The Classic and Vintage Roadshow bringing together a variety of distillers at Nopa in March also gave us the opportunity to sample the lovely range of clear spirits from Death's Door of Madison, Wisconsin. We've previously enjoyed their excellent gin in an Old Fashioned mixed by Kirk Estopinal at The Violet Hour – a recipe we don't normally associate with gin, but a truly fine spirit like this demonstrates exactly how that simple foundation is strong enough to hold up the whole modern edifice of cocktails.
Death's Door's vodka is a perfectly delightful example of the species, but vodka is never our first choice of ingredients, so we moved quickly on to taste their white whiskey. This chameleon spirit has been showcased for us in cocktails recently by the Nopa team, but it was fascinating to try it on it's own. White dog whiskey is young, but not too hot and brings a range of subtle notes ready to be amplified by the other ingredients in a drink. Paul Clarke has compared this spirit to Dutch genever with its rich, malty flavors.
We enjoyed spending a few minutes chatting with Death's Door president and distiller Brian Ellison and sampling his beautiful, small-batch products, all of which we recommend you seek out for your own enjoyment.