AD Laws Hordeum Straight Malt 42.5%

Last in our “out of the ordinary” North American evening was the 2nd in a pair of AD Laws grain experiments.

After trying the AD Laws Triticum, we weren’t quite sure what to expect with Hordeum.


What did our ladies think?

AD Laws Hordeum Straight Malt Batch 1B, 2 years 42.5%

  • Nose – Still quite raw like the Triticum, yet sweeter, hints of flowers like rose or bluebells, more hay-like than uncooked porridge, woodsy with dry sawdust, a hint of varnish, liquorice and maple
  • Palate – Grain sweet, grassy, hay, corn syrup, becoming almost aggressively grainy
  • Finish – Grassy, grain
  • Water – Anti-climatic

Overall we found it “better but….” One joked that this whisky could be a muscly farm man on his tractor!

After trying Triticum on ice, I thought to see if the same trick worked with the Hordeum. What did I find? Quite sharp, brings out the spice and looses the maple sweet twist.

While this particular whisky may not be to my taste, I love that they are experimenting I also absolutely love their bottles! The 375 ml is just the right size as a decanter and no doubt will find future use.


Here is what the folks over at AD Laws have to say about their Hordeum:

One of the world’s first cultivated grains, hordeum, or wild barley grass, grew from an agricultural staple to ultimately reach its pinnacle in whiskey making. Every bottle of A.D. Laws Hordeum Straight Barley Whiskey is a nod to this ancestral grain and its singularity. Our atypical on-grain, sour mash style, coupled with Colorado mountain barley, imparts a unique character to this whiskey. Locally roasted artisan malts lend a nutty flavor, while hints of stewed fruit complement its sweet malt backbone. This grain forward, single malt whiskey showcases the native terroir of Colorado.

  • 99% Colorado-grown malted barley with a splash of rye
  • Aged 3 years in full-sized 53 gallon new American white oak barrels
  • Classic open air, sour mash fermentation
  • Distilled twice through our Vendome 4-plate pot/column still
  • Bottled at 85 Proof

We sampled their recipe B and our bottle indicated it was aged for 2 not 3 years.

What all did we try in our “out of ordinary” evening?

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The trouble with tribbles – AD Laws Triticum Straight Wheat 50%

Next up in our “out of the ordinary” North American evening was a return to AD Laws. A few months ago, we sampled their core AD Laws Four Grain Bourbon – enjoying its robust character.

So when an opportunity arose to try a pair of their grain experiments, thought why not?

When this bottle was pulled out and the type of wheat declared… speculation ran rife that triticum just might be the grain mentioned in Star Trek’s “Trouble with tribbles“… Turns out it was triticale – which is a hybrid of triticum wheat and secale rye. Bravo for our Star Trek trivia lady! And amusingly, the AD Laws folks also have a Secale Straight Rye too.


What did our ladies think?

AD Laws Triticum Straight Wheat Batch 1B, 2 years 50%

  • Nose – Initially sour curd, uncooked porridge, soaked wheat, dry powdery quality, mulch, fermaldahyde, wheat, wheat and more wheat, slightly sweet, husks, mould
  • Palate – Grain, sweet grains – like chewing on raw grains til it becomes ‘gum’
  • Finish – Grassy, grain
  • Water – Even more grassy if that is even possible!

Overall we found it exceedingly rustic. Like returning to farm life.

One lady reached for taco chips and found the salt mixed well with the grainy quality of the whisky.

Another joked that this is the kind of whisky that… if it was a blind date, at some point you politely excuse yourself to go to the washroom… and escape without returning!

One wondered… if tribbles had got into this triticum wheat, would they have so rapidly bred and multiplied?

Needless to say, while we admired the ingenuity and effort to craft something unique, we were underwhelmed by the result.

In their recommendations of how best to sample the Triticum, the bottle notes to have with a splash of water and cube ice. Wanting to give it another chance, I tried just this the next day at home.

What did I think? A significant improvement. Sunshine and honey sweetness with the overwhelming grainy quality subdued. Not such a bad recommendation.


Here is what the folks over at AD Laws have to say about their Triticum:

A.D. Laws Straight Triticum (Trit-e-come) Whiskey is our homage to wheat, the “Grain of Civilization.” Skillfully mashed, fermented and distilled to accentuate the welcoming character of this high-mountain, Colorado-grown wheat, Triticum is exceptionally smooth and approachable with fruit, caramel and baking spice notes.

  • Classic open air, sour mash fermentation
  • Distilled twice through our Vendome 4-plate pot/column still
  • Aged no less than than 3 years in full-sized 53 gallon new American white oak barrels
  • Bottled at 100 proof

There are apparently two recipes:

  • Recipe A – 100% Colorado-grown wheat
  • Recipe B – 96% Colorado wheat, 4% Colorado barley

We sampled Recipe B and our bottle indicated it was aged for 2 not 3 years.

What all did we try in our “out of ordinary” evening?

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Whisky Ladies “Not your ordinary North American” whiskey – Shelter Point, Westland + AD Laws

Our Whisky Ladies of Mumbai are no strangers to North American whiskey… we’ve had other evenings checking out offerings from both Canada and the US.

What distinguished this evening is that we eschewed big brands to opt for newer  players…ad-laws

What did we try?


Other American themed evenings:

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American Adventures – AD Laws Four Grain Straight Bourbon 47.5%

The Whisky Ladies American evening began its next set shifting from single malts, cut with a moonshine, to break to enter into bourbon territory.


AD Laws Four Grain Straight Bourbon 47.5% (Batch No 8)

  • Nose – Honey! Butter, covered salty honey sweet nuts, a bit herbal, becoming almost floral, a little curd or even mild horseradish, then cinnamon sweet
  • Palate – Curiously floral, particularly lavender, so smooth with no rough edges yet was no mild creature either with toasted slightly bitter nuts and a dash of chilli, there is an earthy substance here too
  • Finish – Buttery yumminess

After the disappointing Colorado single malt (Stranahan’s Original) we had pretty low expectations… What a treat to be more than just pleasantly surprised.

We found the nose quite remarkable and unique. Which followed through on the palate and even finish. This is no shy retiring miss, nor is it a brash young swashbuckler. While young, it has character.

One comment that captured this sentiment perfectly was “A potpourri on the palate! Flowery without being too sweet!” 

It may not sound like it would work, but it does. It also falls into the category of being dangerously drinkable.

Must say, we also rather like the bold clean lines of the square bottle.

Here is what the folks over at AD Laws have to say:

Our flagship whiskey is crafted from all four of the “American mother grains”: corn, wheat, barley and rye. There aren’t many four grain bourbons on the market as they are very difficult to make.

We utilize a stepped cooking process — each grain variety requires a different cooking temperature to maximize its flavor and character. The grain requiring the most heat is milled in and cooked first; the temperature is then lowered gradually as we add the smaller flavor grains, and then complete the cooking process with the malts.

This painstaking, 6.5 hour, labor-intensive process is critical to capturing the character and quality of each grain.

During aging, we strive to create harmony between this complex whiskey and the vanilla and caramel notes from the newly charred, American white oak barrels to create a classic bourbon with Colorado character.

They further share that it is a blend of 60% corn, 20% wheat, 10% of barley and 10% rye, aged for at least three years in new American white oak barrels.

However we would not consider it a ‘classic bourbon’ in line with what we’ve come to expect. And in our books, that is actually a good thing!

Other whiskies sampled in our American evening included:

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