Sons of Liberty’s Pumpkin Spice Whiskey joined by IPA-derived cousin

GOB_ThurstySons_0926

Now that it’s officially autumn, it’s become almost impossible not to stumble across some pumpkin-spiced monstrosity or other: pumpkin spice doughnuts, pumpkin spice coffee, pumpkin spice toothpaste, probably. Perhaps one of the last products you’d expect to be pumpkin spiced, however, is a whiskey, particularly one from a small, local distillery. But South Kingstown, R.I.’s Sons of Liberty have been pushing the envelope when it comes to whiskeys since it launched about four years ago.

Mike Reppucci founded the distillery with Dave Pickerell, a former Maker’s Mark master distiller, after a few years of drinking single malts in London while in business school. “I wondered why there was no great American single malt,” he explains. “I always dug bourbon, but I didn’t love it.”

Their first offering was Uprising Whiskey, which has been available in the Boston market for some time now. A barely aged whiskey, with light pepper and varied fruit notes, it’s a fine option for drinkers looking to branch out into more locally produced spirits. Like most whiskey, it’s essentially beer that’s been distilled (without the hops), Reppucci explained. In this case, it’s distilled from a stout.

“I always wondered why there was no seasonal contextuality with whiskey [as there is with beer],” he said.

GOB_ThurstySons2_0926

That’s where the idea came from for last year’s launch of Pumpkin Spice Whiskey, now returning to the market. This year, a second seasonal, a hop-flavored summer whiskey, is available as well. The latter began its life as an IPA, was aged, then hopped, and results in a citrusy, bright sip.

“We’re really proud of that one; we felt like it was in balance, and wasn’t smacking you in the face with the hops,” he says. “It’s almost like a genever, but with no juniper berries. The idea was a lighter whiskey, to have the feeling of a summer citrus beer.”

He recommends trying it with tonic. “That hop and tonic is sick,” he says. “It acts like a barrel-aged gin, adds a great note with citrus on it.” Otherwise, you might try it in a Boulevardier-style setup — with Carpano, Campari or Aperol, as he takes it.

It’s an intriguing variation, and a much easier concept to swallow, at first, than a pumpkin spice-flavored whiskey. For that, they use locally grown pumpkins, roast them and squeeze out the juice, before blending it with the whiskey and adding vanilla, clove, allspice, cinnamon and orange.

Sacrilege, right? “Yeah it’s funny; it’s been both sides of the spectrum,” Reppucci says. “One dude on Twitter wrote, ‘These guys need to die.’ I was like, ‘That’s aggressive for whiskey.’ People have been fired up, but it’s not sugary sweet, and we’re using real pumpkins. When we do tastings, whiskey people are like, ‘No way, I’m not trying it.’ But then they do and they say, ‘Dude, that’s not bad.’” The reaction overall has been better than you might think, he promises.

Reppucci recommends trying it in a Manhattan with Carpano, or with fresh apple cider. And, while I might not reach for it as an everyday sipping whiskey, it’s certainly unique and worth a try, particularly if you prefer your wintery spices with a touch of booze — or if the line at Starbucks is too long.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
International

Jews in eastern Ukraine ordered to register, Kerry…

Secretary of State John Kerry condemned reports that Jews in eastern Ukraine had been ordered to register with the authorities "or suffer the consequences."

National

Chelsea Clinton pregnant with first child

Chelsea Clinton is pregnant with her first child.

National

Divers struggle in search for South Korean ferry…

By Jungmin Jang and Narae KimMOKPO/JINDO, South Korea (Reuters) - Rescuers struggled with strong waves and murky waters on Thursday as they searched for hundreds…

National

New Hampshire moves to decriminalize adultery

For the first time in hundreds of years, it's about to be legal to cheat on your spouse in New Hampshire.

Television

Dick Wolf to bring fictionalized world of 'Law…

A&E has ordered a pilot called "D.O.A." from "Law and Order" mastermind Dick Wolf that will focus on real detectives reexamining cold cases. A trio…

Movies

Review: 'Transcendence' is not stupid but sometimes lacks…

The cyberthriller "Transcendence" explores artificial intelligence, nanotechnology and other ethical quandaries, but has too much ambition, if anything.

Television

Shane West talks WGN America's 'Salem'

The actor on history lessons, a new network and showing his butt.

Music

Both feet on the ground with Aimee Mann…

What began with a cool double-bill of Ted Leo opening for Aimee Mann morphed into a full-fledged collaborative project that they're calling The Both. “There…

MLB

Jimmy Rollins is key to Phillies success

When John Kruk was asked about what the Phillies need to contend for a playoff berth, the ESPN analyst said Jimmy Rollins needs to play like a MVP again.

MLB

Ben Revere lifts Phillies to avoid sweep

Ben Revere came through with a two-out RBI single against Atlanta’s tough lefthander Alex Wood.

NBA

Season wrap: 76ers make the grade

The 76ers opened the 2013-14 season with a victory over the Miami Heat. The Sixers closed the season with a win at Miami.

NBA

Fantasy basketball: Finding next year's NBA studs

Before we put the 2013-14 fantasy basketball season to bed, it’s worth thinking about next year’s breakouts while they’re fresh in our mind.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.

Travel

Earth Day travel in the Florida Keys

See why this eco-friendly destination deserves your attention.

Tech

Sorry, Facebook — FarmVille goes mobile with 'Country…

Zynga has released a version of the hit "FarmVille" tailored for smartphones and tablets in the hope of reaping a bumper crop of players.