Clyde May’s Special Reserve Whiskey just debuted this fall as the first line extension from the Alabama whiskey brand. This high rye bourbon mash is a blend of three whiskeys that have been mellowed together in a non-cold filtered process and aged between five and six years in heavily charred American oak casks. Like the flagship Clyde May’s Whiskey, the Special Reserve is also finished with a hint of dried apples for that trademark Clyde May’s flavor profile.
But while the flagship bottle is 85 proof, Clyde May’s Special Reserve clocks in at 110 proof. And that 55% ABV hides itself well, as on the nose the whiskey is warm, but not too hot. Aromas include cinnamon, vanilla and apples reminiscent of a spiked holiday pie. It’s spicy and grippy on the palate, with tannic, dry wood alongside more spices and fruit. Here too it’s warm, but not overly so as the whiskey’s proof continues to play nice. It finishes long, dry and flavorful with cinnamon, vanilla and apples lingering until the end.
Clyde May’s Special Reserve is an easy going, flavorful expression. That apple finishing process really smooths out any rough edges and keeps things very drinkable from start to finish. We’re content sipping this one neat, but the application in cocktails–especially holiday cocktails–is interesting, as those apple-cinnamon notes are decidedly festive.
– 55% ABV
CE Rating: ★★★★