost Lantern is highlighting Whiskey Del Bac, the malt distillery located in Tucson, Arizona. We reviewed a number of their whiskeys and even selected a single barrel from the distillery, and as a result can attest to their creative way of making their particular style of whiskey. This style is likely what attracted Lost Lantern to them. But any unique style of whiskey comes with a higher barrier of entry, and I just don’t mean price. For many of their releases, Whiskey Del Bac mesquite smokes their barley making for a flavorful and heavy-smoked tasting whiskey. What can be an instant turnoff for some, others will revel in.
Desert Dessert isn’t quite as sweet forward as its name suggests, but thanks to its sauternes and Pineau Des Charentes finish, its palate (and a lot of the nose) is very fruit forward. Apricot, orange, and cantaloupe create a pleasant flavor combination that works nicely against the intruding smoke-dominated finish that soon comes. It’s this heavy-smoked mesquite that monopolizes the whiskey from here on out. It’s extremely potent and weighs heavily on the rest of the sip. It's challenging, yet becomes more manageable as you acclimate to it. Desert Dessert will likely act as your sip for the night as there’s little chance of your palate coming back from its smokiness. That’s not necessarily a bad thing as this whiskey gets better with each subsequent sip, especially if you take the time to savor its palate. Also for those worried (or personally offended) about its 1 year age statement, it's a non-factor here. With the fruitiness of the palate and smokiness of the finish, there's little room to notice any youthfulness in the flavor profile.
Dessert Dessert is a 450 bottle release.