Bourbon Review

Bourbon Review: Smoky Quartz Distillery V5

According to their website, “Smoky Quartz Distillery, located on the Southern NH Seacoast, is a Veteran owned and operated artisanal “grain to glass” craft distillery that uses locally sourced New England grain and other US sourced ingredients to distill truly exceptional spirits. The distillery is named after the official New Hampshire Gem Stone which is the “Smoky Quartz” crystal.

All Smoky Quartz Spirits are handcrafted in small batches and artfully distilled from only the highest quality ingredients. All their grain-based products use organic certified grains and our rum uses only Grade A Molasses from sugar cane grown in the USA.”

Our bottle we are pouring from today denotes it is aged 16 months, which has us questioning if this is even bourbon.

What makes a bourbon, bourbon?

There are 6 requirements all bourbon must check to be considered straight bourbon.

  1. It must be made in the United States.
  2. Aging must take place in a new, charred, oak barrel.
  3. It must be aged in barrel for at least 2 years.
  4. The mash bill must be at least 51% corn.
  5. The whiskey cannot enter the barrel at higher than 125 proof. It cannot enter the bottle at a proof less than 80.
  6. Nothing can be added but water and only to lessen the proof when necessary.

With that said, this would technically be an American Whiskey.

Whisky Review: V5 Bourbon Whiskey
45% (90 Proof)
16 Months
Mash Bill: 
100% Corn
Distilled By:  
Smoky Quartz Distillery
Seabrook, NH (USA)

The Nose: As expected the aroma from the glass is heavy on corn. Additionally there are nuances of vanilla, oak and anise.

The Taste: The V5 comes off as a bit one dimension with charred oak as the primary tasting profile. You have to dig deep to find additional notes of vanilla, caramel and cloves.

The Pairing: What better to pair a veteran owned bourbon than a cigar that features the colors of Red, White & Blue. A few weeks ago United Cigars announced they were changing the blend and vitola of their signature cigar. The cigar which will be featured in the round for the first time. Additionally, a piece of an American flag inserted into each box in honor of our veterans.

The cigar helps tone down some of the rough edges of  this young bourbon as it brings some more sweetness to the front and it rounds out the finish. As always our pairing never affects our final score but if it did, it would add 4 points.

The Finish: Being from New Hampshire I see this on the shelves of the state owned liquor stores even when the shelves are barren. This alone has stopped me from buying it. However, a friend came by one night with a gift in hand. After drinking it I get why it’s always on the shelf even when nothing else is available. It’s not balanced, lacks depth, complexity and is overpriced.

Score: 72
Price: $59.99 (750ml)


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