Cleveland Underground AP Bourbon Whiskey 45%

One of the great things about our Mumbai whisky tasting groups is their adventuresome bent. When opportunity arises to grab something distinctly different, we do!

This was one such experiment from Cleveland Underground closed our bourbon evening.

We sampled it blind and here is what we found…

Cleveland Underground AP Bourbon Whiskey finished with Apple Wood Batch 3 Bottle 1638 90 Proof 45%

  • Colour – We just had to observe this was bright almost reddish with jewel tones
  • Nose – Fresh mash, medicine capsule, wet oats, uncooked porridge, atta flour for making chapatis, sour dough yeast
  • Palate – Frankly a bit weird, tricky on the palate, very untypical, some unboiled peanuts or groundnuts, quite curious
  • Finish – Bitter end

To be honest, we weren’t terribly impressed. There was something rather peculiar about this one which was certainly different but not necessarily in a good way.

With the reveal it was shared this bourbon has taken an experimental approach to maturation – starting with wood barrels, the whisky matures this way for approx 6 months. Then it is transferred to stainless steel tanks where the wood staves from the barrels are added then alternate pressure cycles and temperate to accelerate the maturation process.

The whole raison d’etre of Cleveland Underground whiskies is to push the boundaries. Their bourbon’s include whiskies finished not only with Apple, but also Sugar Maple Wood,  Black Cherry Wood, Honey Locust Wood, and Hickory Wood.

And while it is terrific to experiment, not all experiments are successful with all audiences. With our tasting group, this particular approach didn’t hit the mark in Mumbai.

What do the Cleveland folks have to say about their Apple Wood?

Light and airy body. A tender sweetness with notes of baking spice backstopped by an almost tart finish.

Hmm… don’t think we would agree but still wish the Cleveland Underground team well for their endeavours to do something different.

Our Bourbon trio included:

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Mithcher’s Small Batch Bourbon Sazerac Cocktail

After sampling Mitcher’s Small Batch Bourbon solo, we had a change to try it in a different avatar – an exceedingly good Sazerac… so good that a few even had a repeat!

Mitcher’s Small Batch Bourbon L16F747 45.7% (91.4 proof)

This isn’t quite what we tried but pretty close…

  • 2 1/2 oz. Mitcher’s small batch bourbon whisky
  • sugar cube
  • dashes bitters
  • Absinthe
  • Lemon peel
  • Old-fashioned glass
Directions:
  1. In an Old-Fashioned glass, muddle a sugar cube with a few drops of water.
  2. Add several small ice cubes and the whiskey and bitters.
  3. Stir well and strain into a second, chilled, Old-Fashioned glass in which you have rolled around a few drops of absinthe until its inside is thoroughly coated, pouring off the excess.
  4. Garnish with a twist of lemon peel

The quality of the absinthe makes all the difference. In our case, we had a Czech absinthe – Bairnsfather;’s Reality Absinth – that was truly exceptional.

Our Bourbon trio included:

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Whiskey Cocktail – Spiced Boulevardier

Last in our whiskey cocktails was the Spiced Boulevardier. Unlike all the other cocktails, this one needs a bit of advance preparation.

With the bourbon, do an overnight infusion with spices that include Cinnamon, ginger, cloves, pepper and black cardamon.

Spiced Boulevardier recipe

  • 30 ml infused Bourbon
  • 7.5 ml sweet Vermouth
  • 7.5 ml Campari
  • Orange peel and/or cinnamon stick

In a mixing glass filled with ice, stir all ingredients and strain into an old fashioned glass filled with ice. Garnish with an orange peel and cinnamon stick and serve.

These all came courtesy of a session with DISCUS in May 2017, Mumbai.

Other American whisky experiences:

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Whiskey Cocktail – The Ginger Baker

Next up in our whiskey cocktails was particularly fun to make – The Ginger Baker.

The Ginger Baker recipe

  • 45 ml Tennessee
  • 10 ml fresh ginger juice
  • 10 ml fresh lime juice
  • 10 ml orgeat syrup
  • 30 ml pineapple juice
  • Slice of fresh pineapple or dehydrated pineapple & 2 almonds

In a shaker glass filled with ice, pour all ingredients and mix well. Strain into an old fashioned glass. Drop a few spheres of ice, garnish with either the fresh pineapple or dehydrated pineapple & 2 almonds and serve.

These all came courtesy of a session with DISCUS in May 2017, Mumbai.

Other American whisky experiences:

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Whiskey Cocktail – Mint Julep

Next up in our whiskey cocktails was the perfect refreshing hot weather cocktail – the Mint Julep.

Mint Julep recipe

  • 45 ml Bourbon/Tennessee
  • 10 ml simple syrup
  • 3 drops aromatic bitters
  • Fresh mint sprigs

In a silver Julep cup, drop the mint sprigs and add aromatic bitters, simple syrup and whiskey then muddle. Fill the cup with crushed ice and mix well. Garnish with a mint sprig and serve.

These all came courtesy of a session with DISCUS in May 2017, Mumbai.

Other American whisky experiences:

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Whiskey Cocktails – Manhattan

Let me start off my confessing I’m not a big Bourbon, Tenessee or American Rye fan… I’m also not really a cocktail gal – especially if they are sweet. So the Manhattan is not typically my style.  However it is indeed a classic so no session of whiskey cocktail making would be complete without it!

Manhattan recipe

  • 45 ml Bourbon/Tennessee
  • 10 ml Sweet Vermouth
  • 3 drops aromatic bitters

In a mixing glass filed with ice, pour all ingredients and stir well. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a cherry or orange peel.

These all came courtesy of a whisky cocktail ‘masterclass’ with DISCUS in May 2017, Mumbai.

Other American whisky experiences:

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Whiskey Cocktail – Old Fashioned

I’m in Canada for a week and I thought while I’m off gallivanting, may as well post a few whisky cocktails – a bit of a departure from my usual style.

These recipes all came from a few hours one Friday afternoon in a sultry hot Mumbai May day where I joined a cocktail making class…

We began with a classic – Old Fashioned – full of ice!

Old Fashioned recipe

  • 45 ml Bourbon/Tennessee
  • 1 sugar cube
  • 3-5 drops aromatic bitters

In an old fashioned glass, drop a sugar cube and add the bitters. Break the sugar and mix well. Pour in the whiskey and fill with ice. Gi e it a quick stir to mix well and add more ice if necessary. Release the oils from an orange peel and drop.

These all came courtesy of a session with DISCUS in May 2017, Mumbai.

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Pimm’s anyone?

One highlight from our July London trip was an afternoon spent at BAFTA  – the British Academy of Film and Television.

While our host happily sipped a whisky, my body clock was still on Toronto time and it just was not saying whisky. Seriously. There are times I’m not actually in the mood for a whisky. I know you don’t believe me, but it is true!

So our host suggested a light Pimm’s cocktail. How quintessentially British.

For those not familiar with Pimm’s No 1 Cup is a gin based liqueur with herbs that’s been around since 1823 tasting of citrus and spice…

BAFTA PIMM's

It was completely refreshing and utterly perfect for the mood and moment.

While I can’t say exactly what I had, this one struck me as a similarly refreshing combination…

Pimm’s Original
2 measures of Pimm`s
2 measure of Ginger Beer
2 measures of Lemonade
1 slice of Cucumber
1 slice of Lemon
1 slice of Orange
1 slice of strawberry
Fresh Mint

Now… if only I could get Pimm’s in Mumbai!!

You can find more cocktails here: Pimm’s based cocktails.

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