I would like to start off this column with an outright lie: whiskey is whiskey is whiskey.  That just ain’t so.  Well, maybe there was a time, way back when, during the wild, wild west that it was truer, but even back then every saloon had the rot gut they served to strangers and the good stuff they held back for regulars.  Let me explain my lie.

First of all whiskey can be made from barley, malted barley, rye, malted rye, wheat and corn and any combination of some or all of those ingredients.  It can be distilled in numerous ways, filtered in various other ways, and then aged utilizing different techniques. All of those variables can produce malt whiskey, and grain whiskey that can be further combined to produce single malt whiskey, blended malt whiskey, blended whiskey (a combination of malt and grain whiskeys), cask strength whiskey and single cask whiskey.

Then of course different countries produce their own unique whiskeys. America is known for its bourbon whiskey while Scotland is known for its scotch whisky.  America is also renowned for its moonshine whiskey or white lightning.  At least 13 countries produce whiskeys with taste profiles unique to their borders. So you see whiskey is not just whiskey it is an adventure waiting to happen to your taste buds.


This brings us to our current taste drive, Alibi whiskey.  Alibi is a corn-based whiskey with elements of rye and malted barley aged in first-fill American oak casks and is distilled in Indiana and blended in Florida.  And that just about covers most of the above mentioned possibilities.

OK, let’s see what’s under the hood.  The bottle has an old world motif with a nice tree outline taking up the entire back of the bottle.  The Alibi lettering is done in gold letters and inserted into a western themed logo.  The nose is very laid back with almost no alcohol vapors.  I get faint traces of oak and vanilla with a hint of spice.  This is one very gentle nose for any whiskey.  On the palate, I finally get a bit of the whiskey burn I was expecting but not so much as to make it uncomfortable.  The grains come forward backed by spicy sweet notes and of course the vanilla and oak in the rear.  This is a very straightforward and uncomplicated whiskey that is very gentle and yet interesting enough to make me want to sip it. It is also smooth enough to be sippable straight up.  It most closely reminds me of Canadian whiskeys but is a bit sweeter.  The finish is slightly spicy, slightly sweet and nice and smooth and short and to the point.  On the rocks, the taste profile acquires more depth and roundness and all the separate palate notes combine more completely.

For anyone venturing into the wild, wild world of whiskey for the first time, I would recommend Alibi as a good starting point that won’t overwhelm you and will definitely welcome you. (Check out some great Alibi Whiskey cocktails, too.)  Besides, at only $24.00 per 750ml bottle the price of admission is pretty low.


By George Brozowski