Boozehound: Short’s Whiskey

As a longtime burger enthusiast, I’ve been a fan of Short’s Burger and Shine for a while. Both the downtown and eastside locations have intimate, cozy atmospheres and delicious food served. When Short’s started distilling and bottling their own whiskey, I couldn’t help but wonder: Is it as good as their burgers?

I am happy to report that the definitive answer is yes, it is as good as their burgers and available for $26.99 per 750-ml bottle at your local liquor store.

Short’s Whiskey was born from the restaurant’s local, Iowa-first philosophy. The mash uses Iowa grain which is distilled at Cedar Ridge distillery in Swisher, Iowa. It is aged in oak barrels with charred Iowa bur oak staves for added flavor. The result is a delicious, authentically Iowan product.

Appearance: Dark gold — about the same shade as apple juice.

Aroma: There is something floral, minty and spicy about this, which I love. There are also hints of cinnamon and apples. The aroma isn’t too subtle, but it also isn’t an assault on the nose.

Taste: There’s something instantly refreshing about this whiskey. Cinnamon and mint are present in the initial taste, followed by milder notes of apples and caramel as it goes down. The smooth mouthfeel of the whiskey accentuates the caramel notes quite nicely.

Finish: Very gradual and altogether awesome: The warmth spreads slowly and the burn is mild, not harsh.

The Mixmaster: Short’s Eastside has a range of drinks that feature their whiskey including the Boilermaker (a shot of whiskey in beer) and their take on the Old Fashioned. I tasted two of their original cocktails: The Herky and the Iowa City Lemonade. Both are great choices for late spring and summer. The Iowa City Lemonade is sweeter and includes whiskey, sour, triple sec and Sierra Mist. But I have to give my nod to The Herky, Short’s take on the whiskey ginger. It’s a refreshing, spicy (thanks to the ginger beer) and original cocktail worth checking out.

Overall: Versatile and complex, Short’s and Cedar Ridge have collaborated in the best of ways to produce a whiskey that’s delicious, drinkable and mixable as well, if that’s your thing. This is another fine addition to the growing whiskey offerings produced right here in Iowa, and one you shouldn’t miss.

Grade: A