Produced by the Grand Traverse distillery, based in Traverse City, Michigan since 2008. A small batch craft distillery manufacturing this whiskey from locally produced grain which is triple distilled in a copper pot still, with a mash bill of 60% rye and 40% corn. 2 years of storage in new American oak barrels allows the straight rye label in its name. Apart from this spirit the distillery also makes the rye below, a white dog, a bourbon as well as something called Cherry Whiskey (which I´m not entirely sure if it sounds like a good idea). On their product list is also a rum, a gin and a series of vodkas. There´s strangely enough no mention of this rye in the product presentations on their webpage.
Amber colour and with a nose beginning on the fruity side, with some hints of caramel and vanilla, ending with the typical rye pepper spiciness. Neat in a tasting glass it has a fiery start with a slightly disappointing short middle and an equally short spicy finish. In a tumbler with ice the white pepper multiplies and deepens somewhat.
Sold in an Absolut Vodka-like bottle with a plastic/cork stopper and a not that exciting label designed to give an impression of old tradition. Apparently both the bottle size and the label had to be changed before exporting it to Sweden. All in all a nice but not spectacular rye, and not something I´m likely to return to.
From the same distillery we get another straight rye, this time with a 100% rye mashbill. Double distilled and bottled straight from the barrel without any chill filtering. Rye whiskey being the dominant American whiskey before prohibition, these producers are doing a good job of reacquainting aficionados with the origins.
Compared to the straight rye above this one has a nose more dry and spicy, yet aromatic and with more complexity. Neat in a tasting glass it´s pretty smooth, with well defined pepper and spice keeping through a medium long finish that also has a hint of smokiness. In a tumbler with ice the smoothness is accentuated, also creating a fleeting sweetness without actually diminishing the complexity.
Packaging is very similar to what I´ve described above, showing that we shouldn´t judge a book by its cover. Feels a bit more special and is something that might actually get a return match.
Manufactured by Roughstock distilleries of Montana this is a product of the first legal distillery in the state of Montana in over 100 years. Apart from its rye this small batch distillery also makes two malt whiskies, as well as a spring wheat and sweet corn whiskey that will be reviewed later. Locally produced grains are matched with clear spring water and double distilled in copper still pots, followed by aging in American oak and bottling without chill filtration. When it comes to delivering a 100% rye mash bill it looks like you´ll have to rely on the artisanal distilleries like Roughstock and the earlier mentioned Grand Traverse.
The colour is a pleasant amber and we get a full nose dominated by toffee, treacle, cinnamon and spice, with a nice dry character. Neat in a tasting glass we have distinctively dry and peppery notes with some lingering sweetness in the finish. In so many ways solid and feels characteristic of its kind. In a tumbler with ice the white pepper takes charge while still finishing with fleeting notes of sweetness.
The bottle is similar to the ones produced by the Grand Traverse Distillery and with labels aspiring to simple and traditional designs. Would definitely like to try this one again
The Bulleit company started as a way of continuing a family tradition of making American whiskey carried on from the 1830´s. Their output so far has consisted of a small batch bourbon which I like very much, a 10 year old bourbon which is not available in Sweden and a small batch rye reviewed here. With a mash bill of 95% rye and 5 % malted barley this one goes into the high rye content segment.
Showing a satisfyingly deep amber colour this whiskey delivers a nose combining a complex spicy dryness with hints of vanilla and mint. Neat in a tasting glass the dry peppery notes dominates along with spices and a fruity sweetness added in the middle, finishing more on the dry side . In a tumbler with ice the dryness continues to develop along with a lingering delicate note of sweetness.
The bottle is easily recognized with its glass relief, distinctive form and minimalistic label. A nice design creating a niche of its own. Bulleit rye is a whiskey well worth a repeat visit, just like the small batch bourbon. Sweet.