New York City is home to more than a few whiskey distilleries, but nearly all of them located in Brooklyn— Kings County and NY Distilling Co. are two of note. There’s only one that can call the borough of Manhattan home—Great Jones, which recently released a peated scotch cask finished bourbon that puts a smoky spin on this American classic.
Great Jones Distilling Co. is owned by Proximo Spirits, the company behind huge brands like Bushmills and Jose Cuervo. It opened in 2021 and has been making whiskey on a very small scale since then, overseen by head distiller Celina Perez. The whiskey you’ll find in the distillery’s bottles is actually produced upstate at Black Dirt Distillery, a craft operation that Proximo acquired in 2018. Eventually, the whiskey made in Manhattan just around the corner from the street the distillery is named after will find its way to consumers. In the meantime, in addition to producing the core bourbon and rye, the Great Jones team has been experimenting with some other releases, like this new Peated Scotch Cask Bourbon.
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Proximo doesn’t own any scotch distilleries, so these casks could have come from anywhere (and not necessarily from Islay, the region best known for its peaty malts). The base whiskey is a seven-year-old bourbon made at Black Dirt from a mashbill of corn, rye, wheat, and barley, all grown in New York State. The bourbon was then finished for two years in barrels previously used to age peated whisky and bottled at 96 proof. This is an interesting sipper because while the smokiness comes through, it’s not so much what you might expect from the influence of peat, and more as a savory mesquite barbecue note. That is particularly true on the nose, but it translates to the palate along with notes of oak, tobacco, vanilla, caramel, blackberry, maple, and some brown sugar—all classic elements of a bourbon aged for nearly a decade.
Peated Scotch Cask Bourbon is a distillery-exclusive release, however, so you’ll have to head to N.Y.C. to snag one of the special gift boxes the comes in (SRP $150). If you’re not planning on a trip to the Big Apple anytime soon, you can find other Great Jones expressions available to purchase from websites like Total Wine now.
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