On Potrero Hill in San Francisco sits a distillery known as Hotaling & Co. (formerly Anchor). They’re known for their Old Portrero whiskey but what’s really getting a buzz right now is this: J.H. Cutter Whisky. Having recently picked up a gold medal at the New York International Spirits Competition I figured what better time to crack open my bottle and do a review; really see what all the hubbub is about.

J H Cutter Whisky

Categorically this is a Blended American Whiskey, though like most BlAWs out there it doesn’t contain any grain neutral spirit; so we’re already off to a good start there. Instead of a base of GNS they start with a base of 4+ years old Kentucky Bourbon. From there they blend in some 3+ years old Old Potrero 18th Century Style Rye Whiskey and Old Potrero Port Finish Rye.

This is a really interesting foray into blending whiskey and I applaud the ingenuity and thought that went into it. Mentally it’s an intriguing offering, let’s see how it holds up on the senses in the American Whiskey review below.

J.H. Cutter Whisky Review: Details and Tasting Notes

In Hotaling & Co.’s Words:

“The ‘Class A’ Blend term was used in the years after Prohibition. It came about due to when well-aged whisky stock was low (much it is like today) and many companies created ‘Class A’ blends that were 100% whiskey, but consisted of a blend of different ages and types of whiskies. To be a ‘Class A’ Blend no neutral spirits, colors or flavors can be included, making it a pure whiskey offering. J.H. Cutter is a perfect representation of a ‘Class A’ Blend and as such is a ‘Pure American Whiskey’.”

J H Cutter Details (price, mash bill, cask type, ABV, etc.)

Details (price, mash bill, cask type, ABV, etc.)

Region: California, USA

Distiller: Hotaling & Co. (Anchor)
Blend: Kentucky Bourbon and Hotaling Whiskey
Cask: New Charred Oak, ex-Bourbon
Age: NAS
ABV: 48%

Price: $50

Tasting Notes


Dilly rye spice, copper, malty sweetness, oak, cocoa, cinnamon, fruit and a bit of citrus.

Rye spice, vanilla marshmallow, cinnamon, cocoa, fruit, oak, grain, wax and some orange peel.

Medium -> Spice, cocoa, young oak and fruit.

Ok balance, medium body and a warm chalky feel.

J.H. Cutter is a an interesting approach to American Whiskey and while I’m not rushing out to get another bottle I do applaud what they’re doing.

J.H. Cutter Whisky Review: Overall and Score

The Aroma is heavy with a sweet dilly spice and metallic coppery presence; Palate sits with similar notes but it’s more expressive and nuanced with some lighter sweeter dessert notes piping in; the Finish blends the sweetness and rustic spiciness nicely. I almost like this whiskey, but there’s something just a tad off with it. It doesn’t quite feel… whole.

As the J.H. Cutter Whisky opens, more of the rye character pops up more and more and you start getting more of that awesome malted rye Old Portrero essence even though it’s only about 1/4 of the blend. It gets a bit chalky as it opens, but never distractingly so.

It’s an ok whiskey neat, but what I’m really looking forward to enjoying it in is a cocktail. That spice is going to be great!

SCORE: 3/5

J H Cutter Whisky Review

J H Cutter Whisky Review $50
Balance, Body & Feel
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J H Cutter Whisky Review Summary

J.H. Cutter Whisky is an interesting approach to American Whiskey and while I’m not rushing out to get another bottle I do applaud what they’re doing.

J H Cutter Label

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