Defiant American Single Malt

Defiant American Single Malt Whisky is an 82 proof, 100% malted barley American whisky distilled and bottled in Bostic, North Carolina. Bostic is nestled in the Golden Valley of western North Carolina, about halfway between Charlotte and Asheville, not too far from where I hang my hat.

As much as I love to provide lengthy, esoteric backgrounds, there are already a few out there on the Blue Ridge Distilling Co. I recommend articles from the Food RepublicThe Whiskey Wash, and/or Whiskey Reviewer.

Bottom line: Founder Tim Ferris spends most of his time as a deep-sea salvage diver. When he and his employees are not looking for or fixing something at the bottom of the ocean, they're in Bostic, NC making whisky. They age their spirit for just 60 days by adding cuts of toasted American oak to steel vats containing the new make. Is that unique? Yes. Does it make for fine whisk(e)y? Let's find out.
Toasted oak spirals impart rich color in just 60 days.  Source: www.foodrepublic.com.
Defiant American Single Malt

Blue Ridge Distilling Co.
82 proof
$45 at ABC in Salisbury, NC

Color: Vibrant gold.

Nose: The nose is raw and rubbery. There are oh-so-subtle notes of vanilla and caramel, but they are eclipsed by an unpleasant smokiness. So far, 0 points for cuts of toasted oak.

Tasting Notes: The entrance is honey sweetness for a fraction of a second. In a flash, the palate is dominated by a plastic, smoky, funk that overpowers any positive oak influence.  I was pissed, so I let this thing sit in the glass for a while. After 30 minutes of air time, the whisky improved quite a bit, with caramel and vanilla coming through more prominently. 

Overall: C.
I recently compared Defiant to Batch 004 of Stranahan's Diamond Peak- that's the only other American single malt in my cabinet. Tough to compare a 4-year-old, traditionally aged whiskey to a spirit aged in steel vats with oak spirals for 60 days. It pains me to knock a little distillery close to home, but I have a hard time recommending Defiant at its $45-$60 price point unless you are really curious or visit Bostic and want to check it out. 

Peer reviews:

The Scotch Life ("the best American distilled product I have ever tasted").  Really?