San Jose, California’s 10th Street Single Malt is back with another peated expression — this one finished in French oak pinot noir casks from a northern California winery. (Initial aging is in first-fill ex-bourbon casks, not new oak.)
Each year 10th Street releases a different wine cask release. This is our first encounter with those offerings. No age statement is provided. Let’s dive in.
This expression offers a familiar approach, with a moderately peaty nose that mingles with gentle fruit notes, though they’re kept somewhat at arm’s length — apples and some citrus, with an edge of lime leaf in lieu of the red berry fruit elements one might otherwise expect. Nothing wild here, and the palate keeps the theme mostly in line: Moderately smoky from front to back, with an undercurrent that runs heavily to baked apples, lemon peel, and just a hint of cherry. It’s never clearly — or even modestly — evocative of the red wine barrel, which is a bit unfortunate, and it doesn’t come across at all the way whiskies like Kilchoman’s red wine matured whisky present themselves. That said, while I’d love to see a lot more red fruit in the mix here, it’s still a fun and very approachable expression of peated American single malt, something one almost never gets a chance to see these days.
B+ / $80 / 10thstreetdistillery.com
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