Mellow Corn Straight Corn Whiskey – Bottled in Bond

Now that is a title!

As I explore spirits, I keep running across many styles of each spirit. No where is this more true than with whiskey. Bourbon, wheat, rye, and corn; perhaps others as well. Various combinations of these grains form the mash bills that end up in the large variety of whiskeys sold today.

My curiosity, and the low price gave me an opportunity to try the corn variant of whiskey. Mellow Corn is made from 90% corn, 10% rye and malted barley. When they say corn, they mean corn!

The taste is certainly that of sweet corn, and a hint of barrel char. There isn’t really much in the way of spice; the heat seems to come from the ethanol, but isn’t overwhelming. This isn’t complex by any means. To me, it is fine neat. Mixed with Coke, the corn and oak come through, and the oak cuts through the sweetness of the cola. I haven’t tried it in any other cocktails yet.

Age: At least 4 years (a bottled-in-bond requirement)

Proof: 100 (50% ABV)

Price: $13.50 for 750ml (Virginia ABC)

Buy Again: Yes, although simple, I like the style

Plantation Xaymaca

Given my preference for rum, and my enjoyment of Plantation products, I was excited to see the NC ABC started to carry Plantation Xaymaca. This is a very nice Jamaican rum with no added sugars, unlike some other Plantation products. In fact it is labeled as “Special Dry” to indicate it’s lack of added sugar. There is a note that they add caramel color to maintain consistent colors from batch to batch.

I picked up a bottle on sale (there is a trend here). It has a wonderful fruity aroma. To me, it tastes almost exactly like Appleton Rare Blend 12 year. It is younger than the Appleton, as well as being less expensive.

I need to do a side by side tasting and see how much effect the barrel has on the two products.

This rum does just fine as a sipper. I have also enjoyed it in rum-forward cocktails where it would not be lost and wasted.

Age: In the Tropics: 1-3 years in Bourbon casks, On the Continental: 1 year in Ferrand casks

Proof: 86 (43% ABV)

Price: $22 for 750ml, on sale (North Carolina ABC)

Buy Again: Yes

All ABCs Are Not The Same

Living in an ABC state generally means a lack of selection and variety. Seeing the inside of some of the larger ABC stores in North Carolina may make you think that statement is false. Go to one of the smaller stores or stores in a smaller county and see what the selection is like.

I have recently been taking advantage of my neighbor to the north, Virginia. Yes, it is an ABC state, but they have at least modernized their system. For example, in North Carolina, you can order something not carried in stores (as long as it is in the state’s approved inventory), but only by the case. In Virginia, you can order anything in system, a single bottle at a time! And you can have it delivered to a store of your choice in the state (about an hour from my house). Virginia also has the advantage of online inventory for every store, so you can see what’s there before making the trip.

No one expects North Carolina to do away with the ABC system, but at the very least they could modernize the system to work more like the Virginia model. Quite a few of my recent purchases are thanks to VABC.