Review: CB Fisher’s American Single Malt Whiskey 2022 Distiller’s Reserve Madeira Barrel Finish

DSR – NC – 026: CB Fisher’s American Single Malt Whiskey 2022 Distiller’s Reserve Madeira Barrel Finish

Company/Distillery: Greensboro Distilling Co./Fainting Goat Spirits, LLC

Location: Greensboro, NC

Mash Bill: 100% Malted Barley

Age Statement: No Age Statement; Finished 6 months in Madeira Wine Barrels

Proof/ABV: 105.5 Proof/ 52.75% ABV

Color & Viscosity: From the bottle, this CB Fisher’s American Single Malt Whiskey presents an old oak hue. Viewing this whiskey from the glass, it appears mahogany in color. A Medium viscous line develops when the glass is tilted to the side. Droplets, like tiny perforations appear, then become increasingly larger. The droplets form into a medium bodied lip as soon as the droplets slowly drudge down the sides of the tasting vessel.

Bottle Label Information:

Neck Label

“American Single Malt Whiskey”

“Artisanal Spirits | Family Owned”

“Fainting Goat Spirits”

Front Label

“CB Fisher’s”

“Handcrafted Small Batch”

“American Single Malt Whiskey”

“100% Malted Barley”

“Distilled and Bottled by Fainting Goat Spirits, Greensboro, NC”

“2022 Distiller’s Reserve Madeira Barrel Finish”

Back Label

“C.B. Fisher led men to battle, gambled his life savings on a gold mine, turned swampland into playgrounds, and left a mark everywhere he went. As a result; streets, neighborhoods, and city parks bear his name. The legend of his adventures gathered strangers together. Strangers became friends, friends became family, and for that we created our whiskey in his honor. Our American Single Malt Whiskey puts an American spin on a classic whiskey. Our grain to glass whiskey is handcrafted from 100% malted barley and aged in new American white oak barrels. Once matured, our barrels are hand selected by our Master Distiller to share with the world. With notes of fresh peaches, warm vanilla, and spiced honey, our American Single Malt Whiskey hopes to bring you together over your own tall tales and cocktails.”

“History made by hand by people who give a damn.”

“Distilled and bottled by Fainting Goat Spirits, Greensboro, NC”

Neck Tie

“Every year our Head Distiller selects a few barrels to hold back and experiment with, and for the second time ever, we are sharing it with the world. This year’s Distiller’s Reserve Collection is a limited release whiskey that transports you to the beautiful islands off the African coast, by taking our Fisher’s American Single Malt Whiskey and finishing it in used Madeira Wine Barrels for an additional 6 months. Marrying notes of sugar plums, pistachios, chocolate covered cherries, earl grey tea, sticky toffee, and caramel candies from grandmas’ purse during an exceptionally long church service; this whiskey can be enjoyed as an aperitif, dessert, or as the main course. However you choose to enjoy it, make sure it is with the ones you love most, cheers!”

Distillery Background

Greensboro Distilling Co./Fainting Goat Spirits

Greensboro Distilling Co./Fainting Goat Spirits was founded as a family-owned, small business in December 2015, by the husband and wife team of Bill Norman and Shelley Johnson Norman. Mr. Norman, who serves as Master Distiller, previously trained at The Culinary Institute of America in French cuisine where he mastered the ability to hone his palate. Mrs. Norman brings her passion for entrepreneurship and business management to Greensboro Distilling Co. The couple is joined by their children Andrew Norman, who serves as Master Blender, and Lesly Norman Hobbs, who brings a wealth of business experience, rounding out the Greensboro Distilling Co. management team.

The idea to distill spirits was hatched when Mr. Norman went on a tour of a distillery in Seattle, Washington while on vacation. It was on this trip that Mr. Norman quickly realized that his expertise in the kitchen would make him well-suited to own and run a distillery. Upon returning home, Mr. Norman reached out to his son, Andrew, who had taken a recent interest in home brewing and liquor infusions. The father and son duo would then begin to experiment and practice distilling before finally taking the plunge and launching the distillery. The dream became reality in December 2015 when they received their Distilled Spirits Plant (DSP) authorization.

