By Kurt Maitland
* The original article posted in April was based on a pre-release sample. Now Troy and Sons Blonde is in regular production with some small differences, and this review has been updated to reflect that.
Soon Troy & Sons will formally add a new whiskey to their ranks. It’s simply called “Blonde.” While some select cocktail bars in the South have had some time to craft cocktails with this release, it will be available for purchase shortly and here is my breakdown of what to expect.
Until now, all of Troy & Sons whiskeys had come in the same classic style of bottle – an old fashioned, 1880s-style spirits bottle with the raised letters of the distillery embossing the front. That is not the case with the Blonde. Troy & Sons Blonde instead comes in a tall, shapely bottle with the legend – BLONDE Whiskey – A Kinder Spirit.
The Blonde is bottled at 40% abv (80 proof) like the Platinum but that is where the similarities end. The Blonde, which is more of a strawberry blonde in color, is a blend of vintage white corn and heirloom Turkey Red Wheat. That mixture gives the whiskey its color and obviously its taste.
* Regular “Blonde” Notes
Nose: A strong oaky aroma that fades into light fruit, vanilla and maple notes.
Taste/Flavor: This iteration is a little less dry and is slightly more nutty/oaky in flavor than the pre-release version that I tasted.
With a little water, the oak rounds out and becomes more like chocolate. With the addition of water, the dry finish of the pre-release version returns.
Mouthfeel: Consistent – a light oily feel with a slow burn the longer you hold it in your mouth. Adding water to it makes the finish drier.
Finish: Smooth as with all Troy & Sons offerings, with a light burn
Review – I stand by my initial review, in fact I may need to upgrade it. The Blonde still is the best of Troy & Sons offerings and I look forward to what they will do next.
Pre-Release Blonde Notes
In the Blonde, Troy & Sons have crafted a different experience than their excellent Platinum Moonshine. Part of that comes from the blend but it also stems from the way the Blonde is barreled. The Blonde is aged 1 ½ years in custom-made Black Swan 53 gL Honey Comb barrels to maximize the time the whiskey has in the barrel. As we’ve said before in these pages, the proof of quality is always in the taste. Aging statements are great but at the end of the day we all drink what tastes good to us. Newer distillers don’t have 10-20 years of aged product in the back of the warehouse, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t craft a quality product. So what does the Blonde bring to the table?
The Blonde starts off with a light oaky aroma with a more of a burn in the nose than on the tongue. The whiff of corn that the Platinum brings to the table is still there but muted by the blend of the wheat in the Blonde. When you taste it there are first some notes of fruit and vanilla that flow into the oak notes at the end. The Blonde is also a bit crisper and has less of an oily mouth feel than its fellow members of the Troy & Sons family.
To quote my previous Troy & Sons review: “Smooth is the operative word when talking about the Platinum.” With the Blonde it’s different. The better word to describe it would be mellow.
What do I mean by mellow? What Troy & Sons has created with the Blonde is an excellent sipping whiskey – pure and simple. The Platinum is fine when consumed neat or with a little ice but probably its best quality is how versatile it is and how easily it can be part of many a cocktail.
With the Blonde, it too can be an excellent base for a cocktail but its real strength is that it can go toe to toe with older whiskeys with but a splash of water, a hunk of ice or straight up.
Troy & Sons Blonde will be released on a rolling basis in the Southeast, starting in Florida and moving out to South Carolina and Tennessee. It will also be 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, who, as I mentioned above, have already begun to create cocktails with the Blonde as the base. The recommended retail price is about $45.