Corsair Triple Smoke Whiskey – Review

Corsair Triple Smoke WhiskeyCorsair Small Batch Triple Smoke American Malt Whiskey

80 Proof

Price Point: $45 – $55 for 750 ML

Distiller: Corsair Artisan LLC



If you saw my review of Angel’s Envy, you know that I am more skeptical about innovation in whiskey than most other bloggers.  I do my best to review solely on the quality of the whiskey, without letting the distillation and aging processes influence me (too much).

Corsair Triple Smoke is another whiskey that bends some of the rules.  This is an American whiskey (not considered a bourbon), which uses malt in the tradition of Scotch instead of corn and rye.

Corsair Artisan’s website defines their whiskey in this way: “We take three fractions of malted barley, each smoked by a different fuel – cherry wood, peat, and beechwood – to craft this deeply complex whiskey.  Pot distilled then barreled in new charred oak, Triple Smoke has the sweetness and barrel notes of an American Whiskey and a single malt’s rich smoke, broadened by tones of cherry and beech.



From the nose alone, you can quickly tell that Corsair Triple Smoke is made from malt and not corn or rye like other American whiskeys.  It has a similar bread-like nose to Bruichladdich Rocks, with a little bit of spice.  There’s a hint of peat and smoke, but only a hint despite the label.  It’s still strangely American despite its homage to Scotland.

Triple Smoke has a really nice balance of sweet and spicy, fruit and peat.  This is a very, very malty whiskey, and is very complex.  There is just the faintest hint of bourbon in the taste with perhaps a little mint (pine needle?).  I found myself tasting something new every time I picked up my glass.

The finish is relatively gentle but also lengthy; a pleasure.  There was a little bit of a “bourbon tingle” on the back-end, which I found very intriguing.


Rating & Recommendations

Corsair Triple Smoke has me all confused about American whiskey, but easily earned a nice rating of 87 out of 100.

The people at Corsair Artisan have implemented a nice bit of experimentation with this truly unique expression.  They certainly have the potential to gain some traction and some big fans!




1 ping

    • John Werner on September 6, 2013 at 3:01 am
    • Reply

    If you’re really inspired you throw a lot of ideas on the proverbial wall. Sometimes one sticks: why hasn’t anyone taken some of the good points in the distillation of Scotch and applied it to whiskey? Now that is a premise worth some thought and exploration. Thankfully for us the founders of Corsair Artisan Spirits are very forward thinkers indeed, harkening back to a time where cocktails were culinary events in themselves, these guys are master chefs, only their kitchen is a distillery.

    Bourbons are a dime a dozen and corn is even in our gas tanks. Let’s explore malted barley, but really…does the world need another Scotch? Hardly. This fact certainly isn’t overlooked by Corsair in Nashville, TN. The 3 guys who are the brain-trust of this small artisan distillery realize the answer isn’t that far from their home base. You take the good of the Kentucky Bourbon taste and you twist it with the good of that old world Scotch smoky goodness. Hence, their masterwork: Corsair Triple Smoke Whiskey.

    Corsair Triple Smoke Whiskey is something unique, not a “me-too” addition to an over-crowed bar. Yes, it brings something totally different to the table, uh…bar. It has the almost desert like richness of good Kentucky Bourbon without the uber-sweetness because it is “dry-ed” by good ‘ol peat smoke. Wow! Why didn’t I think of this? Well, fact is it isn’t so simple as throwing some “smoke-monster” Scotch with some Knob Creek. Corsair has stepped through some potential “landmines” and come out with a fully matured and polished product. I really don’t thing someone else is going to be inspired by this and do any better. This is, likely, a singularly fine product and a category unto itself…it’s that good.

    An excellent neat whiskey to compliment a good cigar. Uh, smoke on smoke if you will. But, I’m assured it also brings a lot to classic mixed drink cocktails too, such as the highly suggested Manhattan. Can I say that this is a complex taste profile? What I mean: I was immediately smitten, then I was somewhat tired of it, perhaps because I was too enthusiastic at first and wore it out, then after a rest and some moderation I truly understood how outstanding this spirit really is. Corsair has done something quite special here. I can see this product as becoming their definitive calling card to the world. Corsair Triple Smoke Whiskey is a worthy spirit and merits your immediate attention.

      • Ryan on September 7, 2013 at 12:57 pm
      • Reply

      You don’t work for Corsair, do you John?


    • ZX on October 26, 2017 at 1:18 am
    • Reply

    Well, I don’t work for Corsair. The whole day I’ve been trying to figure out why I wrote the longest email in years to a friend (scotch drinker) last night describing in multiple ways how much I love Corsair Triple Smoke (Louisville Liquor Barn Selection Single Barrel Cask Strength). There’s a lot of the same emotion and need to try to explain how unique and delicious this whiskey is in John’s response. If I were forced to pick one desert island whiskey, today, I would pick this one with a clear conscience and a deep sense of gratitude.

  1. […] Distillery.  These guys are doing interesting things with spirits, and my experience with their Triple Smoke has me all confused about American […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.