A Whisky That Pushes All The Right Buttons.
GrainHenge Elevator Row Single Malt Whisky
That’s what came to my mind when I had just received an email, while on vacation, informing me to look out for a sample of Grainhenge whisky Needless to say,unpacking my suitcase was two on my Things-To-Do-On-My-Return list. The first item was to check my mail box. And there it was: A liquid invitation to explore Grainhenge’s second release: Elevator Row. George Bernard Shaw called whisky “liquid sunshine” and this copper hued single malt is just that. It’s fresh and breezy with wafts of candied fruit right at the first nosing. Then, notes of a Lowney’s Cherry Blossom – the treat that featured a maraschino cherry inside a glob of chocolate. Not wanting to go unmentioned, Sunmaid dried raisins also made on appearance on the nose. Elevator Row isn’t just about the sweet. Pepper and baking spices are also there along with a woody/grassy hint to it. And they all co-mingle politely giving all kinds of elbow room for all the notes to have their say.
Now, if the nosing is the bright sunny day, the first sip is like opening the back door and getting met with a blast of heat. I believe my first word after my first sip was: “Wow with three exclamation marks.” Elevator Row comes in at just over 58% abv and was aged in #3 and #4 charred new American Oak Barrels. So, if this whisky politely speaks to you while nosing, it definitely is making statement during the tasting – a bold and spicy one. Elevator Row lands hot. Aah, but it’s is a welcome, “at-last-summer-is-here” kind of hot. And while the spices are the first to arrive, successive sips let the other flavours like the candied fruit and soft vanilla introduce themselves.
With a cask strength abv and spicy introduction, you’d think the finish would have an edginess or a harshness to it. There’s no burn to this whisky at all. Rather, I sat back and took in an enjoyable smooth and velvety warmth that lingered and faded away at a relaxed pace – as if it this whisky was kicking back in a hammock in the back of my throat.
Grainhenge’s Elevator Row whisky, like its first release Meeting Creek, is a “young” whisky. However, there isn’t anything “young” about it. It isn’t brash. It isn’t harsh. However, it also didn’t need any extra time to develop its personality. Elevator Row is a focused and balanced whisky. What I also enjoy about it is that I don’t get any hint of brand bravado or upstart swagger. Instead, what I get is confidence – deliciously and well-crafted confidence. Cheers.
Nose: Candied fruit, maraschino cherry, chocolate, pepper, wood, and dry raisins.
Taste: Pepper, spices, heat, and fruit.