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- Brand: Ironroot Republic
- ABV: 53.75%
Ironroot Republic is a microdistillery in Denison, Texas. Started by brothers Jonathan and Robert Likarish, their products (bourbon, corn whiskey, vodka and gin) are grain-to-glass and use fresh, local, non-GMO ingredients.
The Icarus straight corn whiskey is non-chill filtered and matured for 24 months in both port and peat casks, before bottling in 2017. Thanks to @JasonHambrey for this sample.
The colour is deep red, almost like a pinot noir. On the nose we have blackberry jam, wet campfire, brown butter, chilli chocolate and cardamom. There's an astringency consistent with a young whiskey. Cloves. Hint of nail polish. Burnt caramel. A drop of water brings out a bit of peat smoke and more butter. Very rich; there are a few off-notes but overall this has real depth.
On the palate we get a big burst of alcohol; fight through it and you get black cherry, very dark chocolate and aged overproof rum. Black liquorice (or is that Likarish?) Extremely bitter. Slightly sticky mouthfeel. Not complex enough to overcome the unpleasant bitterness, which water simply cannot quell.
The finish is burnt oak, more berry fruits (primarily cherry and blackberry) and a hint of sulphur. The nose promises an immature but balanced dram; unfortunately, the palate tosses that balance out the window and invites a bunch of crack-head bikers in to tear shit up. However, it's interesting enough to be worth trying, and I would check out other whiskies from this distillery. This one though, doesn't quite cut it for me.