DSR – NC – 014: Heart of Mystic Single Barrel Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Company/Distillery: Mystic Farm & Distillery
Location: Durham, North Carolina
Mash Bill: 55% Corn and 45% Wheat
Age Statement: No Age Statement
Proof/ABV: 122.6 Proof/61.3% ABV
Color & Viscosity: This bourbon is dark tawny to a light auburn in color. Tilting the glass to the side produces a thin viscous line that generates beads resembling tiny perforations. Legs develop approximately half way down the tasting vessel and are very slow, easing down into the pool of whiskey.
Purchase Price: $29.95 at the NC ABC stores in June 2021; 375 ml bottle.
Bottle Label Information:
“Heart of Mystic”
“Single Barrel Straight Bourbon Whiskey”
“Barrel Number: 31 | Bottle Number: 339 | Alc/Vol.: 61.3 | Proof: 122.6”
“Inside lies our non-chill filtered bourbon at full cask strength.”
“We grow the grain on fields around our distillery in Durham, North Carolina. We mash with pristine water drawn from the ancient aquifer below our land, fermenting slowly to produce smooth, deep flavors unique to each growing season. We then carefully cut the spirit by hand, and barrel it in fine-grained, well-charred American Oak. After years of aging, we hand select each barrel we release as a unique expression of our craft.”
“We’re delighted to share with you the true Heart of Mystic.”
“Distilled & Bottled by Mystic Farm & Distillery, Durham, North Carolina”
Mystic Farm & Distillery
Mystic Farm & Distillery was founded in 2013 by Co-Founders Jonathan Blitz and Mike Sinclair in Durham, North Carolina. The company began their journey by distilling their signature product, Mystic Bourbon Liqueur. Mystic Bourbon Liqueur takes the company’s bourbon mash bill and blends it with wildflower honey and a nine spice tea. As of 2016, the distillery also operates as a farm, planting and harvesting the corn and soft winter wheat used in its products distillation.
In addition to Mystic Farm & Distillery’s Mystic Bourbon Liqueur, they also produce: Mystic Vision Vodka; Soul of Mystic; Mystic 57 Navy-Strength Gin; Heart of Mystic; Broken Oak Double Barreled Straight Bourbon Whiskey; Heart of Mystic Cacao Nib Finished.
For additional information on tours and private barrels from the distillery visit https://whatismystic.com/.
Heart of Mystic Cask Strength Single Barrel Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Heart of Mystic Cask Strength Single Barrel Straight Bourbon whiskey is made using a mash bill of at least 51% corn and 45% soft winter wheat grown onsite at the Mystic Farm. The hearts are taken from the Mystic Liqueur distillation and aged for a minimum of three years in 53-gallon oak casks. This single barrel bottling came from barrel number 31 and is bottled at 122.6 proof.
Tasting Date/Vessel: June 22, 2021 – Neat in Glencairn Glass; Then with a few drops of distilled water.
Christian: In the bottle, Heart of Mystic provokes your senses with a sweetness of brown sugar and fresh oak. A second pass of the whiskey in the bottle allows an ever so slight touch of tobacco to join in the aromas. In my Glencairn glass, I first notice the sweet essence of vanilla icing and brown sugar. A second swirl unleashes the aromatics that remind me of Brach’s Maple Nut Goodies – just a touch of sweet maple joined by a nuttiness. Very little ethanol is present here and you have to really go in for a deep whiff to find it. Another swirl and sniff brings forth a slight touch of floral, perhaps in the form of honeysuckle. The addition of distilled water really ramps up the sweetness in this whiskey. Brown sugar becomes the predominate aroma in this flavor profile. A touch of maple is still present, but it takes on a more syrupy sugary aroma. I also noticed a hint of butterscotch that wasn’t originally noticed.
Mike: When nosing Heart of Mystic from the bottle, I’m met with heavy notes of brown sugar and uncharred oak. A mild tobacco aroma develops late. From the glass, I get a quick hit of ethanol before a warm and rich oatmeal flavor emerges. With my mouth open and raising the glass for a second nose, I’m enticed by a bouquet of fresh and heavy wheat bread dough as it’s resting and rising. An additional swirl produces rich buttery and brown sugar fragrances.
Christian: The mouthfeel on this Heart of Mystic Cask Strength is thick, velvety, and smooth. The whiskey is super sweet on the tip of my tongue. The maple nut candy I picked up in the nose transitions nicely to the palate. Just a touch of maple sweetness is accompanied by a nuttiness that pairs quite nicely. Also noticed are traces of leather, tobacco (albeit light), and honey wheat bread. Finally, a touch of cocoa is present on the palate of this pour. Distilled water seems to bring out a buttery component in this pour. I also notice a generous helping of honey roasted peanuts.
Mike: This bourbon has a soft mouthfeel on the front of the tongue with an immediate rush of heat hitting the back of the palate. I also notice a medium dryness on the tongue, along with hints of black tea and delicate oak tannins. A very mild honey sweetness is detected mid-palate with a light peppery bite presenting at the back of the tongue.
Christian: There is a definite nice, long, warm finish on this pour. Baking spices well up on the tongue and go deep into the chest, where it lingers for some time. Wood notes, similar to freshly cut oak, are accompanied by toasted brown sugar and sweet caramel. In the finish, I notice a decent amount of baking spices, mainly allspice and nutmeg. Surprisingly, long after the sip has been consumed, a sweet finishing taste of apricot jam sneaks onto the palate. A really nice touch to the finish. The distilled water tames the finish a bit, however, there is still a nice warm hug present. In the finish, I detect flavors of peanut brittle and vanilla wafers. The apricot remains strong, despite the addition of water.
Mike: The finish of Heart of Mystic is medium to long. A gentle floral essence lingers in the mouth that transitions to subtle aromatic tobacco curing. A significant cinnamon burn tickles the back of the throat and lingers down into the chest, reminiscent in flavor to Red Hots candy.
Christian: Going in to this review, we had no expectations of what we may find in this Mystic Farm & Distillery Heart of Mystic Cask Strength Single Barrel Straight Bourbon Whiskey. What we found is something worthy of notice! This whiskey has a nice, sweet flavor profile that drinks well above its age. There isn’t any overwhelming punch of ethanol that you sometimes find in the younger barrel proof whiskies. Overall, I found this offering to be balanced and down right tasty. The bottom-line is, I like this whiskey. The flavor profile hits right in my sweet spot for what I enjoy in a bourbon. It is produced at cask strength, however, is drinkable neat with or without the addition of water. The flavors would also hold up well in a mixed drink. I applaud Mystic Farm & Distillery for this quality flavor-packed whiskey, made right here in North Carolina!
Rating: 3.65 Rickhouses
Mike: Growing up in ACC country and being a tormented Wake Forest Demon Deacon fan, I’d love nothing more than to hate this bourbon simply for their proximity to Duke University. But let’s be honest, that would be petty of me and we all know that a Chapel Hill location would be much worse! In all seriousness, this is an excellent bourbon coming out of Durham, NC from Mystic Farm & Distillery. It is distinctively balanced in flavor, and I’m loving the 45% wheat in the mash bill. I’d surmise this is the highest percentage of wheat in a bourbon I’ve tasted to date. Needless to say, I’m a fan and I will be going back to the ABC store to pick up another bottle, or two, of this expression and I’m looking forward to trying more of their whiskey products.
Rating: 4.0 Rickhouses