2 oz Bully Boy Private Cask Whiskey
1/2 oz Amaro Montenegro
1/2 oz Ginger Liqueur [Barrow’s Intense]
Few dashes lemon ginger bitters [Hella Bitters]
Stir with ice, strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with crystalized ginger and lemon twist.
A few months ago I finally made it over to Bully Boy Distillers in South Boston. Many of their bottles have been staples in my bar since I first stumbled upon a tasting at a liquor store a few years back. Needless to say I was very excited to check out Bully HQ. They have a very creative bar program there, since they can only use alcohol they produce themselves. After a few drinks and a little tour, I was ready to choose my souvenir from the trip. Lucky for me, they recently released a special whiskey aged in both Port and Madeira barrels. Already a fan of their American Straight Whiskey, I didn’t hesitate to grab this one on my way out.
The Port and Madeira aging provide a rich complexity to an already tasty base. Grapey, nutty notes dance around the malts, and the body is a bit more full than their standard offering. Some spice even makes it through since they do use rye in their mash bill for the normal whiskey. The Private Cask is a wonderful sipper neat with a few drops of water, and really takes a Manhattan to a whole other level. After those range finders, it’s time for some more cocktails.
Since this whiskey has such a bold, rich quality full of low notes, I wanted to counterbalance things. Airy floral flavors of Amaro Montenegro and the bright sharpness of ginger liqueur proved up to the task.
The Street Legal starts with aromas from the barrels. Grapes, raisins, and plums all swirl around. The botanicals from the Montenegro try to work their way in, but end up highlighting the edges. The sip is considerably lighter than the whiskey on its own, but this is still boozy drink that packed a punch. Ginger spice compliments they rye, and a subtle sweetness lingers in the background. The finish is warm, full of more whiskey notes and contributions from the barrels. It’s very smooth going down, which makes it an easier drinker considering its overall strength.
This Private Cask was a limited release, but there may still be some bottles floating around. I highly recommend it, as it’s a nice twist an their whiskey. The Madeira barrels in particular provide a very unique quality, bordering on savory at times. It’s wonderful neat and performs quite admirably on a proper drink.