Story and photo by Manos Angelakis
Bourbon is the quintessential American spirit.
Whiskey JYPSI Legacy Batch 001 is fairly traditional-tasting delightfully blended, finished and bottled by Whiskey JYPSI in Tennessee and tastes like a true bourbon. However, legally, I don’t think it can be called a bourbon because a bourbon has to be completely made in the USA and JYPSI blends 21% Canadian rye with the US produced other components.
Be that as it may, I liked it very much. Normally, I would drink Islay single malt Scotch, the smokier the better; but this bourbon sample was very different and went well beyond my expectations.
I have rarely been impressed by celebrity endorsed drinks up to this point. But this is different, the celebrity is not just endorsing this bourbon, he has put his money behind it.
This bourbon is indeed different. I really liked my first dram… and had a second immediately after, just to make sure!
That first sip surprised me with fruity flavors of cherry, raspberry and caramel with some honey, cigar box and leather thrown in for good measure. It was complex and smooth. I would expect that kind of taste from a wine-based spirit like a Spanish brandy, not a grain-based bourbon. When it comes to bourbons, I have been drinking Cask Strength Angel’s Envy, made by my friend Lincoln Henderson – God rest his soul -- but this fully mature whiskey made by Ari Sussman is definitely very interesting.
Instead of blending the grains before fermentation, Whiskey JYPSI sources individually aged whiskeys from producers in Indiana and Canada and then blends and bottles them in their facility in Tennessee. The blend consists of 70% 7 or 8 year old bourbon distilled in Indiana, 21% 20 year old rye from Canada and 9% of 4 year single malt barley also from Indiana.
I’m sure this whiskey might not be to everyone’s taste. But it’s worth trying it if you are looking for something different. The price is on the high end; it is agreed. But it is, in my opinion, a top whiskey and not more expensive than an aged top wine -- wines from Château D’Yquem, Domaine de la Romanée-Conti and Pétrus come to mind -- and it is a lot easier to get in the USA.
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