Hear me out. I am fairly new to the bourbon whiskey scene but came in fast as a writer who does research on topics I know little about. My love for bourbon is born not only out of taste but also out of respect for its history and stories. I’m full of random facts and constantly learning more. One thing I learned early on when studying bourbon is that you don’t mess with the way things are done. It makes those of us who believe in the rich traditions of Kentucky bourbon, nervous. After tasting a bourbon with the added flavor of chocolate, I see that tradition can remain as whiskey evolves.
Ballotin is created by Saloon Spirits, LLC, in Louisville, Kentucky, and was founded by Paul Tuell. Paul is a Kentucky boy himself and didn’t go into this half-hazard. He understands bourbon and has created a drink that brings out the beautiful bourbon notes we love rather than covering them up. It’s like pairing the right chocolate with the perfect bourbon, all in one bottle.
My husband and I sat down to finally taste our bottle of Ballotin Chocolate Whiskey the other night. It had been torture opening the bottle each day just to get a sniff and maybe steal a tiny sip here and there. I felt it was best we do not drink it on a weeknight in case we couldn’t resist overindulging. I have to say, this drink is tough to put down.
The notes in Ballotin Chocolate Whiskey
I recommend you allow the Ballotin to open up before beginning your taste. You can do this by allowing it to sit in the glass for a while or adding a couple of drops of water.
Here are the notes we found:
The gorgeous color changes depending on the lighting. At first, I saw a deep, golden amber and then near a different light, the whiskey was a garnet red.
On the nose
*Very vanilla forward with sweet dark cherry.
*A slight hint of oak
*After it opened up we noted a nuttiness as well
*On the tongue, dark chocolate as well as vanilla and mocha
*Spicey notes (slightly cinnamon) mingling with tobacco
*caramel finish that lingers on the tongue for quite some time
What surprised us is the layers of this chocolate whiskey. I wasn’t expecting it. We were giddy with excitement (you understand I’m sure) as it continued to open up and we continued to taste new notes, including butterscotch and a subtle hint of orange.
Add Ballotin Chocolate Whiskey to your collection
Ballotin Chocolate Whiskey feels and tastes like a luxurious dessert. There’s a sweetness that is far from overbearing and it lessens the burn often felt by whiskey. I think those new to bourbon might like to give it a try for that reason alone; however, the taste is the best reason.
Seasoned bourbon whiskey drinkers will enjoy something new and different and be amazed at how this does taste like bourbon — like a rare and unique one. Ballotin Chocolate whiskey isn’t a bottle of whiskey with some chocolate thrown in. It’s well thought out, just as if one were pairing the right chocolate with the right bourbon.
Mr. Tuell has no intentions of turning out as many flavors as possible. He tells Kentucky Living, “I never want to see a day when there is Cotton-Candy whiskey, believe me,” he says. “However, people have become more accustomed to drinks and foods that infuse flavors that they never would have thought of before. Plus, what we are infusing into our mix are all off the bourbon flavor wheel.”
I say it is perfection and a welcome surprise.