Stephen Paul and his daughter Amanda, one-time furniture designers in Tucson, launched their single malt with a vision of a whiskey that was true to its place in the Southwest. Why couldn’t malt be smoked with mesquite wood instead of peat, they wondered. It works for barbecue, after all...
And it works for Whiskey Del Bac’s Dorado. Wood smoke gives a very different character to dried malt than peat smoke; it’s less about a campfire than a patio smoker (with all the food associations that brings). If you have spent any time in the Southwest, or had a few too many margaritas at Bobby Flay’s restaurant, there are undeniable flavors here that might make you reach for a bag of tortilla chips. Del Bac, which is named for the mission St. Xavier del Bac in Tucson, is a grain-to-glass product. All whiskey -- and Hamilton makes three expressions with varied amounts of smoke and proof -- is malted, mashed, fermented, distilled and bottled on site.
NOSE: Smoked bacon, chocolate, sandalwood, cinnamon, grilled fruits
PALATE: Barbecue smoke clears and reveals a sweet middle of vanilla and brown sugar that contrasts with a meaty or jerky note -- that mesquite brings all kinds of food memories!
FINISH: Long, herbal notes emerge along with a little heat and caramel