American distillery Lost Spirits fourth cask of Leviathan I – heavily peated single malt whiskey


California – 53% ABV – $50 (sadly now sold out but you can get Leviathan II for $50.  You may want to hop on this as these casks render less than 200 bottles each).

Leviathan I, Cask # 4

Today will be the third exploration into a bit of an oddity amongst American whiskeys.  What makes Lost Spirits Leviathan so unique?  Though I’ve touched on that previously, let’s review it again:

Well, it’s a single malt to start. (Yes I, like everybody else’s uncle and their respective monkeys, read the NY Times article about the surge in the American single malts.)  Beyond being a single malt whisky Leviathan is:

  • Peated to 110ppm (only Islay’s Bruichladdich can claim a higher peat ppm with their Octomore)
  • Matured in a late harvest Cabernet cask (few people have even heard of this style wine)
  • Single cask, cask strength, non-chill filtered, no colors added… the whole she-bang that whisk(e)y aficionados/anoraks/geeks look for in a whisk(e)y.

Maybe “oddity” is not the best descriptor.  Maybe they’re a bit of a loner and a rebel.  Yeah, that’s better.

You may have already read my review of Cask # 1 and/or Cask # 3.  Here are my notes for Cask # 4:

Lost-Spirits-Leviathan-cask-4On the nose –  The nose is noticeably malt-forward but the maltiness has a deep, dank cellar-like malted barley quality.

Almost humid in scent.

As with Cask # 3, we’re getting some Horse Hindquarters Here (a triple H, different than HHH a la “Pump Up the Volume”).

Mezcal-like in my book with the burnt quality (not so much peaty but burning smoke).

Whoa.  Grape “Bonkers” candies.

Heavy on the strawberry-jam-like sniffyness.

Dark millet cookies/biscuits minus any addition of cardamom powder.

Lost-Spirits-Leviathan-cask-4-2On the mouth –  Barrel char mixed with sweet red table wine.

Fleshy bits upon the peach pits (much like cask # 3).

I have to say that I’m very happy with the mouthfeel.  Oily, tongue coating and rich.

Nowhere near as smokey in flavor as it is in scent.  Very fruity, woody and winey with smoke around the edges reminding the dear drinker that yes, this is a peated whisky.

Lost-Spirits-Leviathan-cask-4-3And finally, some over ripened mango right before some tannin-y dryness kicks in…

Finish – Lasting and now some sweetened spicy notes emerge and dance about on the center of the tongue.

In sum – What can I say about this whiskey?  Well, it is very much a mood whiskey and a whiskey I could find myself in the mood for quite often.

While it is a big ‘ol peat monster it’s not trying to be Scotch whisky.  It really is it’s own animal and stands alone  (and quite tall) in the US Single Malt whisk(e)y arena.