Review – Sinister Distilling Co., Sinner Series, Experimental Batch No. 5, (No Age Stated), 40%

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Someone once said that man is the only beast that can genuinely laugh and cry. This is true because we know how things are compared to what they should be. In other words, we are joyful when life moves along accordingly, and we cry when it steers into the ditch. Take, for example, the fast-food sandwich I ate while driving earlier this afternoon. How joyful I was when I discovered its crafters had been generous with its ingredients. How sad I was when a second bite triggered a small avalanche of ketchup and mayonnaise carried along by a few chunks of lettuce.

Thankfully, most of the unfortunate clump splattered into the cupholder. Ah, joy returned. What’s more, the drive-through attendant sent along plenty of napkins. I needed only to scoop up the slop, toss it out the window, and then wipe my hands clean with the napkins. And so, that’s what I did. I reached down, scooped up the chunks, and whipped them from my hand toward the window.

Except the window wasn’t rolled down. Somehow, I’d missed that step in the calculus, resulting in a ricochet of creamy condiments and a very sore hand. Indeed, sadness had returned. One might say it was dripping down the interior of my driver’s side window.

Well, things are what they are, and tomorrow will be a new day for laughing and crying. Until then, there’s one more thing worth mentioning that only the human beast can do: make whiskey. Although, if each step isn’t carefully minded throughout the process, as has already been shown, bad things can happen. Consider the Sinister Distilling Company’s “Sinner Series” Experimental Batch 5.

A promising dram, Batch 5 offers sugared vegetal scents right before it stabs you in the back of the throat with its chili peppers. Yes, chili peppers were added to the calculus. The only thing I can surmise about that particular choice is that someone actually meant to toss the peppers into a bin, but like my window, the container was closed, and the peppers bounced into the vat. And yet, instead of being an unfortunate misstep in the procedure, the result is an unusually lively sipper. I’d say the chili peppers are a fine partner to the hops used in the distillation, ultimately amplifying the ingredient in a way that communicates seasoned citrus—perhaps, limes and black pepper.

The whiskey concludes quite nicely with a medium-length echo of the American Oak barrels used in the finishing process. The chili peppers remain long after everything else fades.

Perhaps like the Sinister Distilling Company’s chili peppered whiskey, the glob of ketchup, mayonnaise, and lettuce I exploded against my car window was something of an accidental blessing. Perhaps. I can’t see how, yet I’ll revisit the event in search of its positives. Until then, I suppose I’m just glad my sore hand was still functional enough to pop the cork on the Batch 5 edition.