Art of the Spirits Honors “The Originals”

“Silver Wings upon their chest….”

Once again, it is my pleasure to give you a review of the latest selection for Art of the Spirits. This one will start a little differently as I believe a brief history lesson is in order first. As a veteran of this great nation, anything patriotic or honoring the military gets an immediate “Shut up and take my money” response from me. This whiskey is no exception. 

The labeling pays tribute to “The Originals,” the original Green Berets that is – now turn to page 10 in your military textbook.

“These are few of America’s Best…”

Originating in the early 1950s, the 10th Special Forces Group became active in Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Their mission was to conduct partisan warfare behind enemy lines in case of an invasion by communist forces in Europe. The Green Beret became an iconic symbol that they wore to distinguish themselves from the usual conventional Army. In 1962, President John F. Kennedy officially recognized their right to this uniform addition and ordered that the Green Beret be a “symbol of excellence, a badge of courage, a mark of distinction in the fight for Freedom.”

In the mid-1990s, the 10th Special Forces were relocated to Fort Carson in Colorado Springs, Colorado. It is here that this patriotic excellence not only lives but where Art of the Spirit’s created this fantastic bourbon. 

“100 men will test today.”

This Art of the Spirit’s release (rumored to be a series…it’s tough to type with fingers crossed, by the way.) once again features the artistic mastery of Colorado’s David Uhl. Honoring the brave and fearless men who fight and sacrifice for this beloved country. This label epitomizes the excellence of this particular unit. 

“But only 3 win the Green Beret.”

A cask strength bourbon aged three and half years in a 30-gallon new American oak barrel then finished two months in a 12-year-old Colombian rum cask. This whiskey is uncut and unfiltered and finished at 64% ABV.

Now for my Combat Assessment:

Color: Golden honey with crimson sparks when held to the light. Solid legs cling long to the glass. 

Nose:  Sweet on the senses. Toffee with a bit of caramel apple

Taste: A very creamy mouthfeel coats the entire pallet with hot cinnamons. 

Finish: Super long finish. You’ll feel this one for a while.

This bourbon is super high proof, 128 to be exact, so I have to be fully transparent in my review. A lot of folks don’t like the higher-proofed whiskies and choose to steer clear. I believe it’s because they don’t know all the tricks to enjoy it. For me, adding a couple of drops of room temp water opened up an entirely new experience. After my initial tasting, I did the water trick and immediately was greeted by butterscotch and vanillas. The heat and finish calmed, but the great tastes remained. Hopefully, the point of this confession is to help those who fear the higher-proof bourbons and show them there is a way to enjoy them without making them into a cocktail.  I encourage all to follow the Art of Spirits closely and to check out the beautiful pieces created by David Uhl. As I mentioned to Richard Paul, the Master Distiller, the bottles, and the bourbon have become my art collection to display long after the Spirit has been enjoyed. I can’t wait to add more to my “gallery.”

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