The air is crisp and the dew has begun to wrap itself around my car each morning. The leaves are slowly beginning to turn vibrant yellows and reds. It won’t be long before they quickly change to brown, fall to the earth, and we get blanketed in a drapery of puffy, white snow. It’s fall.
It’s fall and the crowds are donning their school colors and marching out to the fields to cheer on their favorite teams. Few places experience such excitement more than a little river town called South Bend. The Fighting Irish flood the grand stage dressed in blue and gold to the maddening cries of their faithful fans.
As the team charges forward toward the goal line, a different kind of magic is happening down the street at a little place within a little place (think matryoshka doll) called The Indiana Whiskey Company.
Established in 2011 by Charlie, a disabled veteren, the distillery sources 100% of its ingredients from Indiana. It’s a true grain-to-glass operation.
As a 100% veteren owned and operated business, they have “a relationship with the Chapter 31 VA Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment program for Northern Indiana.” They “volunteer with and donate to the Miller Center for Veterans at the Center for the Homeless in South Bend, and provide paid internships for transitioning veterans.” Three percent of all of their profits go to support veteren programs throughout the State.
It has been slow going, as to be expected, when it comes to production and distribution. Currently, they have three products: The Indiana “Silver Sweet Corn Whiskey” which is an unaged whiskey consisting of 80% corn, The Indiana “Just Whiskey” which is a wheated bourbon whiskey, and The Indiana “Straight Cardinal Red Whiskey” which is a two-year old “mixing whiskey” which is made primarily of wheat and barley. These products are only available in limited parts of Indiana at this time.
I had been wanting to try their products for a while. So, when I had a business trip to South Bend a few weeks ago I took the chance to grab a bottle of their flagship product: The Indiana “Just Whiskey.” As a young whiskey with limited aging I was curious to see if it was any good. Let’s find out.
THE INDIANA “JUST WHISKEY”
Distiller: The Indiana Whiskey Co.
Owner: The Indiana Whiskey Co.
Location: South Bend, Indiana
Age: 6 Months Old
Mashbill: At Least 51% Corn (Wheat and Barley)
Medium-dark amber. Hints of carmalized wood. Fairly dark for its age. I’d swear there is some older product in here. There could be since the age statement is the minimum age of the contents and this is not a single barrel product.
Corn sweetness flooded my senses. As it settled, a slight hint of vanilla made itself known. I stand corrected, I bet nearly most if not all of this product’s contents are around six months old.
The taste is much more pleasent and inviting than the nose. I get notes of charred marshmallow, graham cracker, and Frosted Flakes. At the back end a note of green apple slowly makes itself known. I don’t love it. But, I sure do like it.
Medium on average. Some tastes vanish quickly and some linger for a good amount of time. I can tell there is a great whiskey waiting to break out. Sweet wheat, cotton candy, and green apple dominate.
At $30 for a 750ml bottle this product comes in at a much better price than most young craft whiskies ($50+). While I’m put-off a bit by the nose and the rest of the presentation is noticibly young, there are some nice things going on here. I’m glad I bought a bottle. However, I probably won’t by another one until and if this one jumps in age.
This is a pretty good whiskey. The eye made me think I might be getting a diamond in the rough. The nose threw me back to reality. The taste and finish are enjoyable and show a lot of potential. I would love to see this one aged 4+ years. I bet it would be a great dram at that point. Until then, I will enjoy this bottle until it’s gone and then try something else. Cheers!
80/100 (A Solid Tipple)