Lost Lantern American Vatted Malt Edition No.1

Lost Lantern American Vatted Malt Edition No.1

In Whisky by Whisky MonsterLeave a Comment

Lost Lantern American Vatted Malt Edition No.1

Country: USA
Producer: Lost Lantern
Type: Blended Malt
Age: 2
Cask: American Oak
ABV: 52.5%
Proof: 105
Price: $120 

Nose: Apples, overripe orchard fruits, Demerara sugar, sandalwood 

Palate: Malty sweetness, cinnamon, caramel, stone fruits, pine, milk chocolate, toasted oak, light smoke.

Finish: Tobacco, black peppers, orange zest, ginger dryness, earthy smoke. Juicy!

I had been in the middle of many talks that had why there is not a good number of independent bottlers for American whiskey yet. A couple of weeks ago, an old friend just informed me about the Lost Lantern and I received a sample from their first whiskey, Lost Lantern American Vatted Malt Edition No.1

About the Brand

Lost Lantern was founded in 2018 by Nora Ganley-Roper and Adam Polonski. Nora worked as the Sales Manager at Astor Wine & Spirits and Adam used to work as an Editor for Whisky Advocate. So, there is no question that they know what they were doing. In 2018 they started to visit distilleries in the US and by 2019 they made it to over 100 distilleries. Their decision was also giving hope to the industry. “We will only buy from the distilleries we have visited in person!”

As Nora explains, “We think of Lost Lantern as shining a light on whiskies that would otherwise be lost. That sometimes means bottling something from a distillery that is not distributed nationally, and which doesn’t get the attention we think they deserve. It can also mean bottling barrels from more well-known distilleries that are not consistent with their core lineup. This may be a finished whiskey or an experiment that they’re not quite sure how to release. We’re looking for whiskies that we can bottle or blend that will expand the understanding of the landscape of American whiskey by whiskey connoisseurs.”

I am a big supporter of American single malt in general. I try to review as much as I can, spread the word, give my feedback to the producers. I still believe, American single malt has a very long way to go but brands like Westland, Virginia Distillery Co, Westward and some others are taking great measures to bring the category to another level.

About the Whiskey

As of October 15th, Lost Lantern has released 5 different whiskies. The one I am currently reviewing is called the American Vatted Malt Edition No.1. It is made with 12 different barrels from 6 different distilleries:

