Independent bottler Lost Lantern, as we recently explored when the company launched its first offering, aims to apply the Scottish way of being a bottler to the American whiskey market. This includes blending their own releases from sourced whiskeys and also releasing single cask expressions, all the while being as transparent as they can in regards to where those whiskeys come from. It is in this consideration they’ve now debuted their first single cask collection.
The first new Lost Lantern Single Cask Collection, according to those behind it, includes four bottlings drawn from American whiskey distilleries in New Mexico, Iowa, New York and Texas. They were chosen specifically to accompany the recently released vatted malt, with the brand indicating these “show how whiskey can reflect where it’s made, how it’s made, and who made it, and demonstrate that compelling whiskey comes from all across the United States.”
“We wanted our first round of single casks to encourage whiskey lovers to discover distilleries that they might not necessarily have access to otherwise,” said Adam Polonski, co-founder of Lost Lantern, in a prepared statement. “All of these distilleries are rising stars in the American whiskey scene and have built impressive fanbases, but they aren’t always easy to find.”
“Many superb distilleries are making delicious whiskies that reflect the unique environment where they’re made,” added co-founder Nora Ganley-Roper. “Our curated lineup shines a light on whiskies that people might not find on their own, helping whiskey lovers explore the growing landscape of American whiskey and giving deserving distilleries additional attention in the process.”
All four of these single cask whiskeys, bottled at cask strength and non-chill filtered/of natural color, are officially detailed below. Each quarter, Lost Lantern plans to debut a new collection of single casks, and may announce one-off limited releases from time-to-time.
Single Cask #1: Santa Fe Spirits New Mexico Single Malt
- (211 bottles | 120.5 Proof): SRP, $100
Mesquite-smoked single malt whiskey is an emerging regional style from the Southwest, and founders Nora and Adam believe it will someday become an American analogue to peated Islay scotch. Santa Fe Spirits, located at the foot of the Sangre de Cristo mountains, is one of the pioneers of this style. Its unique high-altitude maturation environment (7,000 feet above sea level) sees large seasonal swings in temperatures and produces truly special whiskies. This single cask balances a delicate, elegant structure with bold flavors of barbecue, smoke, and citrus.
Single Cask #2: Cedar Ridge Iowa Straight Bourbon Whiskey
- (213 bottles | 120.5 Proof): SRP, $87
Lost Lantern’s first bourbon cask comes from the family-owned Cedar Ridge distillery in Swisher, Iowa. Iowa is the heart of the corn belt. So it’s only natural that the state now makes great whiskey that’s quite distinct from Kentucky bourbon—softer, creamier, but still fruity and spicy. Cask-strength Cedar Ridge rarely makes it outside of Iowa, so this selection, which is reminiscent of freshly baked apple pie, should be a rare treat for bourbon lovers.
Single Cask #3: New York Distilling Co. Straight Rye Whiskey Finished in an Apple Brandy Cask
- (202 bottles | 119.2 Proof): SRP, $70
Although most rye whiskey now comes from Kentucky, initially it was typically more common in cooler climates. New York Distilling Co., based in the heart of Brooklyn, is reviving this tradition in an urban environment. The apple brandy finish gives this cask an extra New York twist, resulting in a whiskey that tastes like a Viennese apple strudel, loaded with baking spice and harvest fruit flavors.
Single Cask #4: Ironroot Republic Texas Straight Corn Whiskey
- (111 bottles | 129.2 Proof): SRP, $108
- Made from 100% Texas corn and aged in a 53-gallon European oak ex-Bourbon cask for four years and two months in the Texas heat, this cask will change some minds on what corn whiskey can be. It is spicy and dense like a bourbon, but with a unique floral quality that shines because of the used cooperage. At the same time, it has the big, rich, round mouthfeel of the best Texas whiskey.