Review: Old Forester Rye

Paid: $25 for 750ml

Distilled/Owned by: Old Forester / Brown-Forman

Region: Kentucky

50% ABV

Aged For: NAS, minimum 4 years

Mashbill: 65% rye, 20% barley, 15% corn

Cask Type: New charred oak

Color: Tawny

Drank: Neat, in a glencairn

Nose: Sweet, fruit, bubblegum, brown sugar, oak, baking spice, banana, barely present floralness

Feel: Medium bodied

Taste: Citrus, oak, chocolate, maple, vanilla, clove, rye, and pepper

Finish: Slightly under medium warmth and length, oak, rye, menthol, tannins, citrus, and just a slight floral note at the very end

Thoughts: A great budget rye that isn’t to simple, but not complex either. Good balance of spice and sweetness.

Score: 80 out of 100

Review: Mic Drop 4 Year L19-01

Paid: $60 for 750ml

Distilled/Owned by: MGP / PM Spirits

Region: Indiana

56.1% ABV

Aged For: 4-Years

Mashbill: 60% corn, 36% rye, 4% barley

Cask Type: New charred oak barrels from Zak Cooperage

Chill Filtered: No

Color: Chestnut

Drank: Neat, in a glencairn

Nose: Young oak, caramel, sawdust, banana, cinnamon, licorice, pepper, honey, corn

Feel: Medium body

Taste: Starts out earthy with a nutty profile, oak, cherry, citrus, coffee, corn mash, with a floral flourish

Finish: Medium warmth and length, Banana returns with caramel, oak, pepper, leather, honey, and balance of fruit and floral notes.

Thoughts: For a four year old bourbon this has a pretty good balance and drinks well for it’s age, but there is not mistaking its young. At MSRP it’s a bit overpriced, but hey its funding some U.S. brandy distribution so there’s that.

Score: 74 out of 100

Review: New Riff Rye

Paid: $40 for 750ml

Distilled/Owned by: New Riff

Region: Kentucky

50% ABV

Aged For: 4 Years, Distilled Spring 2015, bottled spring 2019

Mashbill: 95% rye, 5% malted rye

Cask Type: New charred oak

Chill Filtered: No

Color: Chestnut

Drank: Neat, in a glencairn

Nose: Orange rinds and citrus, pepper and brunt oak, marzipan, cherry, and spices

Feel: Medium body

Taste: Lots of citrus and fruit, vanilla, rye, sweet chili peppers, oak, mint, and sweet tobacco

Finish: Medium warmth and good length, The sweet fruitiness is balanced by rye and pepper spice.

Thoughts: I am blown away by how sweet and fruity this is for a 100% rye mashbill. This is on quality level with the stuff the big guys are putting out and a nice alternative to ryes on the market.

Score: 82 out of 100

Review: New Riff Single Barrel Bourbon

Paid: $50 for 750ml

Distilled/Owned by: New Riff

Region: Kentucky

55.85% ABV

Aged For: NAS, minimum 4-Years

Mashbill: 65% corn, 30% rye, 5% barley

Cask Type: New charred oak

Chill Filtered: No

Color: Tawny

Drank: Neat, in a glencairn

Nose: Caramel, vanilla, oak, bits of cherry, citrus, pepper, and rye

Feel: Medium to full bodied

Taste: Butterscotch, vanilla, toffee, green oak, rye, cinnamon, and herbal notes

Finish: Medium warmth and medium to long lasting, leather, pepper, oak, caramel, vanilla, tobacco, and clove

Thoughts: Hits all the notes of a traditional bourbon profile, being heavy on vanilla, oak, and rye spices. Solid mouthfeel and finish too boot.

Score: 80 out of 100

Review: New Riff Bourbon

Paid: $40 for 750ml

Distilled/Owned by: New Riff

Region: Kentucky

50% ABV

Aged For: 4 Years, distilled Spring 2015, bottled spring 2019

Mashbill: 65% corn, 30% rye, 5% barley

Cask Type: New charred oak

Chill Filtered: No

Color: Burnished

Drank: Neat, in a glencairn

Nose: Young green oak, sawdust, herbal, pepper, cinnamon, honey, and sort of a dry caramel

Feel: Medium body

Taste: Vanilla, corn, caramel, cinnamon, chocolate, peanut butter, and just a touch of that herbal-ness from the nose

Finish: Medium warmth and length, lots of caramel and vanilla, and the sawdusty oak notes from the nose.

Thoughts: The nose smells of young craft bourbon, but the taste doesn’t reflect that. While I don’t like this as much as say Heaven Hills BiB products or Wild Turkey, it’s nice to finally try something from a new craft producer who isn’t taking shortcuts or releasing sub-par whisky.

Score: 76 out of 100

Review: Four Roses Single Barrel Private Select OBSV Old Hickory Whiskey Bar

Paid: $90 for 750ml

Distilled/Owned by: Four Roses / Kirin

Region: Kentucky

53% ABV

Aged For: 10 years, 10 months

Mashbill: OBSV, 60% corn, 35% rye, 5% barley

Cask Type: New charred oak

Chill Filtered: No

Other Info: Warehouse EN, Barrel #36-1C

Color: Chestnut

Drank: Neat, in a copita

Nose: Blast of fruit with floral undertones, butterscotch, honey, papaya, rosewater, wood shavings

Feel: Buttery, medium to full body

Taste: Cherries, pear, oak, peppermint, honey, mango, caramel, and a touch of clove

Finish: Medium warmth and long lasting, floral notes are very prominent, with touches of oak, vanilla and toffee.

Thoughts: This holds true to the description of OBSV being fruity, the nose at times being more akin to a malt whisky than a bourbon.

Score: 81 out of 100

Review: Knob Creek 2009 Cask Strength Rye

Paid: $65 for 750ml

Distilled/Owned by: Jim Beam / Beam Suntory

Region: Kentucky

59.8% ABV

Aged For: 9 Years, barreled 2009

Mashbill: 55% rye, 35% corn, 10% barley

Cask Type: New charred oak, Char #4

Chill Filtered: No

Color: Tawny

Drank: Neat, in a glencairn

Nose: A little boozy upfront, lots of peppery leather and cinnamon rye notes, oak, roasted peanuts, and a touch of fruit

Feel: Medium to full body

Taste: A quick hit of sweet vanilla, followed quickly by a cracked rye bread and mint spice. Salted peanuts, caramel, citrus, and oak

Finish: Medium warmth and good length, oak, toffee, crushed mint, peanut butter fudge, cardamom, and pepper

Thoughts: Most rye on the market is MGP or young craft distillate that is not very good. I’m glad Beam is stepping up to give us more options on the aged rye market, with this one have a nice blend of sweet, herbal, and spicy.

Score: 84 out of 100