There is a new trend in the way whiskey is aged, it’s called ocean aging. Ocean aging is when the whiskey is placed in oak barrels and those oak barrels are placed on large ships where they will age for a period of just a few months up to a few years. The idea behind ocean aging is that the salt air, oceanic pressure, extreme heat, and rolling movement of the waves will age the whiskey much faster than it would if it were aged on land.
I recently picked up a bottle of Rogue Oregon Single Malt Whiskey, which happens to have been ocean aged for three months. This was my first experience with an ocean aged whiskey. This whiskey has a surprisingly dark color for being aged for only 3 months. It has kind of a hazy appearance to it. The nose has a strong aroma of cinnamon with a salty ocean smell to it also. The salty ocean smell kind of scared me to be honest. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I tasted it. The flavor is similar to the aroma, with a hint of sweet cinnamon combined with a salty ocean taste. This whiskey also has the flavor of a scotch whiskey with a mild smoky taste, which comes from twelve percent of the malt used in this whiskey being hand-smoked using Alder and Maple chips.
Overall, Rogue Oregon Single Malt Whiskey was an interesting drink but the salty ocean aroma and flavor are not what I’m looking for in my whiskey. The ocean aging concept is an interesting idea, but the end result is not very appealing, to me anyways. I’ve read some reviews on another brand of whiskey that was ocean aged for three and a half years and the reviews were all positive and didn’t mention the salty brine tasted that I noticed in the Rogue Oregon Single Malt Whiskey. It seems that aging it longer, even on the ocean, reduces the salty taste and imparts plenty of the flavors from the oak. I probably won’t buy this one again, especially considering it was $45. If you have ever tried Rogue Oregon Single Malt Whiskey or any other ocean aged whiskey, leave me a comment and let me know what you thought.