Old Potrero Hotalings Whiskey. . . .

Sep 27, 2003
8,798
0
Puerto Rico/NYC
#1
My overall financial picture is extremely bleak these days, but certain circumstances combined this past week to render the funds needed to purchase a bottle of the headlined spirit. My bottle came with a neck tag attached, and a quote from Michael Jackson, famed whiskey and beer critic. The quote is:

"The most noteworthy development in American whiskey in living memory."

Uhhhhhhhh, of course I'd need a few more tastings to say for sure, but for now I will say this:

I smell a bit of Cigar Aficionado-ism here, with regard to how their cigar reviews have been viewed by the "folks" for many years. This may be good whiskey, but let's hold the horses there for a minute.

I had long been curious about this 11 year old, 100 proof release from the growing line of spirits being put out by Anchor Distilling under their Old Potrero label. Anchor Distilling is basically a company that is an offshoot of Anchor Steam Brewing. Fritz Maytag, CEO and yes, from the famous Maytag washing machine family, has really outdone himself with the burgeoning operations at Anchor Distilling.

Instead of just pussyfooting around and toying with the idea of creating a couple of interesting, yet offbeat spirits, Mr. Maytag and Anchor Distilling have gone full speed ahead in the business of distilling fine spirits, as they have now branched out into the specialty spirits other than the familiar, rye based concepts previously produced in the history of their distilling operations. The Junipero Gin is a fine example of their increasing interest in producing unique spirits.

In perusing my favorite web sites for current prices and selections, I had happened across the fact that Astor Wines in downtown Manhattan, NYC had recently gotten the Hotalings Whiskey in. Their "walk-out price" of $70.43 ($64.99+tax) was quite fair, as the best price I can get is about $65 with shipping from one of my other favorite web sites. Of course, the advantage to walking in to a liquor store just minutes from midtown Manhattan is that I can have it pretty much when I want, and I don't have to put in an order for at least three bottles of something, in order to spread out shipping costs equitably, and get the best per-bottle price.

Then, there's also the spectre of the "having it when you want it" observation. That arrogant, spoiled American thingy. :mrgreen: :roll:

I had my first tasting of this very interesting whiskey the other night, but couldn't really speak to an overall flavor profile, except that I will hark back to my review of the 19th Century Style Single Malt Straight Rye Whiskey that Anchor Distilling puts out. That is a very young, and bold tasting 90 proof spirit, which is a fine product in my opinion, having a tantalizing, bowl of cereal like flavor to it, although it lacks refinement and complexity.

What this Hotalings whiskey reminded me of at first is a much more mature and refined version of the 19th Century style rye. At 100 proof, a tad stronger, it gives a nice warmth to the chest and belly as it goes down, with a tangy finish. The entry was bold, somewhat sweet and I would honestly need more time with this, since I was just trying to enjoy myself and do some things around the house the other night, without the burden of "having to do a review" circling my head.

I just wanted to see initial impressions without having to drum up college level vocabulary in my mind.

Without a doubt, all these specialty spirits put out by Anchor Distilling are quite expensive, but they're the only one doing this, and the items are indeed unique enough to give a bottle a shot every now and then. Speaking of shots, I am looking forward to my next two shot tasting of this spirit, and a final review will eventually follow.

http://www.anchorbrewing.com/about_us/o ... taling.htm
 
Sep 27, 2003
8,798
0
Puerto Rico/NYC
#4
It's not allowed where Capt lives. Wouldn't look good for a man in his position to try to circumvent that.

I don't think there's anything to prevent him from going on a shopping spree and coming back with a trunk full of whiskey, though.

As long as he's doing 55. :D
 
Sep 27, 2003
8,798
0
Puerto Rico/NYC
#8
After a number of tastings, I'd have to say the above quote in the leadoff post by Michael Jackson, with all due respect, is certainly not my opinion.

As a matter of fact, although I would have to categorize the Old Potrero Hotalings Whiskey as a "rye," I'm not even going to try to put my thought processes into rating this. It's certainly possible that it could have made my Top Ten, but there was something more important about this whiskey.

It is the one that made me realize perhaps, as unique as Anchor Distilling's Old Potrero labeled whiskeys are, I just may not try any more. Yes, there is one I like, the 19th Century, but overall I'm beginning to look at this line as a bunch of well intentioned, overpriced weirdos.

The Old Potrero Hotalings whiskey has the unfortunate nuance of tasting too much like the 18th Century 124.2 proof which was labeled Single Malt Spirit back when I had it. It's the one that a friend described as tasting like "grappa."

This whiskey also has an annoyingly light body, and consequent mild flavor, despite its 11 years of age and 100 proof. Although the body warming component is instant with each sip, and very nice, the flavor is disappointing, lacks complexity, and it never even begins to live up to its price. As a result, because I found it so unremarkable and boring, I'm not even going to strain to rate it, although it might have placed around No. 9 or 10 on my rye list, if I had bothered to give it any thought.

Save your money, buy my No. 9 or 10 rye instead, and treat yourself to something else with the change. There'll be a lot of change if you had your heart set on buying Old Potrero Hotalings Whiskey. Nice try, bad product. As always, my opinion doesn't have to mean anything to anyone except me. Sorry to the folks at Anchor Distilling, I really wanted to like this. Not for a "walk-out price" of 70 bucks and change, that's for sure, or even the $65 I could get it for if ordering from a favorite web site.

I report, you decide.
 
Jul 30, 2004
48
0
mid-Ohio
#9
Just read your review of the Hoteling bottling and noticed your camparison to the 18th Century Spirit. I bought a bottle of the 18th while on the left coast this Summer. At first I couldn't wrap my head around it much less how to get the best of it while drinking. Now after half the $65.00 bottle is gone I am beginning to enjoy it.
At the 124+ proof of my bottle it does warm you up and I am beginning to enjoy its buttery taste. At 65 a pop I hate to think I'm going to fall for this .

Bill
 
Sep 27, 2003
8,798
0
Puerto Rico/NYC
#10
And that's what makes the world go round. :D I'm glad you like it, and I hope you do fall for it. I'd like to see Fritz Maytag and the Anchor Distillery get the support they need to continue their ventures into the unique American whiskey market. Perhaps at some future point, their products will not only appeal to a greater number of people, but come down in price as well. :thumbsup:
 

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