Country: USA
Region: Colorado
Type: Single Malt
Bottler: Distiller
ABV: 45%
Score: 92 points

Colorado’s Deerhammer Distilling made this distillery-only release in a collaboration with Cultura Chocolate in Denver, which supplied Guatemalan cacao nibs that were used to season freshly-emptied barrels at the distillery for two months. Distiller and founder Lenny Eckstein then took his 18-month-old single malt whiskey and finished it in those barrels for another 18 months before bottling it.

The nose has notes of powdered cocoa, dark chocolate, coffee, and a hint of licorice. The taste is full of cocoa beans, hot chocolate, a nice maltiness, and just a hint of black pepper to spice it up. The finish is long and gentle with lingering spice and hot chocolate. Think of this as a mug of hot chocolate with a healthy splash of whisky, and if that appeals to you…well, there’s another batch on the way! (September, 2018)