By Kurt Maitland
Troy & Sons are a new distillery located in at the foot of the Blue Mountains of Asheville, North Carolina. Their whiskey expression is based on an almost extinct heirloom white corn grown at the nearby Peaceful Valley farm. The combination of this rare corn and Troy & Sons focus on a making a premium product makes for a quality drinking experience.
At present they offer three whiskeys – the Heirloom Moonshine whiskey that I will be reviewing here, along with the Oak Reserve and the Blonde. The Blonde has not been formally released, but I can provide a sneak preview prior to its going on sale in the Spring of this year.
Troy & Sons Platinum Whiskey comes in a bottle that looks like a classic spirits bottle from the 1880s with its shape and the raised letters of the distillery embossing the front. It tapers out gradually from the base to its widest point (about 2/3 of the way up the bottle) and then arcs back into a simple neck.
The Platinum is bottled at 40% abv (80 proof), and is clear as a mountain stream. What you notice first about the whiskey is the sweet corn smell and taste. I’ve had white whiskey or “white dog” before (mainly from large distributors) and it has usually tasted like a by-product from the production of their main brand. I got the sense that they wouldn’t market it, but if someone really wanted to pay for it, they had no problems to selling to them.
For the smaller distillers, I’ve been told on several occasions that that they don’t have the luxury of time and oak to cure their mistakes. They have to make a drinkable product from the get-go. That is clearly the case with the Platinum. Troy & Sons only bottles the heart of the whiskey. This decision decreases how much they can bottle from each batch but it also reduces the burn commonly associated with “moonshine” and creates something that I find unique for a whiskey. While it is definitely white whiskey and can be enjoyed neat or on the rocks it also has the cocktail-making potential of liquors like gin or vodka – i.e. it can be mixed with almost anything and still taste good.
Smooth is the operative word when talking about the Platinum. It comes at you with a light, oily mouth feel that doesn’t burn as much as tingle, with a light sweet taste of corn and cereal throughout. It is refreshing when sampled with a little ice but as I mentioned it steps it up a notch when it plays with others in the form of a cocktail.
While the character of the Platinum allows it to play well with a wide variety of cocktail ingredients it still manages to permeate the entire drinking experience. It doesn’t hide in a cocktail like gin and vodka sometimes do. If you are drinking a cocktail made with Troy & Son’s Premium, you will know it.
Troy & Sons Platinum Whiskey retails for $30 online. It is currently only available for in-store purchases in select liquor stores in the Southeastern US. It is also becoming a part of the offerings at restaurants such as the Wilderness Lodge in Disney World and some of the better cocktail bars in the South. Having had the opportunity to talk to Troy Ball (the Troy of Troy & Sons), I know there is a push to get Troy & Sons to distributors and cocktail bars in the Northeast. With the quality of whiskey they have to offer I can already see the distributors lining up.