I’ve been singing the praises of Dave Weglarz’ ridiculously ambitious Experiment Spirits program at StilL 630 since the project began last year. This triumvirate, including a mesquite smoked whiskey, is exactly the reason why.
Three recent monthly releases from Weglarz have been single malt whiskies. But there’s a twist. The malts in these otherwise identical spirits were each smoked with a different wood. It started with applewood, which is a great addition to whiskey and feels right at home. The third iteration, released at the beginning of March, used a cherrywood smoked malt. The result almost feels like it’s halfway to a heavy-handed cocktail, making it immensely sip-able even at 50% ABV. It’s the middle one, a mesquite smoked whiskey, that truly tickled my tastebuds though.
StilL 630’s X-7 isn’t the first mesquite smoked whiskey to be made, but for most it would probably be the first they’ve tried. And I can’t think of a better place to have started. It tastes like an entire backyard BBQ in liquid form. Picture the way people ate in Wall-E, only pure happiness instead of slovenly sadness.
The beauty of having the same whiskey three ways is that you can see exactly how the smoked malt changes the spirit. If you drank a mesquite smoked whiskey in a vacuum, it would just taste like mesquite. When you have the ability to compare it to nearly identical applewood and cherrywood smoked whiskeys, you start to discern which parts are added by the wood and which are the essence of the whiskey itself. It’s a fun experiment for anyone who enjoys taking their time with a spirit.
While the Experimental Spirits are only released on the first Friday of every month (April’s new spirit was a spiced rum), you can try some equally experimental cocktails at StilL630’s pop-up bar, The Library, on Thursdays and Fridays.