Hochstadter's Slow & Low Rock and Rye 8 Year 100 Proof Limited Release
100% raw local honey from Pa. Air-dried navel oranges from Fl. Angostura-style cocktail bitters and a pinch of rock candy.
The 100 proof Slow & Low certainly smells and tastes like it’s got some extra age and refinement on it. The whiskey is much more pronounced on the nose, and you know you’re drinking a whiskey cocktail - deeper notes of caramelization, rye bread, pepper and baking spices. The orange has been retracted in intensity and is better integrated into the whole. It’s markedly hotter, which isn’t necessarily a positive, but simultaneously better balanced.
On the palate, these impressions hold true. It’s a bit hot, brash and boozy, but after a sip or two of adjustment, the assertive flavors won us over. This cocktail is less sweet, more “rich” - it earns its level of residual sugar with increased complexity, caramelization and barrel character. Rye spice and cinnamon play nicely with orange and assertive booze, and all the rough edges and any sense of artificiality of the 84 proof version have been smoothed away. In short, it’s much closer to something you’d actually be served at a cocktail bar.