To refresh your memory, Tincup is made in Colorado by Jess Graber, best known as the founder of Stranahan’s single malt. Tincup is a much different product: MGP-sourced bourbon that has a little bit of Stranahan’s added to the mix. This is why Tincup is labeled as “American Whiskey” and not a bourbon. The original Tincup carries no age statement, but this new expression packs a 10-year punch. It also does not include the addition of any Stranahan’s, which means that, even though it doesn’t say “bourbon” on the label, that’s basically what it is.
The nose of Tincup 10 is rich and soulful, sweet but not saccharine, round around the edges but not at all flabby. Notes of almonds, nutmeg, green bananas, and baked apples all come in and out of focus atop a core of caramel and gentle wood notes. The palate is equally rich and lush, almost chewy in the mouth, with a ton of nutty caramel, vanilla, and a lick of spice all coming to bear. This develops on the palate and in the glass, revealing notes of milk chocolate, cinnamon, and some late-game lemon peel. Now, none of those flavors or aromas are particularly surprising to find in your whiskey, but Tincup 10 manages to pull them all together with such a beautiful balance that to complain about any of it would be borderline heresy. All told, it’s a great bourbon — er, American whiskey — and at a good price, too.