Sagamore Spirit “Calvados Finish” Rye

Like the baseline rye, this is a blend of straight rye whiskies, all sourced from MGP (Midwest Grain Products, the artist formerly known as LDI). The website reveals the age to be 4-5 years (so, 4) but doesn’t specify the amount of time spent finishing in Calvados barrels. This bottling is a part of Sagamore Spirit’s “Reserve Series”, which includes Cognac, Port, and various wine finishes. This Calvados Finish is bottled at a robust 50.6% ABV.

OOLA Waitsburg Bourbon

This is 5 year-old bourbon which was previously sourced and blended but is now all made with a four-grain mashbill distillate from OOLA’s own small distillery in Seattle. They’re using locally-grown Washington State soft white winter wheat and organic corn from Waitsburg, WA, along with locally-sourced barley and rye. The mashbill, which probably changes based on grain availability, is around…

Wild Turkey Longbranch

For less than 40 bones you get 8 year-old Wild Turkey Kentucky Straight Bourbon, which has been mellowed using a similar process to Jack Daniel’s and other Tennessee Whiskies. Instead of filtering it through 10 feet or whatever of sugar maple charcoal, Longbranch is circulated first through American white oak charcoal (the same oak used for barrels) and then through Mesquite charcoal from McConaughey’s native state of Texas.

Old Tub Bottled-in-Bond Bourbon

Old Tub is what Jim Beam used to be called a century ago when it was first sold in bottled form. The name changed to “Jim Beam” in 1943 and the previous brand name was relegated to a Kentucky-only low-volume release. Now, in 2020, Beam has released a limited edition renewal of the Old Tub brand. It’s still bottled-in-bond, and in an effort to lend the release some authenticity the whiskey is not chill-filtered and also not charcoal filtered. Honestly, I don’t know why in 2020 any whisky company still…

Old Soul Blended Straight Bourbon

…Cathead has taken three straight bourbons and blended them together, so the term is apropos. The first two (totaling 90% of the blend) are 4 year-old MGP sourced bourbons and the third (at 10% of the blend) is Cathead’s own 2-year-and-1-month-old Mississippi bourbon. It’s not specified on the website, but I’m guessing there’s not much of the own-distilled juice to go around so they decided to…

Very Old Barton 86 Proof

First in the series, we have Very Old Barton 86 Proof. The whiskey is all from the Barton distillery in Bardstown, Kentucky which is owned by Sazerac (Buffalo Trace), and was renamed to the Barton 1792 Distillery in 2009. Very Old Barton (which is not old, and certainly not Very Old) used to have a “6 years old” age statement on the bottle, which was changed to a lonely misleading “6” on the neck, and then dropped altogether. The company claims…

Very Old Barton 100 Proof

This one is a little confusing – there are actually TWO Very Old Barton straight bourbons that are 100 proof. One says “Bottled-in-Bond” on it, the other – this one – doesn’t. Internet scuttlebutt (there’s a word I don’t get to use often enough) claims that parent company Sazerac was forced to mix VOB from different distilling seasons when one of its warehouses collapsed in June (and then finished collapsing in July) of 2018. Mixing distilling seasons means…

Sagamore Spirit Cask Strength Rye

This is a blend of MGP-distilled straight rye whiskies from two different mash bills at 4 years old. Because these are contract distillations they aren’t just blending tanks of already-aged standard MGP rye, but rather specifying the mash bill and barrel entry proof and waiting for the rye to hit target ages before blending them. … The result is bottled at cask strength, or close to it (they add a “splash” of Maryland spring water to bring the batch to 56.1% ABV, presumably for consistency).

Sagamore Spirit Rye

A little searching online reveals that Sagamore is blending two MGP products; a high-rye (95% rye, 5% malted barley) and a low-rye (unspecified mash bill). They are also cask-finishing a number of casks in everything from Cognac to Calvados, so they aren’t just resting on MGP’s laurels. If nothing else, at least they are revealing the source of their whiskey instead of trying to hide it.