REVIEW:: "KISMET" :: MULHOLLAND DISTILLING
When I first embarked into the wild west of the whiskey world, I , like many others, started on mostly scotch and bourbon. I had drams from Ireland, Canada, and Japan too, filling in gaps with some American whiskies here and there. But nothing from home, nothing from Los Angeles. One day while doing some grocery shopping at Whole Foods, I came across a very small whiskey selection they had set up by the wine and noticed a bottle I had never seen before. A very minimal, yet sharp looking bottle, proudly showing off its amber liquid inside, I picked it up and and read its label. “Mulholland Distilling. American Whiskey. 100 Proof. Blended and Bottled by Mulholland Distilling. Downey, CA” Having never heard of them before, I placed it in my cart with my milk and veggies and took it home, excited to have some LA on my shelf!
That was on December 29, 2016. The night before Jorell and I Netflixed and chilled, where we drank whiskey and binge watched Vice Principals, which I highly recommend if you love a good laugh. The show is about two men, both highly competitive who battle it out to become the vice principal of a high school. It is ridiculous and hilarious and down right addicting. It stars Danny McBride (who happens to be in one of my favorite movies ever, Pineapple Express) and the enormously talented Walton Goggins. Why am I telling you this? Well, when I went home and cracked this open and sat at my computer to do a little research on this whiskey, I found out that it was owned by 2 partners. One of them is Matthew Alper, an extremely accomplished jack of all trades cameraman extraordinaire who also happens to be the youngest photographer to ever be published in Sports Illustrated. At 22, he became the youngest member of the International Cinematographers Guild, and then went to work on some of the top multi million dollar bangers, such as The Avengers, Pirates of the Caribbean and many more. And well, his partner, just so happens to be Walton Goggins, who has starred in many television and movie productions. Weird right?
After I drank the whiskey (and liked it!) , I tossed up a post (see above). At the time, my following was very small, and my whiskey knowledge still quite green. But that didn’t matter. Matthew reached out to me and thanked me for supporting the brand, and told me to reach out if I ever needed anything! I was so floored, as I was just sharing my explorations in whiskey and since then, he has always been incredibly kind and supporting of me. I know sometimes its easy to look at this whole Instagram thing as a silly ploy, with brands taking whatever they can get from an “influencer” whatever that is, and vice versa, but I have to say that I have been so lucky in meeting some truly beautiful and genuine humans here, and I’m happy to say that Matthew is one of them. I was hosting a tasting for a tech company here in LA, and was gathering some bottles to showcase and thought a local brand would be a great addition, so I reached out to Matthew and he happily obliged to donate a bottle and invite me down to the tasting room.
So here we are three years later, and I finally got to meet him, in person, to not only taste their gin, but to also check out their STUNNING tasting room in DTLA. A big hug was exchanged followed by incredible kindness and hospitality. He poured me a wee nip of their gin, and we sat on a big couch and chatted about whiskey and life and how crazy it was that it took us 3+ years to finally meet. After that meeting, it just confirmed what I already knew. This industry does truly have some amazing people, working hard to make it all go round, putting some great whiskey and spirits into our glasses, giving people like me a platform to do what I do. I left there with a huge smile on my face, with the reminder to just fucking be good. Do good, be good, show goodness and kindness. Its free, and contagious. Massive thank you to Matthew for always supporting me (and many others) and for being a good human!
Now, to the gin and whiskey! I thought I’d wrap this up with a wee review of both!
Produced in Los Angeles, bottled in Downey, CA.
100% Distilled from corn.
When I met Matthew, he told me he wanted this to have bold notes of cucumber, lime and french lavender. And it does!
NOSE: Lime explosion followed by a warm delicate blanket of french lavender. It does have a cucumber backbone.
PALATE: Nose matches palate, with the lime and lavender as the big stars. The cucumber is there, (think real english cucumbers) but its subtle and welcoming. Incredibly refreshing! I drink this just neat, on the rocks or with tonic. It stands strong and delicious alone. Sweet lavender comes up the back and finishes strongly. Its not hella juniper forward, but there is a mild element of it. Really lovely, on both nose and palate. Its delicate but aggressive. Think if Claire Beauchamp Randall Fraser from Outlander was a gin, this would be her. Stunningly beautiful, walks and talks with grace and elegance, but can also heal wounds and shank a man if need be!
OVERALL: I love this gin. Its fun and refreshing and well priced. The lavender in this just sells me, as it adds a flavor profile that I don’t find in many other gins!
MULHOLLAND AMERICAN WHISKEY:
This is a sourced whiskey, and they dont hide that. They are very transparent. Indiana born, Kentucky aged and blended and bottled in Downey (Los Angeles).
94% corn, 4% rye, and 2% malted barley.
50% ABV / 100 Proof
NOSE: smells like an almond pastry cream. Sweet, creamy and toasted nutty goodness. As I write this, I really want an almond braid!
PALATE: So glad they decided to bottle this at 100 proof. Entry is full of sweet sizzle. Mild heat up front, but rounds out really nicely into more nutty goodness. Almonds and marzipan, followed by vanilla and maple. Mouthfeel is creamy and lovely.
FINISH: finished quickly in the middle of your tongue, but leaves your lips and middle of your chest pulsing. More pastry crumbs, with black tea dryness.
OVERALL: I like this as much, if not more from the first time I ever tasted it three years ago. Its young and bold, but I love that. I get way more toasted notes this go round then I did last time, but its a great daily sipper that satisfies my cravings for sweet pastries!
Mulholland Distilling is known as the “Spirit of L.A.” I think that suits them perfectly. Los Angeles is a melting pot of people from around the world. Its more rare to hear of someone who is born and raised here who still LIVES here then to hear of those from other places! This whiskey is kind of just that. Born and bred somewhere else, but comes to LA to shine! I encourage you to check them out at all of the links below, and taste their spirits when you have the chance!
“IN GOOD TIMES AND BAD, ALL WILL DRINK. IF NOT WATER, THEN MAKE IT MULHOLLAND”
The fine print: All reviews and thoughts are honest, and photos are my own. The whiskey was kindly given to me by Matthew Alper, and the gin was purchased at Whole Foods.