Booze Review

Whiskey Review – Tincup American Whiskey

Back in mid-July, we received an email from Colorado based PR firm, Backbone Media, announcing the release of two new bottle sizes for Tincup American Whiskey. In addition to the standard issue 750ml bottle, this past summer, Tincup released the Nugget size bottle which holds 375ml and the Motherlode sized bottle which holds 1.75L. Here’s how they were described in the press release:

The Nugget features the same rugged hexagonal shape as its 750ml predecessor, which helps prevent the bottle from slipping or rolling downhill. Its portable size fits perfectly inside a backpack or rucksack for outdoor adventures and exploring. The 1.75L Motherlode is ideal for setting up basecamp and sharing with your team.

The signature TINCUP metal cap is included atop both bottles, inspired by the tin cups originally used by miners in the old Rocky Mountain mining town of Tincup, Colorado. These bottles are nicknamed as a nod towards this same heritage.

Be it alongside a frozen alpine lake or in camp at the base of a 14 thousand foot peak, TINCUP encourages you to find your own tasting room.

While I would never call myself an outdoorsman, I have grown to appreciate the peace and tranquility that can only be found in the forests and mountains that are scattered throughout this great land of ours, so I totally get where they’re going with the whole “sipping whisky in the great outdoors with your friends” motif.

During my second (and last) camping trip, I remember carrying a flask filled with Knob Creek Bourbon in my back pocket and sipping it throughout the weekend as we hiked, canoed, cooked, and sat around the fire. My version of outdoor living looked like this:

While the Tincup version looks like this:

THEIR version of outdoor living DEFINITELY looks more exciting than my version, but I doubt very much that I can pull off any of that gear hauling and mountain climbing business, so I’ll just stick to my version of sipping whisky round the fire. Much safer (I mean, what could possibly go wrong when you combine whisky and an open flame???), and definitely more relaxing.

Now that we have all that out of the way…

Here’s what the makers of Tincup have to say about their whiskey:

TINCUP is a blend of two great American whiskeys, each aged in #3 charred oak barrels. “High rye” bourbon, distilled and aged in Indiana, is blended with a small amount of Colorado single malt whiskey. These whiskeys are then cut with Rocky Mountain water. TINCUP is named for the Colorado mining pioneers and the tin cups from which they drank their whiskey.

And now for our review…

  • Appearance: Pale Amber color. You know, kinda like if our girl Amber hibernated her way through a brutal winter in the Colorado mountains. Our girl Amber would be quite pale after all that! (Limpd asks:Who is this Amber that G-LO and the West Coast Office keep referring to? I’ve never seen her around the neighborhood.“)
  • ABV: 42%
  • Aroma
    • Limpd: A bit of menthol with the alcohol vapors and a good bit of rye sharpness. I then get some syrupy sugars, hints of baking spices, and orange slices.
    • G-LO: Starts off with some delightfully herbally rye notes. After that, I get ginger, clove, burnt brown sugar (think the crisp edge of a thin, fresh baked, chocolate chip cookie), and some candied orange peel.
  • Taste
    • Limpd: A little thinner than I thought as it seemed fairly viscous in the glass. There is a good bit of heat upfront (more pepper than cinnamon), followed by a move towards those baking spices, and ending with a sweet, menthol blast that carries into a long, mild finish.
    • G-LO: Very light mouthfeel with just a touch of oiliness. Starts off kinda hot with some peppery cinnamon. Ginger and clove make an appearance at mid-palate with a touch of brown sugar to lend some balance. The mostly spicy sweetness comes together in the finish with lots of lingering heat that’s a ginger and cinnamon one-two punch.

The Verdict

Limpd: I love the Nugget. There, I said it! And, I’m not ashamed that my love of pretty, shiny packaging has once again come out. The size and shape of the bottle, the absence of a screw cap (I love the “Pop!” of the synthetic cork followed by the “Glug, glug, glug…” when I fill my Glencairn) and the eponymous tin cup. What’s not to love! And did I mention that all this pretty packaging comes with 375ml of whiskey too? Let’s finish (no, not Finnish) talking about the amber colored liquid that comes with all this very pretty packaging…

While I am not a big fan of rye, I liked how it played its role in Tincup. I thought the 42% ABV (while it could always be higher!) packed enough of a punch to keep things interesting. The balance could have been a little bit better (maybe a little more time in the barrel?) but the flavors were enjoyable, and I really liked the pleasant finish.

G-LO: Before I get to my verdict, let me start off with the price for this Nugget Sized (375 ml) bottle of Tincup American Whiskey: $16.99 MSRP. If you’ve ever browsed a whiskey list at a bar, then you know all too well how much $16.99 will buy you at your favorite whiskey watering hole, i.e. not much. Taking this into consideration, I’d say that Tincup is a damn fine value, especially when you consider that this whiskey comes with its own drinking cup! And don’t even get me started on the Tincup bottle which is a serious bit of pretty shiny packaging.

As far as the whisky itself, I really liked it. There’s nothing super complex going on here; it’s just an easy drinking and very pleasant tasting whiskey that’s good on its own and probably very good in a cocktail. If you have a friend that’s always been curious about American whiskey, but a little too scared to try it, I say hypnotize your friend with the pretty packaging, pour some of this gentle dram into that tin cup, and then give them a proper taste. Me thinks they’ll enjoy it!


Many thanks to the fine folks at Backbone Media for sending us this very generous sample!

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