Endless Whiskey: Pumpkin Spice Whiskey!

Pumpkins with award

Yes! The moment I’ve been waiting for. Hop-flavored whiskey was good, but I’ve been waiting for this kind of seasonal for a long time. Last year, Sons of Liberty used 4,000 lbs of pumpkin in their fall whiskey seasonal. This year, they worked with a local Rhode Island farmer to use 32,000 lbs of pumpkins  to create two batches of pumpkin spice whiskey. This year’s seasonal offering took one of ten World Whiskies Awards given by Whisky magazine; Sons of Liberty was the only craft distillery to win (with a PUMPKIN whiskey!).

Sons of Liberty paired with facebook volunteers to wash, cut, core, roast, and press all of the pumpkins. From there, the pumpkin juice is blended with a single malt whiskey. Finally, spices including cinnamon, clove, sweet orange peel, vanilla and allspice are added to the blend. Last year, owner Mike Reppucci used his mom’s oven to roast 4,000 lbs of pumpkins. I guess this year he realized his mom’s house may not be plausible, so he rented conventional ovens. Don’t fret though – he still kept it in the family by using his dad’s vintage wine press to press the pumpkins. I have to admit…I kind of wish I lived in Rhode Island just to take part in this crazy event. Here’s the tasting profile:photo(2)

First taste was in a tumbler with whiskey stones.

Appearance: Dark copper (slightly darker than most whiskeys or bourbons) but also transparent

Aroma: Sweet caramel, cinnamon, and a little bit of pumpkin underneath it all

Taste: Starts of with sweet flavors of caramel, vanilla and pumpkin, followed by spices. The clove particularly compliments the warming booze taste. Finishes smooth with the pumpkin coming through, together with the sweet spices.  Smooth from start to finish. Pleasant aftertaste – reminds me of pumpkin roll.

Overall: Sweeter than expected for a whiskey. However, the basic profiles of whiskey are there. It’s a pleasant surprise to a drink that many people cringe at drinking straight.  This is a good after dinner drink that offers the characteristics of a solid booze paired with the sweetness of our favorite fall desserts. In all honesty – I’d rather kick back in the easy chair with this than  a slice of pumpkin bread.

Sons of Liberty offers suggested cocktails but I’m going to try them myself, so you’re going to have to wait on that. Seasonal whiskeys are beginning to make some headway in the craft spirits arena – I’m excited about it. Now I just need some candy corn to go with this…

Our ES Suggested Pairings:

  • Cheese: Humboldt Fog Goat Cheese with drizzle of raw honey
  • Appetizer: Bacon Wrapped Figs
  • Meal: Butternut Squash Ravioli with Asparagus
  • Desert: New York Style Cheesecake (leave the pumpkin flavor to the drink!)
  • Cigar: Acid Kuba Kuba

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