And the celebrity whiskeys just keep on rolling. A recent addition to that ever growing category is Whiskey Jypsi, brought to us courtesy of country music singer Eric Church and Outsiders Spirits. Read on for a little backstory. Well, maybe a lot of backstory.
The first release, Whiskey Jypsi’s Legacy Batch 001…is based on a traditional bourbon mash bill. However, instead of blending the grains before fermentation, or sourcing from the usual geographies, Whiskey Jypsi lived up to its name – sourcing individual aged whiskey components from various origins, then scientifically blending them to recreate the mash bill.
“Whiskey Jypsi celebrates doing things the unconventional way. It’s the commitment to the creative spirit, the process and the journey that excite me the most” says Church. “It’s meant to inspire others to take chances like we have – follow a different path and enjoy and experience life at its fullest.”
As serious whiskey enthusiasts but not yet experts in making it, Outsiders sought the help of experienced masters in the art and science of the spirit who could reimagine the traditional whiskey industry conventions – and bring a series of rich, complex blends of whiskey and bourbon to life in a variety of releases over time. After meetings with various master distillers and blenders, they chose Ari Sussman for their first release.
“I was excited to work with these guys because it all centered on quality and creativity,” Sussman notes. “There were no rules or parameters. It just had to be the finest whiskey possible. Period.”
Sussman is the former head of Spirits Development at the Artisan Distilling Program at Michigan State University, and an award-winning whiskey maker. He also has a bit of the Jypsi Spirit in him. Before he entered the whiskey world, Ari worked in the vineyards of Bordeaux, raised ostriches and grew almonds with Bedouin tribes, and lived in an Israeli kibbutz.
Recognizing that extraordinary whiskeys are created every day all over the world, Sussman took Church’s lead in departing from industry conventions, with groundbreaking new processes destined to disrupt the category and lead to extraordinary whiskey experiences.
Got all that? Especially the part about the ostriches? Good. Perhaps more interesting to actual whiskey drinkers, this first Jypsi release is a mix of 7- and 8-year-old Indiana bourbon (70%), 20-year-old Canadian rye whisky (21%), and 4-year-old Indiana single malt (9%). Further specifics on the “groundbreaking” production processes that brought those whiskeys together remain a mystery. Let’s check it out.
For starters, there’s a lot going on with this nose. It begins a bit yeasty with sweet sourdough and buttery cobbler crust before building with a caramelized intensity, rich and deep notes of Demerara syrup, stewed cinnamon apples, and toffee. As it opens, things coalesce into warm apple pie. The palate is even more expressive and bold with substantial layers of oak, leather, fruit, and dark sweets. Peppery top notes of woodshop, cigar box, and old furniture give way to richer, sweeter notes of orange marmalade, banana chips, and honeycomb across the palate, but it never relinquishes its burly, wood-driven structure. The balance is impressive, dry enough to keep you coming back to the glass and sweet enough to reward the return. The finish is long with a harmony of complex flavors: malt balls, dark berry cobbler, and chocolate cream pie with a fading note of cigar wrapper and peaches in syrup. As entertaining as an Eric Church concert. Maybe more. One of the better celebrity whiskeys I’ve tasted to date.
A / $200 / whiskeyjypsi.com