The Handmade Cocktail Company bottled Old Fashioned Cocktail is made with a 9-year-old small batch bourbon (with a high rye content), as well as a secret blend of cocktail bitters and orange peel. The ingredients in an Old Fashioned are very, very simple, but it is a difficult cocktail to master, if anyone ever truly does; so how does the Handmade Cocktail Company version fare?
To serve, they suggest pouring the cocktail into a tumbler with some ice and then garnishing with a twist of orange peel.
The first sensations are of sweet orange – like orange fondant alongside dark chocolate – and whiskey on the nose; it’s a velvety and enticing smell. On the tongue, it’s smooth and sweet to start, before the whiskey comes into play. The sweetness continues as a delicious, silkiness that lasts until the whiskey starts to warm your throat and stomach.
The warmth is accompanied by a lovely woodiness that speaks of a good quality whiskey, which I think is the real key to this cocktail. I’m a fan of Old Fashioneds and, as such, was genuinely concerned that this development of flavour would be sacrificed in the name of convenience in a pre-mixed version, but I’m very glad to say that it’s both present and well-done.
At the end of your sip, after the whiskey notes have come and gone, the flavour on the tongue gently fades away, leaving a clean finish and that comforting warmth in your stomach.
An opportunity to share
After we had done our initial tasting, we tried it out on some friends, including one who was celebrating having found a new job. It was a sunny Saturday afternoon and we sat on the decking, overlooking the sea whilst we sipped.
It was at this point that I realised what the bottled cocktail was all about; we were equipped with just a bucket of ice, an orange and a knife, but nonetheless we could refresh our drink whenever we wanted – no muddling, mixing or stirring was required. It was a much more relaxing way to enjoy an Old Fashioned and left you reassured that you were going to get the same quality of drink, time after time.
– Mrs. B
Master of Malt’s Old Fashioned is bottled at 38.4%ABV and is available for around £35 for 70cl exclusively from Master of Malt.