Once upon a time, in the year 2013, we were among the fortunate individuals who were had the opportunity to sample the clear spirits that were produced by Top of the Hill Distillery (TOPO), which included their selection of white whisky. Since that time, the distillery that is located in Chapel Hill, North Carolina has been making concerted efforts to improve the quality of its whisky by attempting to implement improvements, introducing new products, and ageing it in barrels. Because of this, we came to the realisation that it would be appropriate to investigate their most recent offerings. This was the conclusion that we reached. The vast majority of TOPO’s grain, which is red wheat, originates from any location within a radius of one hundred miles from the distillery as described above. Since this is the case, TOPO is one of the few distilleries that has been formally recognised as being organic. Over the course of the past seven years, it would be fascinating to learn about the activities that they have participated in because of their involvement.
In spite of the fact that we were not really impressed with an earlier release of this vodka that was manufactured from wheat that was cultivated in North Carolina, the distiller urged us to give it another chance after making some alterations to the distillation process that were not specified. On the nose, the grain is still present; however, it is much more subdued than it was in our last encounter, and there is a considerable quantity of vanilla that is creamy present in the blend. Although the medicinal character that underlies everything has been slightly reined in, the palate is still marshmallow sweet. This is despite the fact that the medicinal quality has been there. Despite the fact that the rough edges have been eliminated, it may still require some further fine-tuning techniques before it is considered flawless.
The TOPO Straight Wheat Whisky from the Carolinas
This is the most recent product to be added to the TOPO line of products. It is produced by distilling a mash that is made up of nothing but wheat, then ageing it in new #3 char barrels for a period of two to three years after passing through the pot distillation process. The nose does not display an excessive amount of typical indicators of youth. The grain has a coating of caramel and is sweet. It also has an earthy undertone, which serves to mask some of the tastes of alcohol and young oak that are present in the grain. There is an unusually high level of taste and richness on the palate, with butterscotch and toffee, cinnamon stick, and graham cracker all contributing to the overall experience. This results in things having a smoky quality that dries out a little bit on the finish. There are times when the oak becomes a little bit burly, which causes things to have this smokey quality. In spite of this, it is rather well balanced overall, and it has a taste that is reminiscent of vanilla cream that lingers after it has been consumed, which I find to be quite intriguing.
Rum with TOPO Spices
It is the only rum that TOPO provides, and it is distilled from sugar cane that is grown in North Carolina to produce the product. After that, it is seasoned with spices that are mashed with a mortar and pestle, which results in a procedure that appears to be rather lengthy. It is remarkable that the scent is so citrus-forward for a spiced rum since there is a substantial quantity of grapefruit and sweet orange peel present in the mixture. In place of spices, the spice cabinet ought to be stocked with incense or even gum as an additional additive. Rather of having the flavour of a traditional spiced rum, this one has a flavour that is more comparable to that of a clear rum that has been seasoned with a variety of component combinations. With traces of orange pulp that are coated with allspice, the citrus taste once again takes the lead as the predominant flavour. Despite the fact that the base spirit has a decent body and texture, which shows that it still has potential, there is very little in the way of a finish. This denotes that there is still room for improvement. I just can’t seem to get over the notes of fruit juice that are just too sweet and overwhelming. I just can’t seem to get there.