Editor’s note: The text below was transcribed from the torn pages of a journal discovered in the fireplace of an abandoned farmhouse. The whereabouts of its author are unknown.
Oh, what madness ever compelled me to pour a dram of Graverobber Unholy Rye? Since the moment that this annual release from New Hampshire’s Tamworth Distilling touched my lips, my mind has not known a moment of peace, and I fear it shall fracture before I have time to escape the long-entombed evils that this accursed flavored whiskey has arisen.
I damn the hubris and foolishness that led me to accept a sample in the first place. Plainly written in its press release was the fact that the whiskey is flavored with maple syrup tapped from trees that sit in a colonial-era graveyard. I tremble to imagine the unholy sepulchers that nursed its roots—and the wrath of its long-dead denizens upon learning that their syrup has fallen into mortal hands.
I admit that I first imagined this spirit to have a sweet nose dominated by maple syrup. But instead, it proved far dryer with oak, leather, and sawdust taking a more prominent position. Yes, there was still a maple undercurrent, but it was far more subtle than what I had imagined.
But maple emerged front-and-center on the palate, where it was joined by caramel. The whiskey had a rich, round mouthfeel, and the center of its palate was joined by a malty, bready note that had me thinking of Eggo waffles—surely an influence of the maple flavor, but enjoyable nonetheless. It ended with butterscotch and a gentle current of rye spice, which extended into its long, warm, and lightly spiced finish.
I had suspected that it may prove a worthy juice for Old-Fashioned-making, and was proven right. The built-in syrup meant that no sweetener would be needed, and I simply added two dashes each of Angostura and Peychaud’s. The whiskey’s rich sweetness and round body were cut by aromatic spice to great effect, and the bitters seemed to emphasize the already existing spice notes from the whiskey as well.
However, I am afraid that my time left to savor it is growing scarce. Ever since that first pour, I have not known a night of restful sleep. When the sun goes down, I hear their ghostly footsteps plodding on the street, the landing, the staircase, growing ever-closer to me. More terrible still is the sound that comes from what would have been a human mouth, an evil dry-sucking noise that at first feels alien, but to my horror, becomes recognizable…
The thirst for maple syrup!
— 45% ABV