Been deficient around here, friends! I can't claim that tonight's post will be that lengthy, long in coming as it is. I just realized that I've been meaning to do so a post on this stuff for months now, and since the bottle is nearly gone it's go time.
Crooked Water appears to be a fairly new producer based around Lake Minnetonka, making only a handful of unique products for now. This one is a young bourbon, finished for a relatively long time (6+ months for a less than 2-year-old bourbon) in ex-port barrels.
Personally, I don't normally favor port-finished whiskeys (notably Angel's Envy, which despite being very highly rated I don't actually like much) but the young, sweet character here gets along really well with the raisiny character that the port contributes. It's still got a bit of hot, marshmallowy, congener character that indicates a young spirit, but not to an overwhelming degree. Balancing that out is a really nice spice level with a rounded, sweet mouthfeel; the only thing that really mars the flavor is a rather peppery and hot finish, but it's not overwhelming. Really surprisingly sippable for a whiskey of such a young pedigree, and as we discovered during our cocktail bonanza, it mixes really nicely too. Those hotter spicy notes stand up well to stirred cocktails and the port character makes for a really tasty Manhattan in particular.
I'll have to keep an eye out for some other Crooked Water products!