Bulleit is owned by scotch giant Diageo and distilled at the MGP of Indiana distillery, where nearly every other rye on the market today is also distilled. Bulleit uses MGP’s 95% rye (and 5% malted barley, used for its enzymes to jumpstart fermentation) recipe, and is purportedly aged between 4 and 7 years and is bottled by Diageo at 45% ABV.
Every year around mid-September, Four Roses releases the coveted Limited Editions. 2015 also marks another transition at Four Roses: Legendary Master Distiller and American whiskey celebrity Jim Rutledge will be retiring this Fall. That makes the 2015 Limited Edition Small Batch the last limited release made under Jim’s direction. If you do secure a bottle, you’re in for a treat. A mixture of 4 different bourbons, using 3 recipes (out of the 10 Four Roses recipes) at unusually high ages: 16 year-old OBSK, 11 year-old OBSV, 15 year-old OESK, and 14 year-old OESK.
Way back in 2011 … I was called out in the comments by Woodford adherents that I was doing the whiskey a disservice by reviewing it based on the sample bottle. I had an opportunity to revisit Woodford Reserve recently – this time from a full 750ml bottle – and thought it would be appropriate to review it again for National Bourbon Heritage Month. Does my review from 4 years ago hold up?
Sons of Liberty set out to create a whiskey that evoked refreshing summertime IPA beer by actually distilling an IPA beer wash, suspending hops in a gin basket during pot-still distillation, and then dry-hopping the finished (aged) whiskey! No sugar syrup, no weird chemicals, just artisanal ingredients treated with respect and using traditional brewing and distilling methods creatively to craft something innovative.
Uprising is an American single malt whiskey distilled from a stout beer using classic American ale yeast and the traditional stout malts: Pale Malt, Dehusked Chocolate Malt, Crystal 45, Biscuit malts, and plain roasted barley. The beer is then double-distilled in Sons of Liberty’s 250 gallon pot still and aged for under two years in new charred American oak barrels.
Battle Cry is an American single malt whiskey distilled from a Belgian Trappist-style beer made with 20% rye malt and the rest Pale and Honey malts. The beer is then double-distilled in Sons of Liberty’s 250 gallon pot still and aged for under two years in new charred American oak barrels that are “enhanced” with lightly toasted staves of French Oak.
Produced by Jim Beam at the Clermont distillery in Kentucky, the brand dates back to the early 1800s and was originally made in the Monongahela (Pennsylvania) style. Nowadays Old Overholt is 51% rye, just barely meeting the legal definition, with the remainder made up with corn and probably a little malted barley for enzymes. It’s aged for three years (fours years in the recent past) and bottled at 40% ABV.
The fact that Cut Spike is only two years of age is astounding – in a blind test I would have said 12 at least, but more likely 18. This can be attributed, in part, to the use of charred new oak barrels (a la bourbon), which is a rare to nonexistent practice with whisky made from malted barley.
To me, this tastes like the Van Winkle bourbon, but with the heavier (and sweeter) syrupy notes replaced with orange peel, cherry bitters, and a more apparent conversation with oak. Thankfully, the thirteen years of aging stops short of being over-oaked.
Now, I have a particular fondness for young rye that actually tastes like rye. I want big eucalyptus, wintergreen, or pine, and I want spicy ‘sharp’ notes of cinnamon, cardamom, and anise. Occasionally, some caraway (think rye bread) is nice too.