Whiskey price

Whiskey Review: Misunderstood Spiced Ginger Whiskey

Editor’s Note: This whiskey was provided to us as a review sample by Misunderstood Whiskey. This in no case, by our editorial policies, influenced the final outcome of this review. It should also be noted that by clicking the purchase link at the bottom of this review, our site receives a small sponsorship payment which helps support, but not influence, our editorial and other costs.

Don’t let the name fool you, some players in the beverage industry seem to have good vibes from misunderstood whiskey. The brand has a great story to tell; Founders JD Recobs and Chris Buglisi are childhood friends who pursued whiskey brewing together as a hobby project in their spare time. The result of their experiments was a ginger-infused whiskey that was enthusiastically received at the 2017 Jersey City Whiskey Fest. Thanks to exposure and a growing profile, they began distributing regionally, and last year , Misunderstood was added to 375 Park Avenue from Sazerac Co. wallet. Widening distribution should follow soon.

The Misunderstood founder’s stated aim is “to bridge the gap between whiskey connoisseurs and those who were more new to whiskey”. This is something you’ve probably heard from flavored whiskey brands. These brands often attempt to balance general appeal with an acknowledgment of flavored whiskey’s poor reputation with reviewers.

My own past experiences with flavored whiskeys have not been pleasant, which leads me to admit some skepticism towards the category. Many of the ones I’ve tried before don’t do much beyond adding artificial flavors that conflict with the underlying whiskey, producing a mouthfeel that marketing departments insist on calling “fun”. At this point, I sincerely hope to stumble upon a flavored whiskey that I enjoy, if only to prove that I’m perfectly capable of enjoying myself if what I’m drinking tastes good.

Misunderstood seems like a promising candidate. The idea of infuse I am legitimately interested in an American whiskey with the peppery spiciness of ginger, and the story of a couple of amateurs learning the ropes of whiskey mixing is a good one. Looks like Recobs and Buglisi take the whiskey itself seriously. According to them, “What makes Misunderstood unique is our finishing and blending process. We blend our bourbon with American whiskey finished on different types of oak for different flavor profiles long before we finish with the ginger. We do this so that when you get different flavor profiles, the middle note and the finish, it comes from our grain, our wood and, of course, our ginger.”

Even if I approach this tasting “with caution”, I am still “rooted” so that the product turns out well. Sorry… it’s been a long pandemic…

Misunderstood Spiced Ginger Whiskey (image via Misunderstood Whisky)

Tasting Notes: Misunderstood Spiced Ginger Whiskey

Vital Stats: No age statement. Bottled at 80 degrees. The standard retail price for a 750ml bottle is $30.

Appearance: Somewhere in the press I read about Misunderstood that it mentioned that crushed ginger was visible in the bottle – this was not the case with the bottle I demonstrated. I found it to be a lighter brass color. The body was also noticeably light, but not loose or watered down.

Nose: I wasn’t surprised to find that the ginger was dominant here, but there was also a hint of vanilla. If presented to me in a blind test, I might mistake it for a decent quality ginger ale.

Palace: Ginger is, once again, the star of the show, with the slight tingling sensation it produces in the mouth. With such a strong flavor in the foreground, you have to concentrate on choosing something else, but the whiskey is definitely there with some caramel notes emerging as the initial ginger burst wears off.