By S.D. Peters
Silver Coyote Pure Malt Whiskey is a noteworthy “white dog” from Santa Fe Spirits, distillers of the aged Colkegan Single Malt Whiskey. Many white whiskeys that have appeared as part of the recent trend are corn-, wheat- or rye-based varieties, such as LBL Moonshine, Death’s Door, and Wigle White Rye. These deliver their grainy flavor with a creamy texture.
With Silver Coyote, Sante Fe Spirits’ owner Colin Keegan and distiller John Jeffery refine the pure malt tradition of Scotch into a clear contender for the top shelf of the white whiskey market.
Silver Coyote, bottled unaged at 92 Proof, combines Scottish yeast with European and American barley malts. At first, there is little to distinguish it from other white whiskeys: the nose of grainy, stone-splashed spring water is common to white whiskeys, though the barley notes are more mellow than their corn, wheat or rye counterparts.
The flavor is a warm steel-cut oatmeal topped with fresh fruit. It’s smooth, but not creamy: the texture is nuttier. Rounding out finish that shares the earthy quality with other white whiskeys but is distinguished by a malty charm, a blossom of flavor yields a taste of anis, fresh parsley, and red raspberries.
At the time of this review, Silver Coyote Pure Malt Whiskey is available for purchase in the U.S. for $28-30. It can be found throughout New Mexico, and in parts of Colorado, Texas and Oregon. It is also available online, to limited mailing locations in the U.S., through the Santa Fe Distillery website.
Silver Coyote Pure Malt Whiskey received a Gold Medal from the Telluride Colorado Distillery Tasting in 2014, and a Silver Medal at the 2013 Denver International Spirits Competition. Of three awards it received in 2012, its Gold-winning 93 score from the Beverage Testing Institute made it the highest-scored unaged whiskey of that year.