Clear Creek McCarthy's Oregon Single Malt Whiskey (750ml)

SKU #1010309 Whisky Advocate

Outer quote mark 3 year old peated malt whisky, aged in Oregon oak. Rich nose of peat—burning leaves, a touch of sweet diesel—and fresh oak. There's no stinting on the peat; it's young, it's in your face. Whiskey to stand toe-to-toe with Portland's hopped-to-blazes beers. Not just peat: creamy malt makes a solid floor and an exit that may be the most complex part of the experience. Refined for a 3 year old. Limited annual release. (Vol. 22, #4) Inner quote mark

K&L Notes

After working directly with Steve McCarthy for years and even doing a single cask program with him at one point, I was incredibly sad when he decided to retire and hand the reins over to Hood River, the company that bought Clear Creek distillery. I was skeptical that Steve's meticulous care for quality and ethics would be as sharp and that those traits would shine through in future Clear Creek products like they had in the past. It's important to keep an open mind, however, you can't prejudice yourself against any wine or spirit before you've given it a fair shake. When I tasted this year's new batch of McCarthy's Single Malt, the peated Oregon-distilled whisky that tastes a bit like Kilchoman or Laphroaig, I have to admit that I was quite impressed. They'd managed to retain all the potent flavor of Steve's older releases, but had cleaned up some of the grit and rounded off some of the rough edges. The whisky tastes incredibly professional, meaning that I think it's a big step forward for the brand. If you put the new batch of McCarthy's in a lineup with some of Islay's younger stalwarts, I think the Oregon whisky would stand a serious chance of fooling a few professionals. This might be the best batch of McCarthy's I've ever tasted, even though I honestly hoped it wouldn't be. Hood River seems to know what they're doing, while paying homage to the foundations of their inheritance. (David Driscoll, K&L Spirits buyer)

Price: $49.99

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Product Reviews:

By: David Othenin-Girard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 3/28/2017 | Send Email
The lovely McCarthy Whiskey is our friend Steve's real legacy and it was bitter sweet to try this new batch now that he's passed the reins on to new owners. Steve is just a fabulous distiller and since the distillery acquired the Clear Creek Brand at the beginning of 2014 and McCarthy's is always aged 3 years in Oregon Oak, this is likely the last of his personal distillate. The small scale has always meant subtle difference in each bottling, so batch variations is to be expected here. While the aging and blended would have been completed by the new owners at Hood River, the heart of this spirit is still Steve's. It remains a wonderful and unique offering, that's equal parts clean peat and woodsy oak. One the palate the campfire and pine notes really turn up. Many years ago, Steve had a great idea to buy peaty Scottish barley from Islay, distill it on a pot and age it in Oregon Oak and hopefully his legacy will continue for many years to come, but right now this whiskey remains a classic as it always has been, delicious!

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