This rye was an impulse buy as we had never heard of it and simply picked it off the shelf. Very little is know about this rye other than the fact that it is bottled in Bardstown, Kentucky (home of Bishop Flaget), one of the first four dioceses in the United States. We knew that the rye would be an adventure because of its age but we certainly didn’t expect the fierce debate that would ensue over its merits!
Type: American Rye
Aged: 4 year
Proof: 80 proof
Color: Summer wheat with tint of orange
Aroma: Initially flavors of spice and fruit, especially apricot. New wood flavors become more prominent upon opening. The scent of new wood was in the background throughout.
Pallet: Initial shock with strong spice giving way to fresh citrus and young wood finish. Fairly harsh on the initial finish but not altogether unpleasant on the pallet.
Michael: Andrew and Nicholas have strong opinions about this rye but I was neutral. The flavor was superficially complex, but most of the flavors were the result of additives, and as a traditionalist I would have rather have seen the flavor come from either the malt or the barrels. Given the price and the age I thought the rye was good, but from an objective standpoint it was inferior to many we have tasted thus far.
Andrew: I thoroughly enjoyed this rye. It brought a uniqueness to the table that I hadn’t seen before in such a young whiskey, and the nutty citrus flavor delivered on the spicy aroma, making for a solid sipping rye, or the perfect fit for a whiskey based cocktail. Though young, I think this unfiltered, spicy rye will find a fitting place among American whiskeys.
Nicholas: A decidedly unrefined, undeveloped, and unworthy rye. Loaded with spices and fruit, the taster is left wondering where the rye is. If I wanted a mixed drink, I would have made one myself (or had Andrew make it for me).
Verdict: The Sun, the 4th level of Paradiso