By Richard Thomas
Rhode Island craft “brewstillery” (distillery + brewery) Sons of Liberty started by making American malts, and only then got into brewing. The connection is a simple one to make for anyone who understands how beer and whiskey are made, because at a certain stage malt whiskey is beer. Sons of Liberty developed a stout recipe, made whiskey from it, and then came around later to make a beer. Today, we have reviewed both the whiskey and the beer.
The mash is made from dehusked chocolate malt, crystal malt, pale malt, biscuit malt and roasted barley, fermented with Classic American Ale yeast. This is then double distilled in a pot still, and the whiskey is aged in 10- and 30-gallong new American oak barrels with French oak inserts for 16+ months. Uprising has undergone a bottling change since it was initially released, and the proof has been raised from the basic 80 to 92.
In the glass, Uprising has a bronzed, mid-amber coloring, and the coat drops a storm of heavy tears. The nose smacks of heavy, dark cake spice, soft chocolate and cherries, like blends rum cake with black forest cake. Add to that a spoonful of vanilla extract.
The liquid is a creamy thing, that texture clashing a bit with the flavor, which turns drier and spicier than the nose might suggest. The cake spice goes gingered and peppery, rising above and over the sweeter, chocolate, vanilla and red fruitiness. The finish was a light, quick thing, but while it was there it was peppery and a little ashy.
Uprising American Single Malt is a pretty straightforward dram, but a surprisingly flavorful and mature one for so young a spirit. It just goes to show you that with a good base and a good choice of barrel stock (using the French oak inserts, in this instance), you can bring a whiskey pretty far along in less than a few years.
$50 for the full, 750 ml bottle. A $30 half-sized bottle is also available, but it’s not a good comparative bargain.