Recently I was fortunate enough to receive a bottle of Abomination ‘Crying of the Puma’ Heavily Peated malt from a friend of mine. Immediately this bottle piqued my curiosity. Its label is incredibly simple and gives nothing away to the complexity of the liquid inside. You would be forgiven for thinking that it was a home-made label by a small back yard distiller, although you would be wrong. I needed to find out more about this simple yet intriguing bottle in front of me.
In 2010 Bryan Davis and Joanne Haruta co-founded the Lost Spirits Co in Monterey County, California. Creating Whiskey and Rum at their distillery, they very quickly began to make a name for themselves in producing spirits in completely different ways. For instance, they were the first distillery to produce a whisky that was fermented in ocean water. French whisky critic Serge Valentin said of one of the releases that it is a “True whiskey for bored whisky enthusiasts. Would awaken a dead malt maniac”.
Bryan continued to push the envelope and in 2015 invented a new means of aging spirits that grabbed global media attention. Using modern analytical chemistry to replicate the chemical reactions of spirits aging in barrels, he could now produce whisky in days that tastes like it has been aged for decades. The technology was patented, and they call it the THEA One Reactor. The distillery won its first global master award for innovation due to the work being done on aging.
Before this became public knowledge the Lost Spirits co released a Colonial Inspired rum. Originally not disclosing the age statement, soon it was released that the rum was only aged for 6 days. It was then proven with published forensic chemistry that the Rum was chemically 15-20 years old. The rum was critically acclaimed by all and is often compared to premium aged rums from around the world.
In 2017 the distillery in their words “hacked the Islay Single Malt”. Importing non disclosed Islay malts that have been aged for 12 – 18 months then incorporating ex-Riesling staves and the THEA technology, the laboratory produces a “Whisky” like no other. Releasing 2 versions of Islay malts, The Crying Puma which uses toasted ex-Riesling staves and The Sayers of the Law which uses charred staves. These two expressions were originally banned from by Australian Whisky Customs for being labelled as whisky but not meeting the classification.
Rated by Jim Murray in 2018 at 93 and 94 points respectively these are truly 2, non chill filtered, cask strength, peaty malts that need to be tasted to be believed. If you get the chance snatch one up. You won’t be disappointed.