Greensboro Distilling Co. is a grain-to-glass distillery, using fresh North Carolina corn, wheat, and rye grown on a farm in nearby Marshville, North Carolina. On a typical day at the distillery one can find the Normans grinding and mashing their own grains for the fermentation process. Their hands on approach doesn’t stop there, as the Normans continue to be active in the process through distillation with their Artisan Still Design still, aging in new American Oak barrels, and bottling their products.

Greensboro Distilling Co./Fainting Goat Spirits currently produces Tiny Cat Small Batch Vodka, CB Fisher’s American Single Malt Whiskey, Emulsion New American Gin, CB Fisher’s Bottled-in-Bond Bourbon Whiskey, and CB Fisher’s Straight Rye Whiskey!

Additional information regarding the distillery and its products can be found on their website.

Tasting Notes

Tasting Date/Vessel: July 13, 2023 – Neat in Glencairn Glass; Then with a few drops of distilled water.


Christian: In the bottle, CB Fisher’s American Single Malt Whiskey 2022 Distiller’s Reserve Madeira Barrel Finish offers an amazing sweetness on the nose. Heavy notes of brown sugar, freshly picked dark berries, decadent syrup, and just a hint of cereal grain. In my Glencairn glass, rich sweet tones lead the way. On the first pass I detect notes of sweet dark berries, freshly prepared oatmeal, and maple syrup. A gentle swirl brings forth a healthy dose of caramel syrup accompanied by a smidge of cinnamon candies. Dare I say a touch of dates and sweet milk chocolate are also present? What a nose! Wow, adding a few drops of distilled water takes an already sweet nose and ramps it up dramatically. Sweet rich maple syrup takes the forefront and is joined with fresh tobacco, fresh mixed berries, and toasted brown sugar. 

Mike: Slowly lifting the long neck bottle towards my nose, aromas of warmed berry compote and sweet cured tobacco permeate then transition to fresh oatmeal being folded over itself in a bowl. As I nose this single malt whiskey from the glass, my first impression is that of a rich campfire S’mores that fades to notes of dark chocolate covered raisins. A gentle swirl of the tasting vessel releases a caramel sweetness followed by a rich tobacco aroma.

Juan: Turn on the Blues! From the bottle, the initial aroma of fresh apricots, apple, and peach ignites all my senses. Its old oak color from resting in the bottle transitions smoothly into a shiny shade of golden in the glass. This warm appeal entices a heavy release of endorphins. I am excited to taste a whiskey that looks like a bourbon! In my glass, I am greeted with a hint of aromatic black pepper infused with sweet malt cereal. As I circle back for a second round, a lift of floral rose strikes me. There is no way this isn’t bourbon…


Christian: I’ve said it once but it bears repeating…wow…this American Single Malt Whiskey has a great mouthfeel that is nice in body, offering a soft coating on the tongue and roof of my mouth. Taking a second sip allows notes of sweet mixed berries, oats, and a decent hit of cinnamon spice. While sipping this, you can definitely detect the dryness from the Madeira Wine influence. One last pass allows me to notice hints of warm vanilla, cinnamon apple, and just a wisp of fresh maple syrup. On the palate, this whiskey really brings layers of different flavors and experiences as you continue to sip and enjoy. Distilled water takes a great mouthfeel and just smooths it out a little more – think silky with a little less body. The whiskey becomes a bit more dry with the addition of water and the oak char influence becomes a little more dominant. Notes of mixed berries, fresh oats, and warm vanilla are present but just a step behind the oak influence. 

Mike: This Fisher’s American Single Malt offers a semi-sweetness upfront then becomes dryer mid-palate. Traces of cherry flavored tobacco being fired in a pipe collide with dried sweet figs. A second pass of this Madeira Cask Finish Single Malt produces delicate apple notes intermingled with bold and sweet cinnamon, comparable to a fresh stick of Big Red gum.

