Part I: North Carolina Regional

Rickhouse Ramblings has decided to host a four region blind taste off of new make/clear/white dog whiskey. The field is broken up into four regions, based on their location of production: North Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee, and South Carolina. We will not be using our traditional Rickhouse Rating. Instead, we will be judging the nose, mouth, and finish using a 5 star system. The winner of each region will face off in a Battle of the States as we search for the ultimate new make/clear/white dog whiskey champion. This will be a four part series starting with Part I being the taste off from North Carolina. Joining Rickhouse Ramblings for the Part I blind tasting is Mike’s brother, Phil.

The North Carolina Contenders

In order to determine the whiskey offerings that would qualify for the blind taste off, we conducted a Twitter and Facebook poll. Our followers had the choice to pick between the following: Broad Branch Distillery’s NightLab 1.0; Old Nick Williams Co. Farm & Distillery Carolina Whiskey; Southern Grace Distillery Sun Dog 130; Piedmont Distillers Midnight Moon; Broadslab Distillery Legacy Shine; Troy and Sons Platinum Moonshine.

After the votes were tallied, our final four contenders for the Part I blind taste off were identified. Receiving our highest votes were the following whiskeys:

  1. Old Nick Williams Company Farm & Distillery Carolina Whiskey – 20 Votes
  2. Broad Branch Distillery NightLab 1.0 – 5 Votes
  3. Midnight Moon Moonshine – 4 Votes
  4. Troy and Sons Platinum Moonshine – 4 Votes
Broad Branch Nightlab 1.0, Midnight Moon Moonshine, Old Nick Williams Carolina Whiskey and Troy & Sons Platinum Whiskey
(L-R) Broad Branch NightLab 1.0, Midnight Moon Moonshine, Old Nick Williams Carolina Whiskey and Troy & Sons Platinum Whiskey

Round 1 Blind Taste Results

Pour #1: This pour presented itself with a nose similar to a paint thinner with a slightly floral aroma (Nose – Christian: 1/5 Stars; Mike: 2/5 Stars; Phil: 2/5 Stars). The mouth feel was light and pleasant. A sweetness was present alongside a light corn flavor on the palate (Mouth – Christian: 2.5 Stars/5; Mike: 3/5 Stars; Phil: 3/5 Stars). The finish of this pour was rather enjoyable and smooth with a pronounced burn (Finish – Christian: 3/5 Stars; Mike 3/5 Stars; Phil: 4/5 Stars).

Final Overall Score for Pour #1: 2.60/5 Stars

Pour #2: Pour #2 had a nose that was very sweet and aromatic with hints of corn noticeably present (Nose – Christian: 4/5 Stars; Mike: 3/5 Stars; Phil: 3/5 Stars). The mouth feel on this pour was a bit thicker and more oily than the previous pour. The flavor profile followed the aromas in the nose–sweet corn with a hint of earthiness–we found it rather tasty (Mouth – Christian: 3/5 Stars; Mike 3/5 Stars; Phil: 3/5 Stars). The finish was short and smooth but with a slight bitterness to it, but not off-putting (Finish – Christian: 3/5 Stars; Mike: 2/5 Stars; Phil: 2.5/5 Stars).

Final Overall Score for Pour #2: 2.94/5 Stars

Pour #3: This pour provided very little in the nose. A subtle hint of rubbing alcohol was present (Nose – Christian: 0/5 Stars; Mike: 1/5 Stars; Phil: 1/5 Stars). The mouth feel was very light with little to no flavor profiles present. This one had a very watery quality to it (Mouth – Christian: 2/5 Stars; Mike: 2/5 Stars; Phil: 1/5 Stars). The pour was smooth with no burn at all, but again there wasn’t a lot of flavors present. This one left us wondering if it was actually vodka. (Finish – Christian: 2/5 Stars; Mike 2/5 Stars; Phil: 2/5 Stars).

Final Overall Score of Pour #3: 1.44/5 Stars

Pour #4: Our final pour packed an aromatic, sweet, and attractive nose (Nose – Christian: 4/5 Stars; Mike: 3/5 Stars: Phil: 4/5 Stars). The mouth feel had a very nice silky consistency. On the palate was a nice punch of sweetness and corn. This one was the sweetest of the lot (Mouth – Christian: 3/5 Stars; Mike: 2/5 Stars; Phil: 4/5 Stars). The finish on this pour was the hottest of the four. A warm glow glided down from the palate into the throat as we finished this one (Finish – Christian: 3/5 Stars; Mike: 2/5 Stars; Phil: 3/5 Stars).

Final Overall Score of Pour #4: 3.10/5 Stars

North Carolina Final Round Blind Taste Results: Pour #2 vs Pour #4

For this round, Pour #2 and Pour #4 were tasted head to head to determine which was most preferred. Tasters remained unaware of the identities of the two finalist. The tasting notes below notate the differences we noticed between the two blind pours. We used the same scoring system for this round as we did in the first tasting.

Pour #2: This pour provided a deep sweet corn aroma on the nose (Nose – Christian: 4/5 Stars; Mike: 3/5 Stars; Phil: 3/5 Stars). We found it to be grain forward on the palate with a slight earthiness that its competition did not have (Mouth – Christian: 4/5 Stars; Mike: 3/5 Stars; Phil: 2/5 Stars).The finish was smooth with the earthiness carrying forward (Finish – Christian: 3/5 Stars; Mike: 3/5 Stars; Phil: 2/5 Stars). Overall this pour provided rich deep flavors and aromas.

Final Score for Pour #2: 2.99/5 Stars

Pour #4: Again this pour brought a nice sweet nose with an ever so slight hint of ethanol present (Nose – Christian: 3/5 Stars; Mike: 2/5 Stars; Phil: 3/5 Stars). The mouth had a slight edge in sweetness that was almost sugary (Mouth – Christian: 3/5 Stars; Mike: 3/5 Stars; Phil: 2/5 Stars). This finish was the hotter of the two offerings with a continued sweetness lingering in the back of the palate (Finish – Christian: 4/5 Stars; Mike: 3/5 Stars; Phil: 3/5 Stars).

Final Score for Pour #4: 2.88/5 Stars

North Carolina Regional New Make/Moonshine/Clear Whiskey Champion

Old Nick Williams Carolina Whiskey
Old Nick Williams Carolina Whiskey

Congratulations to Old Nick Williams Farm and Distillery Carolina Whiskey. As the North Carolina Regional Champion, Old Nick Williams Carolina Whiskey will move on to compete against the winners from Virginia, Tennessee, and South Carolina.

Who’s Who?

North Carolina Regional Bracket

North Carolina Regional Moonshine Bracket

Final Thoughts

There was little separation between the Broad Branch Nightlab 1.0 and Old Nick Williams Carolina Whiskey. Both offerings were enjoyable, sweet and flavorful, which set themselves apart from the other two. Both Old Nick Williams and Broad Branch were enjoyable neat or could be used as a mixer in one of their many recipes. At the end of the day, the nose and mouth of Old Nick Williams Carolina Whiskey just barely edged out Broad Branch, but only slightly. A strong showing by two Winston-Salem, North Carolina distillers.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s