Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Marlee’s Green Tea Whiskey - A First Sampling

imageLike me you may have only heard stories from long ago about mixing Whiskey with tea and I’ll further admit that I hadn’t ever considered the combination myself until now.  After sampling Marlee’s Green Tea Whiskey, I’m here to tell you that it’s a combination your should try, but more importantly it’s a combination you’ll want to drink over and over again.

Marlee’s Green Tea Whiskey was created Jared Berlin after experiencing the combination while traveling in China.  His goal was to create a modern interpretation of this 1800’s drink using premium and natural ingredients….and I’d say he accomplished exactly that.

Marlee’s is a proprietary blend of American Rye Whiskey, Chinese Gunpowder Green Tea and Organic Mexican Blue Agave.  The combination is blended and bottled at Strong Spirits in Bardsville, Nelson County, Kentucky…and as Marlee’s says, “Marlee’s Green Tea Whiskey combines the craft of American Whiskey with the natural health benefits of green tea (stay tuned on that one).”

imageRight out of the box you can’t help notice how good Marlee’s Green Tea Whiskey looks.  The packaging is modern and eye-catching, and as you can see from my photos the Whiskey itself has a really attractive copper/caramel color and clarity.  We couldn’t wait to sample it so off we go.

The nose is smokey, slightly malty with a subtle fruit aroma at the end, and for me the tea aromas came in late with some coffee and dark fruit aromas as well.

Normally we sample both straight up and in a cocktail combination, but at Marlee’s recommendation, we changed that up a bit and went a little further.  First up we sampled Marlee’s Green Tea Whiskey over ice.  I was immediately struck by how well BOTH the Whiskey and green tea stand prominently.  Neither flavor dominates and neither flavor is lost.  I quickly saw how appealing a combination this can be.  Marlee’s is refreshing but it still retains the satisfying depth and complexity of a premium Whiskey.  The green tea follows closely behind and takes the sharper edges off the Whiskey for a delicate and clean finish.  For me the Agave syrup remained in the background, but I can appreciate the balance it helps maintain in this drink.

Next up we added a wedge of lemon and muddled it before adding Marlee’s Green tea Whiskey…and while the lemon initially dominated the flavors and aromas, I was again surprised how much the green tea and Whiskey still managed to shine through.

Finally we tried another combination adding in a splash of Ginger Beer with Marlee’s and just a wedge of lemon.  Again it was a wonderful and really drinkable combination.  As with the other combinations, the Whiskey & green tea flavors still shine through, but this combination had a little more sparkle to it….very refreshing.

In the end our favorite combination was Marlee’s Green Tea Whiskey over ice in a tall glass.  It was complex and refreshing and the flavors really work well together.  And keep in mind Marlee’s is only 14.95%-ABV, so a tall glass over ice is a really drinkable and enjoyable beverage.

So I know what you’re asking…is Marlee’s Green Tea Whiskey healthy?  So this statement from Marlee’s, “Marlee’s is made up of green tea which is packed with antioxidants (polyphenols).  Marlee’s Green Tea Whiskey has 140.8mg of polyphenols per 8oz serving, more than most cups of green tea!”
Thank you to Marlee’s for giving me an early opportunity to sample Marlee’s Green Tea Whiskey.  And a big thank you for including the deconstructed ingredients, allowing us to experience the aromas independently as we sampled.  This is a really unique combination and everyone who sampled it with us tonight was really surprised at just how good this blend is.  More importantly, try Marlee’s Green Tea Whiskey for yourself and let us know what YOU think.


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