It should go without saying, but inherent to whisky recommendations is the subjection of yourself to someone else’s opinion. Even our best tasters are still dispensing subjective opinions despite their great skill in sensory evaluation. Many of those opinion makers sing songs of high praise for Old Potrero, distilled by the San Francisco based Anchor Distilling (now called Hotaling & Co., we will stick with Anchor for now), long time pioneers of the craft whiskey movement. I should know better by now, but just because a bunch of people like a whiskey does not mean you will. Duh. But that ever abiding truism certainly did not stop me from telling one of our members that this bottle was a sure winner, a knockout. And to not worry about the $80 price tag. Let’s just say he regretted his purchase and has not asked for my advice since.
Old Potrero 18th Century Style Whiskey is made from 100% rye malt and distilled in small copper stills. In keeping with Anchor’s stated desire to produce Old Potrero according to 18th Century methods, the resulting rye is aged between 2 and 5 years in toasted, not charred, oak barrels, both new and used, and is bottled at 51.2% ABV. The obligatory charge that craft whiskey lacks a big boy pedigree cannot be applied to this whiskey. We see here in Old Portrero plenty of perceived marks of quality nearly universally agreed upon in the whiskey world. What could possibly go wrong?
Nose- Grain driven and biscuity. Young and salty. Cedar with yeasty sourdough. Coppery with play dough. Malt. Popcorn.
Taste- Malty, toasted cereal. Buttery toast. Toffee popcorn. Chemical. Odd.
Finish- Toasted nuts, toast. Short. Soap with bread. Toasted pecans. Long length. Rotted vegetables on the end.
Comment- Okay then. Difficult to interpret, this one. Some nice rye notes but overall too many off notes to make up. This might have fared better if tasted blind as the price tag for what you got was a challenge. Just another opinion.
SWC Rating- 79/100
Agree? Disagree? Come at me.