Vita Dulcis 11 – USA’s Corsair Hydra 42%

Next up, a trip to Tennessee with a whisky from Corsair…. These folks are all about experimentation… Starting with beer, Darek Bell and Andrew Webber founded Corsair Distillery in Bowling Green, Kentucky in 2008. Two years later, Corsair shifted and became the first craft distillery in Nashville since prohibition, since expanding to two centres – both beer and spirits.

I first encountered Corsair in 2015 with their Triple Smoke… which happens to make a great old fashioned.

So, what about the Hydra?

USA – Corsair Hydra 42% – American Malt Whiskey

  • Nose – Started with smoked bacon, shifting into hickory then cedar, herbal, changing again… more like a balsam, with a drizzle of maple, a dash of cinnamon, some ripe apples, black current, hint of tea?
  • Palate – Spice but then mellows, more of that balsam wood, a bit of resin with smoke
  • Finish – Limited

Increasingly interesting as I sipped…. it was distinctly different. Clearly not Scottish and not a typical bourbon either. There is a freshness to the aroma. An interesting array of wood elements… came across as well crafted.

To be honest, I knew nothing about this before tasting…. just dove in ‘nearly’ blind.

What could I find out?

It is pot distilled from five hardwood smoked malts –  pecan nut, apple wood, sugar maple, black walnut wood and persimmon (fig/plum), matured for just 12 months.

And distillery official tasting notes? They are no longer included in their website as this was an expression from 2018, but rumour has it that their description was simple:

Smoke, Leather, Firewood

If you are interested in finding out more, I’d recommend checking out Whisky Jason’s video comparing Hydra and Triple Smoke in English or German.

Curious about other minis tried in December 2020? Check out how far I’ve reached in my journey through the Vita Dulcis 2020 Advent Calendar.

If you don’t want to miss a post, why not follow Whisky Lady on:

American attitude – Corsair Triple Smoke Small Batch Whiskey40%

This month, we braved Ganapathi festival traffic in Mumbai to sample three quite distinct whiskies from three countries – Scotland, Ireland and this American.

Unfortunately, I was insanely delayed reaching so we had two sets of tasting notes… the core group captured beautifully by another member and then her capturing of my ‘speed tasting’ solo impressions. I have definitely never zipped through sampling three whiskies in mere minutes before!

Corsair Triple Smoike

Corsair Triple Smoke

Corsair Triple Smoke 40%, Batch 162, Bottle 153 of 450
For the Corsair, here is what we found:
  • Nose:
    • Group – Medicinal to smoky bacon, the nose gives the feel that it must have body… breathing very well like a “book flippping opening fast,” honey-glazed ham, marmalade
    • Solo – Oily, a bit ‘in your face’ as in ‘Pay Attention!’ but in a good way, overripe fruits, bananas, definitely quite ‘forward’ on the nose… as it opened baby puke sour, bacon then back to sour with the smokey meaty element gone
  • Taste: 
    • Group – Coffee, dry on the tongue, no smoke / peat on taste
    • Solo – Robust, tobacco, chewy, faintly bitter
  • Finish: 
    • Group / Solo – No finish… as in nada
  • Overall – It has attitude and also is quite a character. Worthy of further exploration. Something is going on with this one!
Corsair is an American small batch distillery based in Nashville Tennessee and Bowling Green, Kentucky. They have become a bit of a cult favourite for their edgy fun approach to fine spirits.
Corsair’s description and details for Triple Smoke:
  • Smoky. Buttery. Rich. Crafted for Cocktails.
  • We take three fractions of malted barley, each smoked by a different fuel – cherry wood, peat, and beechwood – to craft this deeply complex whiskey.
  • Pot distilled then barreled in a new charred oak, Triple Smoke has the sweetness and barrel notes of an American whiskey and a single malt’s rich smoke, broadened by tones of cherry and beech. Excellent mixed or neat.
Their tasting notes:
  • Huge, rich flavour. Three smokes with peat at the fore, sweetness and vanillas. Buttery, broad flavour and long finish. Makes a great Manhattan.

Did we like it? You bet!

Check out the other whiskies sampled at our September 2015 session:

You can also find Whisky Lady in India on: