Unaged whiskey, or “white dog,” as it is affectionately nicknamed, also has been picking up speed alongside the brown (barrel-aged) spirits.
Still something of a novelty, the crystal-clear grain distillate—essentially akin to moonshine—has recently found favor among cocktail enthusiasts. Some describe it as pungently aromatic and slightly sweet.
Buffalo Trace began a limited commercial release of its white dog in spring 2010, but most white whiskeys are the work of young micro-distilleries like Death’s Door, in Wisconsin; Finger Lakes Distilling, in upstate New York; Tuthilltown, in the Hudson Valley; the Copper Fox Distillery, in Northern Virginia; and House Spirits, in Portland, Ore.
Some bartenders are so enthusiastic about the raw whiskey that they are reworking cocktails to feature it. For example, at The Sanctuary Resort, mixologist Jason Asher is experimenting with a White Whiskey Sour ($13), made with Buffalo Trace’s unaged whiskey. “It accentuates citrus like crazy,” he explains. “A whiskey sour with white whiskey is like nothing you’ve ever had.”