Review #​168 Hotel Tango American Straight Bourbon

Distillery: Hotel Tango Distillery

Proof: 90

Age: 2 years

Mashbill: N/A


BACKGROUND: Hotel Tango was started by Travis Barnes, who selflessly enlisted into the US military back in 2001 following the 9/11 attacks. The Marine went on to serve in 3 tours in Iraq in years to come. While on his third tour, Barnes was struck with multiple IEDs & diagnosed with a Traumatic Brain Injury along with PTSD. Following his honorable discharge, he went to law school & started making homemade whiskey with his wife, Hilary. Barnes uses his military taught qualities of discipline, precision,excellence, and the help of his friends in Indy to build the first distillery in Indianapolis since the prohibition. Hotel Tango prides themselves on the community aspect of their business, always giving back, and helping veterans, whether that be supplying commissaries or hiring other veterans. Since opening, Hotel Tango has only grown, announcing a second tasting room and expanding their customer reach past Indiana.


NOSE: Quite a young nose loaded with sweet notes, giving off a sweet ora comparable to sawdust with light hints of orange zest, and dried fruits. Notes of brown sugar and toasted rye accompany the sweets, creating a healthy balance of sweet and spicy. (22/25)


PALATE: Compared to the nose, I was quite impressed with the palate range that was packed into this 90 proof dram. An oily bright spice immediately coats your mouth comparable to black cracked pepper and corn, followed by a smooth, warm creamy vanilla, that blends brilliantly making a creamsicle flavor that mellows into toffee and baking spice. (31/40)


FINISH: The finish is quite short which you could expect with a younger whiskey leaving notes of burnt orange, oak spice, and toffee.(21/25)


VALUE: For $50 this is a very fair price, bring that the whiskey is a bit young, but don’t let that fool you HT Whiskey is loaded with flavor. (7/10)


Overall: 81/100


FINAL THOUGHTS: Hotel Tango is proof that with the right mash and processes, young whiskey can be delicious and smooth right out of the bottle. These guys aren't kidding when they say it's “ready to drink.” I wouldn't be the least bit surprised to see these bottles in bars all over the country once they can get a little more age behind them


Slightly Better Whiskey: High West Rondezvous Rye

Equal Whiskey: Travis City Straight Bourbon

Slightly Worse Whiskey: Basil Haydens


Tell us what you think and give us some feedback!


Scoring Legend:

96-100: The perfect dram, juice of the gods

90-95: Near perfect, truly incredible whiskey

85-89: Amazing whiskey, will always try to keep a backup bottle of this

80-84: Very good, some minor flaws here or there

75-79: Good, quite enjoyable to drink, Will try and keep a bottle on the shelf

70-74: Solid, wouldn’t go out of my way to get this

60-69: Decent, would offer this up to non whiskey drinkers

50-59: Not my cup of tea

Below 50: Give away




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