We dare you to try Corsair Quinoa without saying the word “interesting” out loud.
Andrew Webber and Darek Bell own and run the Corsair Artisan Distilleries (there are two of them) located in Bowling Green, Kentucky, and Nashville, Tennessee. Friends since childhood, Andrew and Darek began as beer brewers in their garage and later hit a snag while working on a prototype bio-diesel thing-a-nabob. Darek turned to Andrew and said something like, “You know, distilling Whiskey is a lot more fun than bio-diesel.” Bell had attended Bruichladdich Distilling Academy in Islay, Scotland, so he had the necessary background. It wasn’t long before they opened up Corsair — a distillery dedicated to producing a broad range of small-batch spirits through relentless experimentation.
Corsair Quinoa Whiskey takes the red and white varieties of quinoa and adds a bit of malted barley to smooth out the character and jump-start fermentation. Quinoa brings an earthiness and nuttiness to the Whiskey. And that’s the best way to describe it — it tastes like a Whiskey made from walnuts and cashews. Where the flavor differences between Whiskies has narrowed over time due to common efficient production methods, Corsair Quinoa still stands out as pleasantly unique. It is bottled at the proper 46% ABV, so the flavors have some weight behind them. This stuff is BEGGING to be made into innovative new cocktails.
Smartass Corner: Quinoa is a native South American crop that’s really popular these days with people looking for gluten-free alternatives to wheat. It isn’t a grain — it’s a flowing plant. But the seeds act like a grain when processed and dried.