Juan: The heat index on this Fisher’s Single Malt is high right from the first moment it touches my tongue. As it begins to settle down, the cinnamon flavor and hard candy butterscotch encourages yet another sip.


Christian:  The CB Fisher’s American Single Malt Distiller’s Reserve offers a medium to medium long finish that unleashes a burst of heat in the throat that carefully descends into the chest. In the finish, a small amount of oak bitterness is experienced. This flavor is joined by elements of caramelized honey, hay, sweet cinnamon candies, and white pepper. This reminds me of a soft Nashville Hot Honey sauce aka sweet heat that I am digging! The added distilled water does not detract or reduce the strength of this whiskey’s finish. Cinnamon candies, oak char, and berries remain present but are joined by a little more pop of the peppery notes. Boom! This is where the peach notes show up super late on the palate. What a refreshing surprise to find!

Mike: This Fisher’s American Single Malt offers a medium to long finish. This is a textbook “Kentucky hug” that warms and endures from the lower throat into the mid and lower chest. A cinnamon zest lingers, reminiscent of Red Hots candy or Atomic Fireballs then transitions to a mild black pepper tickle as it sits on the palate.

Juan: CB Fisher’s American Single Malt Madeira Finish brings forth the imagery of liquid syrup dripping slowly on the side of the glass. I am also getting hints of some walnut in the finish. Remove the labels and slap blind fold on me, I would say this is a bourbon! Fainting Goat Spirits has done an incredible job developing one of the best tasting whiskeys to ever grace my palete.

Our Rating

4.687/5.0 Rickhouses – “Can I purchase a bottle, please!”

Final Thoughts

Christian: The third time’s a charm so here I go again–WOW! CB Fisher’s American Single Malt 2022 Distiller’s Reserve Madeira Barrel Finish smashes two worlds together in a way that is absolutely gorgeous. You can definitely taste and detect notes from the wine barrel finish. There is undoubtedly influence from the 100% malted barley American Single Malt mash bill. But this is joined in a beautiful symphony of bold and absolutely enjoyable rich bold bourbon flavors. I truly believe this is an offering that can transcend the boxes into which the whiskey industry tries to cram its products. Fainting Goat Spirits, specifically Andrew and Bill Norman, have absolutely knocked this selection out of the park by producing a well-rounded, balanced, favorably priced gem of a whiskey. Enjoy this neat, with a cube, with a few drops of distilled water, or even in a cocktail. This whiskey will stand up to all of them. Welcome to the #1 spot in the Rickhouse Ramblings Top 10 List, Fainting Goat Spirits! You have put out a phenomenal barrel finished product that is more than deserving of that King of the Hill spot!!

Rating: 4.75 Rickhouses

Mike: Man, what a revelation! I’ve steered clear of American Single Malt whiskey because, to put it nicely, I’ve yet to develop a palate for Scotch which I’ve assumed are just poor attempts of an American version of Scotch. This offering from Fainting Goat Spirits has completely changed my perception! Their standard single malt offering is aged in new #4 charred oak for a minimum of 4 years, which already sets it apart from other single malts. It is then cask finished in Madeira barrels, for arguably the perfect amount of time. If I was sampling this blind, I’d swear I was drinking one of the double oaked private barrel pick bourbons Rickhouse Ramblings picked a few years ago. This is a unique whiskey and robust in flavor! If you like whiskey that packs a punch, this is definitely one you should try! Kudos to Bill and Andrew at Fainting Goat in Greensboro for setting a high bar for American Single Malt, and craft distilling in general!

Rating: 4.625 Rickhouses

Juan: This bottle is beautifully constructed with a special touch wrapped around its neck. Let the Whiskey Blues play on, invite a friend or two, and enjoy this bottle over some good conversation. JP’s Stick Pick: I recommend this one to any whiskey drinker to join with a Macanudo Maduro by Montego y Cia Cigar. Enjoy!


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