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Hamilton Distillers concept was developed by american wood worker Stephen Paul and his daughter Amanda Paul in 2006. In the mid 1980s the Paul’s opened a boutique furniture company Arroyo Design producing custom luxury mesquite wood fine furniture for international clients. The Hamilton Distillers product grew out of the use of mesquite and was developed to capture the unique taste of this arid climate tree and the Sonoran desert. Whiskey Del Bac is rooted in a historical tradition of wine and spirit production in the American Southwest that grew out of imported european grapevines brought by Franciscan missionaries in 1500s.
In 2015 Hamilton Distillers was named by Playboy Magazine as Arizona’s best spirit.
Before we ever introduced any mesquite component, Stephen had to learn how to just make whiskey. Initially called “The Control” while in product-development, it was the baseline established to improve upon and compare against what came next. Modeled after a Highland or Speyside Scotch, it lacks the smoke of the Islay Scotches.
With caramel, molasses and marzipan on the nose, and ripe stone fruits up front on the palette, the Classic delivers a spice and honey finish. After pouring, let it rest in the glass for a few minutes and nose before tasting.
Every time Stephen distilled the mesquite-smoked product, he noticed the unique complexity of the distillate coming out of the still. Not something we originally planned on marketing, the Clear mesquite-smoked unaged whiskey got such a great reception from a tasting with the Tucson Chapter of the US Bartenders’ Guild, that we had to start bottling it. Their passion for our Clear as a smokey base for mixing cocktails couldn’t be denied. And having spent many an evening with it neat or on the rocks, we can say it is quite pleasant by itself.
You may get complex aromas of leather, dried ancho chili, dust, and dried herbs on the nose. Smoke dominates the palette up front with sweet, vegetal notes on the finish.
The original brainchild for our product line, the Dorado required that we learn how to malt barley. Born out of barbecuing with the mesquite scraps from Arroyo Design while drinking Scotch, we had the idea to malt over mesquite instead of peat. We wanted to create a product that was a true reflection of the Sonoran Desert. To achieve that, we dry our malt over a mesquite fire using the species Prosopis Velutina, the predominant species in Southern Arizona.
With sweet tobacco and dark chocolate on the nose, underpinned by sandalwood, the Dorado may carry soft tannins on the palette with desert campfire and spice notes.