For this quarter’s selection, we’re bringing you a style of whiskey we’ve never introduced to our club members before; Light Whiskey. Light Whiskey was introduced in the 60’s and 70’s, and its purpose was to compete with clear spirits, like vodka, which were gaining popularity amongst consumers at the time. The idea was to distill the whiskey at a very high proof with the intention of “stripping its flavors”, in hopes to attract vodka drinkers. What was intended not to be aged ended up being aged anyway, and in turn has created a very unique style that has the whiskey community talking (and drinking). Though Light Whiskies are high in proof, they tend to drink way lower than they actually are, which can be fun or dangerous, depending who you ask. Don’t fear the proof!
Brendon Pineda, Spirits, Beer and Wine Enthusiast
Cat's Eye 'Obtanium' Light Whiskey aged 16 Years PJ Single Barrel Select
Cat’s Eye is a family-owned micro-distillery out of Iowa. They distill their own whiskey and source barrels from other distilleries to further age and blend themselves. One of the owners, John Baker, has decades of experience under his belt – previously working at Honey Creek Distillery. The second owner, Gene Nassif is in charge of partnering with other distilleries to source barrels.
Unlike many whiskey brands, John and Gene do not limit themselves on where they source whiskey. The most popular distillery where whiskey brands purchase distillate from is MGP (Midwest Grain Products) in Indiana, and though Cat’s Eye does source from MGP, they are also known to source from distilleries in Kentucky and Tennessee.
John and Gene are gaining recognition from the whiskey community for their most popular release, Obtainium. Obtainium is a Light Whiskey sourced from MGP, and depending on the barrel, the age of the whiskey ranges from 13-16 years old. Light whiskies are becoming popular mainly for how relatively inexpensive they are compared to Bourbons and Ryes of the same age. To be considered Light Whiskey, the spirit needs to be distilled between 160 and 190 proof, and aged for any length of time in used or uncharred new oak barrels. You’ve probably never seen Light Whiskies on the shelf at your local shop. Cat’s Eye is on a very short list of whiskey producers that are finding these unique casks and bringing them to market. You’re enjoying this style of whiskey at the beginning of its incline to popularity!
- Light copper
- toasted coconut
- coconut flakes
- milk chocolate
- caramel fudge
- Soft and silky entry with more notes of toasted coconut and melted Almond Joy
- Long and spice-forward
- 99% Corn
- 1% Malted Barley