In the heart of New York City, where towering skyscrapers and bustling streets define the landscape, there emerges a unique gem in the world of spirits – Great Jones Distilling Co., Manhattan's first whiskey distillery since the Prohibition era. Owned by the renowned Proximo Spirits, the powerhouse behind brands like Bushmills and Jose Cuervo, Great Jones has been making waves since its establishment in 2021. Recently, the distillery dropped a game-changing release that sets it apart from the whiskey scene— the Great Jones Peated Scotch Cask Bourbon.
Situated in the NoHo district, Great Jones Distilling Co. has been crafting small-batch whiskey under the expert guidance of head distiller Celina Perez. Interestingly, the whiskey found in Great Jones bottles doesn't originate in the city that never sleeps but is, in fact, produced upstate at Black Dirt Distillery. Acquired by Proximo in 2018, Black Dirt Distillery is a craft operation that lays the foundation for the unique spirits that bear the Great Jones name.
The Peated Scotch Cask Bourbon, a recent addition to Great Jones' portfolio, takes the American classic to new heights. A seven-year-old bourbon, its roots trace back to a mashbill of corn, rye, wheat, and barley – all cultivated in the fertile fields of New York State. The magic, however, lies in the finishing touch. For two years, the bourbon is delicately aged in barrels that previously cradled peated Scotch whisky, imparting a distinctive smoky character that challenges traditional expectations.
What makes this release even more intriguing is the absence of a Proximo-owned Scotch distillery, leaving the origin of these casks open to speculation. Contrary to assumptions, the influence of peat on the bourbon is not overpowering. Instead, the smokiness manifests as a savory mesquite barbecue note, creating a symphony of flavors on the palate.
This limited edition Peated Scotch Cask Bourbon is a distillery-exclusive release, adding an air of exclusivity to its already distinctive profile. Encased in a specially designed gift box, the bourbon is priced at $150, reflecting its unique craftsmanship and small-batch nature. While the special release can only be acquired at Great Jones' Manhattan distillery, enthusiasts not planning an immediate visit to the Big Apple can still explore the distillery's other expressions through online platforms like Total Wine.
The label on the bottle proudly boasts its credentials: 48% ABV, 96 proof, and a meticulously crafted blend of New York-grown corn, barley, and rye. The tasting experience promises a journey through smoky nuances, with the nose revealing hints of smoke, oak, and light floral notes. The palate is an adventure in clean and crisp flavors, featuring mesquite, tobacco, honey, and toasted marshmallow. The full-bodied experience concludes with a complex, balanced finish, leaving enthusiasts craving for another sip.
In the realm of Manhattan's whiskey scene, Great Jones Distilling Co. has etched its name with this exclusive release, challenging conventions and redefining the city's perception of fine spirits. The Peated Scotch Cask Bourbon stands as a testament to the artistry that can emerge when tradition meets innovation, showcasing the limitless possibilities that await those willing to explore the diverse world of whiskey in the heart of New York City.