In all honesty, Corn Whiskey is my least favorite whiskey spirit. I am reminded of “underage” punches or drinks made with “Everclear” and all night binge escapades! Even then, I did not care for the drink and kept clear, but I have aged, and I am now exploring whiskey to appreciate it instead of for the effect, so I can not ignore this style anymore. While I have had previous experiences with corn whiskey (see my post about the 2012 Colorado Distillers Festival), this is my first time focusing on it specifically for a tasting session. So let us see if my opinion of this whiskey has changed! And might I add, I chose this particular entry because of the packaging! Moonshiners be praised!
Whiskey: Platte Valley
Type: 100% Straight Corn Whiskey; selected and bottled by McCormick Distilling Co. Weston, MO; distilled in Kentucky; 40% ABV; aged 3 years; Batch 226; bottled on April 2, 2012
Appearance: definite Chardonnay in color with medium moving tears which are just as thick
Aroma: simple, straight forward, and young. When nosing this I think state fair. Butter-butter-butter. Yes butter is heavy in this drink. As I let the whiskey permeate my nose other elements begin to show themselves. Sweetness starts to take character and mixes with the butter giving a prevalent butterscotch aroma. The softer sweet smells also bring out genuine corn and corn stock aromas. Inescapable is the alcohol and soon it makes a play for my attention giving me medical rubbing pads and a surprising vinegar smell. And then its done, ending very quickly.
Taste: I am first taken with the mouth feel. The oiliness comes through in a big way. Mind you, it is not like the Thomas H. Handy Sazerac but it is the first thing I notice. As time is spent, flavors become clear and the simple, straight froward and young all are revisited in the mouth. Taking center stage is the flavor of corn. Butter, which was so prevalent in the nose, has backed away and now mixes with corn giving a nice fresh buttered corn on the cob savoriness. This whiskey has a sweet element to it not turning too acerbic and to my surprise popcorn does not show through! This very much stays fresh kernel and never goes to the popped kind.
With Water: the only noticeable difference is that the buttered corn flavor is brought out more. I know, usually this part is longer, but water did not do much for this one.
Finish: disappointingly short. I mean really short. Heavy corn, a bit warming, and then it is gone. I almost feel like I am letting the reader down by not coming up with anything more to say, but if I said any more, I would not be telling the truth.
Verdict: Never Again
I am glade for this experience. It has changed my opinion of straight corn whiskey and I now believe there could be an example of this spirit I will appreciate, but it is not this one. The most attractive aspect to this sample is the packaging, and it is a great display item. I will also admit this could be a good mixer, and at its price-point it could actually do well in that capacity, but my blog is about sipping whiskeys and this one falls way short. If you are looking for something to put on the shelf, then by all means, grab a bottle but do not expect a great time finishing it off!