Editor’s Note: This whiskey was provided to us as a review sample by the party behind it. This in no way, per our editorial policies, influenced the final outcome of this review. It should also be noted that by clicking the buy link in this review our site receives a small referral payment which helps to support, but not influence, our editorial and other costs.
You know that feeling when a beautiful woman walks by and you can’t help but do a double take? Yeah – this bottle will put you under that spell. The American Woman Spirit Company is a newer whiskey brand based in Steamboat Springs, Colorado making their way into the industry. Embarking on the whiskey train in 2015 they released their line of whiskeys in 2020.
But easier said than done, what is fascinating about this brand is that the bottle came before the juice. Years of efforts, design and testing for quality and strength of the bottle all came into play with the help of California artist, Paul McTaggert. From their 2019 Indiegogo campaign, they beautifully summed up how in 2015 they embarked on a journey to combine their love for art, America, and quality spirits. They created an award winning straight bourbon and spent 3 years developing a unique bottle that envelops art, culture and premium bourbon [and rye]. They tasted bourbon from all over the country and studied the artistic and cultural values in sculpting a representative image of a proud and strong woman.
The people behind AWW started with John Lupori, Founder of American Women Spirits Company. His extraordinary background begins as a doctor who then turns owner of a craft whiskey brand in the small town of Steamboat Spring, where he was an oral surgeon for 20 years. Wanting to give back even more, he also worked on mission trips in Mexico to perform surgeries to correct children with facial deformities.
It was when he was traveling abroad that several local spirit bottles caught his eye, all uniquely designed and crafted, and so this was the initial spark in wanting to create and represent something similar – the American way.
With the creative support from Lupori’s daughters and son, and of course, bringing in McTaggart, was when the bottle came to life. McTaggert’s projects over his long career incorporate a blended aspect of function and esthetics. The design of the American Woman Whiskey bottle was no different. The bottle is a detailed, sculpted long haired woman, firmly standing proud and strong.
The bottle went through the ringer, having to pass a 92-point weakness test, a long and difficult task given the complex shape and contour, but it paid off when it passed and also was awarded a United States Design Patent in April, 2018.
With the bottle perfected, now what to fill it with it?
The process of creating a whiskey worthy enough to go into the American Woman bottle was the next step. Lupori reached out and worked closely with distiller Paul Dunning of Private Label Distillery. From a local web magazine, Lupori’s main goal was to make a straight bourbon – no additives – true, American bourbon. The distillate ages in four different barrels of varying size and char percentage, spending 2-3 years in each. Smaller 30 gallon, new oak barrels were used with charred levels 2, 3, 4, and 5. With the barrels aging in a temperature controlled warehouse and at an elevation of 6,000 feet, there is quite a bit of control when shaping this whiskey.
Lastly, Dunning created a blend from the four key barrels and finished the proofing with crisp Rocky Mountain water.
The whiskey I’m reviewing here from their line up, American Woman Straight Bourbon, is aged three years, 92 proof and distilled from a mash bill of 99% corn/1%malted barley.
Tasting Notes: American Woman Straight Bourbon
Vital Stats: 92 proof; aged 3 years; mash bill: 99% corn + 1% barley; around $60 for a 750ml bottle.
Appearance: A sherry corn color fills my glass. Swirling and observing for legs, many tiny pearled points show up then from there the legs slowly crawl down the edge.
Nose: A medley of dried apricot and toasted almonds come to the forefront. Then a backyard BBQ is in full swing with cream soda alongside hot-honey drizzled over corn on a cob. There is dewy straw at the crack of dawn to round off this tasting.
Palate: A sweet sensation floods my senses and I immediately sneeze. Once that passes, it’s a package of candied floral notes. A calming cup of jasmine green tea with a heaping scoop of sugar comes to mind. A Granny Smith caramel apple twirled in some crushed toasted buttery nuts also comes to the palate. Now the mouthfeel is like a gifted oil massage. A soothing and refreshing oil sensation coats the mouth and then the soft tender exit down the throat is the slightest heat tingle. For a straight bourbon, almost entirely corn, I’m delighted with the floral sensations in this whiskey.
Read the full article at Whiskey Review: American Woman Straight Bourbon