By: Andrew Whiteley
K&L Staff Member
The best wheated bourbon on our shelf. Full Stop. A few things are done differently at the Finger Lakes Distillery to make Mckenzie that contribute to it's full and intense flavor. All of the grain is grown locally in New York state before being distilled to a lower than normal proof, retaining more flavor. The second distillation is carried out on a thumper, an old school technique given up for modern efficiency by most Kentucky producers. It is then barreled at a ridiculously low 100 proof in barrels made from 36 month air dried staves. The end result of these expensive choice is that you need to add almost no water when it comes time to bottle - yet again, the result is MORE flavor. Just ask Michter's who barrels at 103 proof! Each of these production choices sets Mckenzie apart, but the true test comes down to what's in the bottle. Pour a slug of this into a glass and let it sit for a moment. You won't even have to nose the glass before you smell the rich caramel, brown sugar, dried fruits, and mellow grain wafting up. Put the liquid to your lips and the first thing you notice is the texture. It's full bodied and creamy. The flavors expand across the palate as a repeat of the nose with the added complexity of cinnamon, nutmeg, and very gentle wood tannin. The finish flourishes into an array of pepper, cocoa, caramel, sweet tea, and caramelized sugar. The 100 proof ties every aspect together in harmony. A complete bourbon and an incredibly showing for the Burdett, NY distillery.