Company: Proximo Spirits
Distillery: Sourced (blend of bourbon from MGP and single malt whiskey from Stranahan’s)
Release Date: Ongoing
Age: 10 Years
Mashbill: Blend of bourbon (64% Corn, 32% Rye, 4% Malted Barley) and single malt whiskey (100% Malted Barley)
Price: $55 (2021)
Launched in 2017, Tincup 10 is the followup to the company’s Tincup American Whiskey which is referred to as the “Original.” The Tincup company is located in Tin Cup, Colorado, and like its sister company Stranahan’s, Tincup Whiskey is cut with Colorado’s Rocky Mountain Water. Tincup American Whiskey is a bourbon-style whiskey, combining a high-rye bourbon distilled and aged in Indiana, with a small amount of single malt distilled and aged in Colorado. Each whiskey used in the blend has been aged in char #3 barrels.
The nose opens with light scents of aged oak and vanilla. Resting gently underneath are hints of caramel, baking spice, honeyed orange, and fresh leather. A nice blend of sweet and earthy scents are light yet expressive. They blend well together and provide for an inviting opening.
Sweet notes of orange zest, oak, vanilla bean, and brown sugar merge together, delivered by an overall light creamy mouthfeel. A rye spice undertone pulses throughout and adds a pleasant dash of spice. The palate reminds you that this bourbon is only 84 proof, as it’s very enjoyable, yet light overall. While this does allow you to take your time to hunt out flavors, it also leaves you wanting this to be about 10 proof points higher.
Light spice appears and briefly ramps up before transitioning to muted vanilla and oak. A pleasant heat lingers and intertwines with a drier oak note. Shorter in nature, the finish is lacking some of the sweetness that comes into play in the nose and palate, instead ending the sip on a lackluster dry note. It’s not a bad way to end the sip per se, but it lacks an amount of depth that you would expect from a double digit aged whiskey.
Like Tincup “Original,” Tincup 10 is a blend of predominantly high rye MGP bourbon and a small amount of single malt whiskey distilled at Tincup’s sister company, Stranahan’s. Unlike the Original, Tincup 10 utilizes sourced whiskey that has been aged for 10 years. While in theory this should add a greater amount of depth to the whiskey versus Original, the two have more in common than they should.
Like Tincup Original, Tincup 10’s low 84 proof does not do it any favors. Even considering the fact that this whiskey is marketed towards an audience that does not necessarily seek out a higher proof, the lower proof barely allows the whiskey to shine, instead presenting overall lighter flavors throughout the sip. It’s a shame too, since the flavors that are present are enjoyable. In the end, it’s a frustrating experience as you want the whiskey to pop just a little bit more but instead are left with a muted experience that could easily be improved if they bottled this just slightly higher at 90 or 95 proof. It really makes you yearn for a higher proof Tincup product; and make you question why the company hasn’t released one yet.
American whiskey in all forms that sport a 10 year or greater age statement are slowly becoming much more common. While some may sport a more inexpensive price tag, like Eagle Rare 10 Year, Russell’s Reserve 10 Year, and Henry McKenna 10 Year Single Barrel (when you can find it), most like Knob Creek 12 Year Small Batch are around the $50+ price range. While age doesn’t automatically equate to a better whiskey, it usually means you get a deeper flavor profile, especially around the 8-12 year mark.
What’s interesting about Tincup 10, is that even though the whiskey is 10 years old, it doesn’t necessarily taste that way. This may not be a bad thing for those who want to avoid bolder oak flavors, but for most people shelling out $55 for a 10 year age stated whiskey, they want to see the influence the barrel has imparted on the whiskey. With its low 84 proof, unfortunately this just isn’t in the cards. Sure it carries over the same great packaging that its Original sibling has, but slick packaging doesn’t help justify that this is an overpriced whiskey at the end of the day.
An easy-sipping whiskey that chooses to forgo the benefits of its 10 year age statement for a way too approachable low proof sip.
Tincup 10 isn’t a bad whiskey, it just doesn’t leave that much of an impression either. While it has potential, its approachable low proof, is also its ultimate shortcoming. Not all whiskey needs to be cask strength to be enjoyable, but this is truly a case where 6-10 proof points would make a big difference.
At the end of the day, Tincup 10 seems to get lost in a world of readily available choices that carry a double digit age statement. It punches slightly above similarly priced 10 year old whiskeys such as Basil Hayden’s 10 Year Bourbon, but falls well short of others like Russell’s Reserve 10 Year Bourbon. When every proof point counts, Tincup 10 seems to be just shy of being great. Instead the end result is a whiskey that is hard to hate, but also hard to justify the cost for.