Rye whiskey in my opinion is one of the most misunderstood drinks on the market today. A quick scan of the many reviews on the net reveals comments such as “a great mixer ” “rough” and “not for the fainted hearted” and “it makes a great “old fashioned.” In the early days rye was the looked upon as something to warm you after a hard days work on the farm on a very cold day. A bit rough and uncultured. Thankfully this is changing and there are some really good ryes out there.
Tom Bulleit‘s “frontier” Bourbon has near-cult status among his admirers, and at long last the man has decided to branch out into a second product.
That product is Bulleit Rye, “the worst kept secret” in the whiskey world and a smashing way for Bulleit to double its shelf space.
The more well known sister whiskey Bulleit Bourbon has 28% rye in it already, making it the most rye-rich Bourbon on the market. Bulleit Rye has 95% rye (and 5% malted barley) and it is made just across the Kentucky border at LDI (formerly Seagram’s) in Lawrenceburg, Indiana, and aged for at least four years before being bottled by Bulleit at 90 proof . Produced in small batches it comes with an enviable pedigree winning a Double Gold medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition in 2013.
I poured the rye in to a Glencairn glass and left it to open for ten minutes, I added no water or ice. In colour the whiskey is caramel with a touch of orange when held to the light, on rolling around the glass it is a little syrupy leaving long legs on the glass.
The nose is surprisingly gentle for a whiskey with 95% rye content an a little caramel, cinnamon, and cloves accompanying the slightly briny rye
The taste is where the rye spice really appears. It may have been slightly muted on the nose, but on the palate it comes roaring out. Cinnamon, cloves, honey, a light peppery sensation and buttery toffee underpinned by smooth caramel. There is a hint of mint and sage before back to sweet caramel. Surprisingly complex and very easy to drink but still within the robust rye traditon of letting you know you are drinking whiskey!!!
The finish is long and dry with notes of caramel and vanilla very smooth with a soft note of cinnamon lingering long after drinking.
This whiskey is very good, it is surprisingly understated in the nose but complex and flavoursome on the palate. This is maybe not be a whiskey that would spring to mind to drink straight and many may will only ever encounter it as a mixer but it has beautiful flavours which challenge the senses making this a real sipping whiskey!
Thanks to Christian at John Scotts for the recommendation