Shenk’s Homestead 2020 45.6% ABV


This is a Kentucky sour mash whiskey from Michter’s distillery. This unique release has been aged in some Chinquapin oak casks alongside American oak. Just 955 bottles have been released at 45.6% ABV.
Shenk’s Homestead commemorates the original Shenk’s distillery, a precursor to Michter’s. 
First tasted as part of our Christmas 2021 tasting, along with Shenk’s Homestead 2020 and Michters 10yo Sib.

Appearance: Dark as you like. A Mahogony with a slight orange hue. Lovely thick oily film when swirled developing into lots of umptious thick legs.

Nose: Big bold wafts of cherry, dried fruits, caramel, brown and icing sugar, coffee grounds and orange.
Decent ABV presence too, a nice alcohol hum to accompany the plethora of aromas from the glass.
After a time, there are more forest elements presenting themselves. Forest floor damp leaves and a touch of pine freshness.

Palate: A decent mouthfeel, not as oily and buttery as previous releases (2018 in particular) but not thin by any means.
The cherry, dried fruits and confectionary sugar continue from the nose. The orange also continues, in fact, it grows and grows the more you drink. Coupled with a slight white pepper/chilli heat it’s reminiscent of fizzy orangeade!
There’s a cherry ripple cutting through more subtle baking spice notes, quite concentrated and almost sharp (imagine raspberry ripple ice cream buy cherry flavour).
Wood and spice notes also appear on the palate, balancing nicely with the sweetness. There’s a medicinal note too, almost liquorice-like.

Finish: Liquorice and cherry-flavoured medicine. The subtle minty pine remains for any time, along with chocolate and a blood orange bitterness.

Overall: I really like this, it’s Shenk’s and I have a soft spot for it. It’s bold and complex, full of sweet Christmas elements with a slight spiciness and well-balanced.
That said, it’s nowhere near the sheer buttery delight of the 2018 release.

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