I first sampled House Spirits White Dog Whiskey a few years back from one of their earlier batches. Essentially it’s legal moonshine – whiskey before it’s hit the barrel. Aficionados may balk at the lack of colour, peat, smoke or other qualities gained through careful aging, but the white dog style of whiskey remains an interesting drink, and not just in cocktails. It’s a pretty flavourful drink on its own, with creamy, sometimes cereally or malty flavours. In fact I believe the base spirit is where most of the complexity of the drink comes from, with barrel aging really just mellowing out and adding ‘spice’ to the mix. It sips really smoothly over an ice cube or two.
Additionally, I’d recommend a white dog type of whiskey at any tasting. It enables you to really distinguish what the barrel flavours are doing as opposed to the spirit in each of your samples.
As far as cocktails go, I’ve culled a few menus from House Spirits’ RPM Wednesday offerings (cocktail nights around Portland). These are essentially ingredient lists which suggest where you can take this fine spirit in a mixed situation. As you can see there’s a fair bit of creamy, nutty additions to complement the barley of the base whiskey.
White Dog Old Fashioned
House Spirits White Dog Whiskey, a touch of simple syrup and a couple dashes of orange bitter
House Spirits White Dog Whiskey, House-Made Malted Barley Syrup and Cream
White Dog Paloma
House Spirits White Dog Whiskey, freshly squeezed grapefruit and lime juices and top with soda H2O
House Spirits White Dog Whiskey, Nocello, Maraska Maraschino, a couple dashes of orange bitters and topped with club soda
House Spirits White Dog Whiskey, Trader Tiki Don’s Mix, freshly squeezed lime juice, simple syrup and a dash of Angostura bitters
Thai Ginger Toddy
Fresh ginger, House Spirits White Dog Whiskey, ginger liqueur, freshly squeezed lime juice and a touch of honey
Tea Tea Mai Tai
House Spirits White Dog Whiskey, orange curacao, freshly squeezed lime juice, Trader Tiki’s Orgeat
White House Blues
House Spirits White Dog Whiskey, ginger puree, freshly squeezed lemon juice, a touch of simple syrup and topped with club soda
Chocolate Covered Cherry in a Cigar Box
House Spirits White Dog Whiskey, House Spirits Coffee Liqueur, whipped egg, a touch of cream and a Chambord float
Beyond this list, I’m thinking combining other cereal standbys into the mix might be successful. Like berries, brown sugar, corn, cinnamon, etc. Not that I’m condoning cocktails at 8am.