By Richard Thomas
If experimentation is the byword of the American craft whiskey movement, Dark Corner is certainly doing more than its share with whiskeys like Stumphouse. The whiskey starts with a 2/3s red winter wheat, 1/3 malt mashbill, and from there departs from the American whiskey model by aging in spent, small barrels from the distillery’s Lewis Redmond bourbon.
The latter point is why it can’t be properly called a “wheat whiskey,” since that designation requires new oak. Still, it raises the question of how a new make wheat spirit will turn out after being aged in not just an old bourbon barrel, but an old small bourbon barrel.
In the glass, the liquid has a gold coloring, tinged with orange. In my mind it resembled one of those mixed fruit juices, like an apple juice with a little something extra added, like peach or orange.
The nose is tart, blending a crisp apple and pear fruitiness with a grassy stream, plus a faint note of vanilla. The finish is long, warm, and a little dry.
Stumphouse is light, youthful, tasty and smooth. My main impression is that a fan of moonshine or wheat whiskey in particular should check this out, because it shows what a light touch of maturation can do to a solid, unaged whiskey.
Stumphouse was listed at $47 per fifth where I found it for sale.