Classification: Single Malt Whiskey
Company: Lost Lantern
Distillery: Whiskey Del Bac
Release Date: April 2023
Age: 1 Year
Mashbill: 60% Unsmoked Malted Barley, 40% Mesquited Malted Barley
MSRP: $100 (2023)
Fresh malted barley | Noticeable smoke | Mellow mesquite chips | Burnt orange rind | Proof makes itself apparent
Brown sugar sweetness | Citrus | Cocktail cherries | Sharp peppery spice | Bold smoked wood
Smoked wood chips | Malted barley | Crescendoing spice | Prominent smoke | Lingering
Young, small barrel size, desert heat…all ingredients that normally don’t work on their own, but Lost Lantern pulls a rabbit out of their hat with their Single Distillery Series: Whiskey Del Bac “Mega Mesquite.”
Lost Lantern is known predominantly for their single barrel releases. However, much like their American Vatted Malt Edition No. 1 release, their new Single Distillery Series aims to expand the availability of the product. The brand states that “Each release in the Single Distillery Series is a blend of multiple casks all sourced from a single distillery. These whiskies allow the Lost Lantern blending team to deeply explore what makes a distillery unique and special, often by bringing together flavors in a new way and showing a new perspective on a distillery.” In Mega Mesquite’s case, the whiskey is composed of three 15-gallon barrels from Whiskey Del Bac that used a number 3 char with a medium plus toast. The end result is a 180 bottle release.
Mega Mesquite tries to live up to its name through and through. Thanks to its noticeable smoke and burnt orange rind notes, the nose reminds me of a smoked old fashioned single malt cocktail. The smoke influence carries over predominantly into the palate and additional fruit notes are present along with a noticeable sharp peppery spice. Finishing on a crescendoing spice and lingering smoked note, there’s no denying what Lost Lantern was aiming for with this release.
If you’re a fan of smoked cocktails or smoke influenced whiskeys in general, Mega Mesquite will pique your interest. It’s clear that Lost Lantern succeeded in its goal of highlighting smoke. That said, the clash of the sweeter fruit notes with sharp spice and smoke on the palate can be jarring along with the prominent smoke-filled finish, which tends to stay past its welcome as it grips your mouth without letting go. This will be a love-it-or-hate-it whiskey, but I like the concept behind Lost Lantern’s Single Distillery Series and look forward to seeing what the brand collaborates on next.
The bottle being reviewed is edition number 2022 WDB-4.