Sons of Liberty: Battle Cry

Sons of Liberty

Despite the title, this isn’t about a Game of Thrones or Ice Road Truckers episode, and it’s certainly not a patriotic Braveheart-esque call to arms about Scottish independence. Having said that, what I am going to write about is an American distillery which sees itself as a bit of a revolutionary, which is pretty apt given today is July 4th, America’s Independence Day. From what I can gather, it thinks of itself as the American whiskey equivalent to Brewdog’s ruffling-of-feathers in the beer scene over here. Sons of Liberty is a distillery based in the state of Rhode Island who see themselves as leading the craft spirit revolution in the US and redefining the American single malt whiskey category. That’s a pretty bold statement by anyone’s standards.

Their main focus is on the fermentation process, with the thought that awesome beer gives rise to awesome whiskey. Battle Cry consists of 100% malted grain, with a mash bill of 80% malted barley and 20% malted rye. This is then fermented with a Belgian Trappist yeast strain creating a flavour profile with notes reminiscent of a classic Belgian ale. The wash is then double distilled and matured in a mix of freshly charred American oak barrels and lightly toasted French oak casks. Got all that? I have to admit, I’m a sucker for attention to detail and love the fact these guys are experimenting with the fermentation process. I often feel, in Scotland, a disproportionate amount of emphasis is placed on the cask. As important as cask selection is, it’s great to see people tinkering with other parts of the production process.

The Sons of Liberty whiskies (they also have a bottling called Uprising which is born from an Imperial Stout) are produced in rather small volumes, as you’d expect from a craft distiller, so they’re only really available in and around Rhode Island and New England. If you’re in the neighbourhood, you should look them up.

Battle Cry
Sons of Liberty
American Single Malt Whiskey
40% ABV

Nose: Orange marmalade on toast, rich butterscotch, manuka honey, cinder toffee, sweet malt, treacle cake, coffee cream chocolates and charred oak. Pretty big!

Palate: Caramel fudge, buttered popcorn, pancakes with Nutella, cloves, maple syrup on bacon, BBQ steak flavoured crisps, smoked rack of ribs. Big, sweet and chewy with plenty of depth.

Finish: Long, with sweet caramel and charred wood.

Overall: Considering you can get a bottle of this for the equivalent of about £20, it’s an absolute must buy if you live on, or visit, the northern end of the US East Coast. It reminds me quite a bit of the Balcones expressions that I’ve tried (and really enjoyed), but it’s a bit more subtle, and slightly more on the lighter side compared those whiskies. Aside from this whiskey they also do Uprising, as I’ve mentioned, and ‘seasonal whiskies’, which currently consists of hop-flavoured whiskey and pumpkin spice whiskey. I’m actually heading over to the US in September, but I’m California-bound. Coast to coast road trip, anyone…?



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