Heavy Hangover | Sainted Sinners – Taste It Single Malt
Sometimes all it takes is one tiny drop of greatness. Walking around the backstage area with Headless, singer Ian Parry made me aware of the token of appreciation in the corner of their dressing room. A black stone bottle catching attention, which I later found out was a present from Sainted Sinners guitarist Frank Pané, better known for his work with German hard rock icons Bonfire.
Sainted Sinners’ 2021 album `Taste It’ already was the perfect pitch toward this single malt, with its sleeve keenly hinting at the unmistakable bond between music and drinks. The label on the bottle, and sub label with 100% essence of rock ‘n roll below fuses the story together well. The sensual lick of the bottle makes expectations for their own single malt whiskey run high ever since.
THE ESSENCE OF ROCK ‘N ROLL
Stabbing at us the track ,,Coffee, Whiskey & Rock ‘n Roll” invited to a bar ‘n grill rumble, full of Americana honkytonk vibes. Back then I never credited the song for what it unites under Sainted Sinners’ banner. But “The Essence of Rock ‘n Roll” always lit my fuse as an absolute rocker to enjoy a nice spirit to. Moaning vocals, gigantic hooks and forceful riff drive, the song propels for a great fist pumping rock evening with Pané’s single malt in the glass.
“All the ligatures are getting tight, like a style
Murder another mouth before the trial
Scalpel and then you scalp ’em to fucking death
Kills for the other vampires and surrogates
It’s a ploy for attention and evidence
All your fucking monsters are flaws in your common sense
Do the dance while the shovels are breaking dirt
Everybody mind your fuckin’ business or you get hurt
We don’t deny what is wrong with our lives
We can’t decide what is left of our right to silence our remains
Buried in the back and I’m sick and alive
Hollow as a breath, the further you dive
Oh, how I missed your namaste
You never miss with your integrity
You’re gonna need a new disguise
Vessels burst, veins release
Just slide into the nearest lie”
SAINTED SINNERS TASTE IT SINGLE MALT
Whiskey 42,1% ABV
First thing one does after discovering a find like this is judge its scent, at least I do. But let’s discuss its presentation first. Nothing like the Gentleman Jack front cover of the `Taste It’ album. Bottled in a traditional 0,5-liter stone jug, known for carrying Dutch Old Genever/Jenever and Corenwijn/Korenwijn, the bottle instantly impresses. Its cork capped with oak wood and the wound robe underneath, ooze an organic luxurious appeal. Dangling on that short robe is the label featuring additional info on this small batch whiskey. “Ein whiskey der rockt, so facettenreich wie unsere music”, translates to “A whiskey that rocks as rich of style as our music”.
In the back of the tasting notes are two styled female silhouettes, one of an angel and one of a demon, mirrored. Enticing as well as perfectly covering the Sainted Sinners wordplay. The label itself is slick black matte with the angel and demon silhouettes in yellow-golden and the Sainted Sinners logo in shiny gold atop. ‘Taste it’ also in shiny golden playful font with the bottom of the label stating it is a single cask distill and burnt from 100% malted barley. It is slick and effective, matching the presentation of the bottle in line with the band’s recent releases and online presentation.
The small back label on the lower end of the stone bottle features additional info on the distiller, Waldbrand (Forest Fire), stating type, bottle number, bottling date (2303012.1) and other data, as well as the distiller’s signature. Alcohol ABV is only 42.1, which is rather mild for a single malt these days.
MUSIC AND VISION
The presentation is slick and I decided to match it with their video of ,,Against the Odds” that is bold with Pané shreds and fretboard wizardry. Against the backdrop of this video, I shot the bottle and the whiskey to collide music and vision. What hits immediately is the compelling scent of the whiskey that wells with a rich nose of banana and vanilla. There’s a nice light drizzle of honey and lemon grass present, though remotely. This rich and crisp pleasant tone balances the lightly smoky undertone that is revealed when taking a sip. Little drop of water to open the bouquet makes it come to the surface slightly more, with the banana very present.
Once you get to tasting it comes to full swing. Waldbrand certainly know their craft and distilled a wonderful and friendly whiskey that will appeal to a wide variety of fans, both of the band and whiskey in general. The malts are pleasant, rich and blend well with the subnotes of roasting. Mildly dominant in the after taste is oak and smoke, with a light burn of roasting. Inevitable is the caramel coming to mind. What surprises is the hint of sweet spices and earthy herbs. Not dominant, they fade into the oaky taste making way for the aftertaste full of rich fruit and remote light herbs.
Its aftertaste is long lasting and crisp, making this Taste It a very nicely rounded whiskey that invites for campfires and music. Open and friendly, but very tempting. Cranking out ,,Against the Odds” while tasting I feel the urge for baby ribs and smoky barbecue.
It’s baby ribs for sure. Honey drizzled with a mild soy used to season them, the ribs spent a couple of hours at room temperature to season deep. This seasoning is further endured slow cooking them with minor smoke from cherry oak chips to bring out the richness of this soy and the used sea salt and black pepper. Blending well with the honey drizzle, I only use a salad from varied salads as side dish. Some sun-dried tomato (which doesn’t really do it for me) and pine nuts go down better with the honey mustard sauce I mixed. Mustard used was Tracklements Sweet Mustard Ketchup (UK) while I settled for wild flower honey instead of the acacia honey, I used to drizzle the ribs. Well, this wonder well worked, though born from necessity rather than expectations as I was running low on the latter. 🙂
The combination of ribs and whiskey was exquisite and with Sainted Sinners blasting, later followed by the re-recorded `Fireworks’ album from Bonfire featuring Frank Pané, the night was profound and longer than planned.
SAINTED SINNERS – THE CONCLUSION
Sainted Sinner’s `Taste It’ whiskey is one fantastic piece of work with a lot of love put in. The bottle looks astounding, simple and slick, but it is the taste that counts. ‘Taste It’ qualifies as one of the most friendly and pleasant band branded collab whiskeys, and it will attract fans as well as it will appeal to whiskey aficionados because of its clever and lasting rich taste. There’s a little bit of everything, and nothing of it feels forced. There’s love in this bottle baby!
Thank you goes out to Headless / Elegy’s bass player Martin Helmantel and Frank Pané himself for sharing with Headless.