  • Balcones (Waco, TX)
    • Cask 1:
      • Mashbill – 100% Peated Golden Promise Malted Barley
      • Maturation Barrel Info – 60 gallon ISC New American Oak barrel
      • Length of Primary Maturation – 30 months
      • Finishing Barrel Info – None
      • Length of Secondary Maturation/Finishing – None
      • Age of Spirit – 30 months
    • Cask 2:
      •  Mashbill – 100% Golden Promise Malted Barley
      •  Maturation Barrel Info – 53 gallon Used bourbon barrel
      •  Length of Primary Maturation – 30 months
      • Finishing Barrel Info – None
      •  Length of Secondary Maturation/Finishing – None
      • Age of Spirit – 30 months
  • Copperworks (Seattle, WA)
    • Cask 1:
      • Mashbill – 100% WA Select (Pale) Malt from Great Western Malting
      • Maturation Barrel Info- 66.5 gallon ex-oloroso sherry barrel straight from Spain
      •  Length of Primary Maturation- 376 days
      •  Finishing Barrel Info- 53 gallon ex-bourbon
      • Length of Secondary Maturation/Finishing- 1422 days
      • Age of Spirit- 4 years, 11 months
    • Cask 2:
      • Mashbill- 100% Skagit Valley Alba 6 row pale malt, grown on Craig Knudzen’s farm
      •  Maturation Barrel Info- 53 gallon used bourbon barrel
      • Length of Primary Maturation – 1135 days
      •  Finishing Barrel Info- None
      • Length of Secondary Maturation/Finishing – None
      • Age of Spirit – 3 years
  • Santa Fe Spirits (Santa Fe, NM)
    • Cask 1:
      • Mashbill- 100% 2-Row Malted Barley, 30% Mesquite Smoked
      • Maturation Barrel Info – 53 gallon used bourbon barrel
      • Length of Primary Maturation – 2 years, 26 days
      • Finishing Barrel Info – Used Santa Fe Spirits Apple Brandy Cask
      • Length of Secondary Maturation/Finishing – 230 days
      • Age of Spirit – 2 years, 8 months
    • Cask 2:
      • Mashbill – 100% 2-Row Malted Barley, 30% Mesquite Smoked
      • Maturation Barrel Info – 53 gallon used American oak barrel
      • Length of Primary Maturation – 3 years, 51 days
      • Finishing Barrel Info – None
      • Length of Secondary Maturation/Finishing – None
      • Age of Spirit – 3 years, 51 days
  • Triple Eight (Nantucket, MA)
    • Cask 1:
      • Mashbill – 100% Maris Otter Malted Barley
      • Maturation Barrel Info – Multiple 53 gallon ex-bourbon barrels
      • Length of Primary Maturation – 4.5 years
      • Finishing Barrel Info – 59 gallon re-toasted Pinot Noir barrel from Nantucket Vineyard Winery
      • Length of Secondary Maturation/Finishing – 2 years, 40 days
      • Age of Spirit – 6.5 years
    • Cask 2:
      • Mashbill – 100% Maris Otter Malted Barley
      • Maturation Barrel Info – 53 gallon new American oak barrel; Nadalie Cooperage; char 2
      • Length of Primary Maturation – 3 years, 26 days
      • Finishing Barrel Info – None
      • Length of Secondary Maturation/Finishing – None
      • Age of Spirit – 3 years
  • Westward (Portland, OR)
    • Cask 1:
      • Mashbill- Blend of 3 varietals of Pacific Northwest-grown barley, malted 10 miles away at Great Western
      • Maturation Barrel Info – 55 gallon McGinnis Wood Products New American Oak barrel, Char 2
      • Length of Primary Maturation – 3 years, 3 months
      • Finishing Barrel Info – None
      • Length of Secondary Maturation/Finishing – None
      • Age of Spirit – 3 years, 3 months
    • Cask 2:
      • Mashbill – Blend of 3 varietals of Pacific Northwest-grown barley, malted 10 miles away at Great Western
      • Maturation Barrel Info – 53 gallon Kelvin Cooperage New American Oak barrel, char 1
      • Length of Primary Maturation – 3 years, 3 months
      • Finishing Barrel Info – None
      • Length of Secondary Maturation/Finishing – None
      • Age of Spirit – 3 years, 3 months
  • Virginia Distillery Co (Lovingston, VA)
    • Casks 1&2:
      • Mashbill – 100% 2 row, North American, Pale Malt
      • Maturation Barrel Info – 60 gallon re-toasted wine cask
      • Length of Primary Maturation – 2 years, 236 days
      • Finishing Barrel Info – None
      •  Length of Secondary Maturation/Finishing – None
      • Age of Spirit – 2 years, 236 days

There are only 3000 bottles of this whiskey that will be available for the batch. This whiskey is important to see how distillers from each distillery are seeing the future of American whiskey too.

12 barrels, aged at a minimum of 2 years came together and bottled at 105 proof. The outcome is a fragrant, muscular blended malt with a robust character.

How I Feel?

First and foremost, $120 looks like a steep price tag for a 2-year-old whiskey, IF ONLY you don’t read the barrel composition. If you haven’t please do that first! The first edition of American Vatted Malt has whiskies from 2.5 to 6.5 years old.

According to what I see, these are different whiskies than most of these distilleries release normally, which is what we actually expect from an independent bottler. However, that also pushes the prices higher.

That brings us to transparency. It feels like the Lost Lantern started the business with the right move. They have sent over all the barrel information and they are willing to share. What I would suggest to the brand is to put all the necessary information on their website in a simple way for us to access easily.

I can say that the taste profile is very promising. The nose started fruit-forward and then transformed to have a darker character with baking spices, caramel fudge, Demerara sugar and sandalwood. At times it reminded me of a Speyside malt then it carried me to the warmth of Texas.

The palate is really sweet! The malty sweetness meeting cinnamon, caramel, toasted oak gives it an overall intensity of sweetness. Then pine tree notes arise with light smoke.

The finish started with tobacco notes, black peppers, candied orange, chocolate. I was actually expecting a softer finish with tobacco and earthy flavors but sweet notes and bitter flavors were still there with strength.

Overall, I liked how it all started! The nose and palate give out richness and complexity. The creamy texture and high proof are just lovely. This particular whiskey needs a little bit more balance especially when you compare the finish with the rest of the experience. I would say, if this whisky came in front of me during a blind tasting, it would have gotten nothing less than 85 points.

I am looking forward to seeing what Nora and Adam will come up with in the future.

Single Cask Offerings

American Vatted Malt is not the only bottle they have released!

Lost Lantern Whiskey

Aside from the blended malt, there are four more single casks that Lost Lantern released on October 15th!

0/25
nose
0/25
fınısh
-----
0/25
palate
-----
0/25
overall
0/100
total

Comment