This is the second offering from the Splinter Group, which produces Straight Edge Bourbon. Like Straight Edge, the whiskey is sourced and blended from various distillers, then finished in wine barrels from the Orin Swift Winery in the Alexander Valley in California.
Unlike Straight Edge, however, the Splinter Group doesn’t say where they get the whiskey from, nor do they specify the mash bill. But does that really matter? All I know is that it’s a great whiskey.
My first exposure to Slaughter House was when my favorite bar, Willard Hicks in Campbell, CA, ran out of Straight Edge. My bartender then showed me Slaughter House whom she said was also produced by The Splinter Group. So I decided to give it a whirl.
To me, there was obviously a bit more rye present as the whiskey was bright and just a little hot. But like Straight Edge, it had that fruity component that could only come from a wine barrel.
What I Smell
Just as with Straight Edge, I first get a hint of berry. It’s very subtle, but it’s an indicator of something pleasingly unusual going on. Add to that a slight floral quality then toasted grain on the back-end.
What I Taste
This is a warm and toasty whiskey. The fruitiness from the nose persists onto the palate, but it’s accompanied by a slight cinnamon toast component, then finishing with a slight astringency and subtle bite. I would have expected a more toothy mouthfeel from those components. The flavors come on quick and in-your-face but fade quickly, but they don’t disappear entirely, bolstered by the medium to long finish.
How I Like to Drink It
I usually drink this neat with an ice chip or a few drops of water to help the whiskey bloom – especially if poured from a fresh bottle. But I also love this in an Old Fashioned or a Manhattan. With a Manhattan, the fruit really plays well with vermouth.
Since I discovered this a few years ago, I’ve gotten a bottle of this every six to nine months. It’s a testament to how much I like it because it doesn’t stay on my shelf for long.