Balcones Texas Blue Corn Bourbon
Bourbon — Texas, USAReviewed December 5, 2020 (edited August 30, 2023)Nose: Big, bold, and oaked - very oaked, to the point of being drying and bitter. There's a touch of new make funk going on here that I suspect is due to this being so young. Burnt sugar, vanilla extract, and char. Dusty corn, cigar tobacco, leather. Real maple syrup on blueberry pancakes and browned butter. Over-roasted coffee. Some wintergreen vibes buried in the background. I'd love to run this side-by-side with Stagg Jr. - I remember that being much more abrasive and throwing you around the room a bit more. Which is to say that this noses below its proof, though it's definitely still high proof. Palate: The proof and oak combine to make this a big wave of flavor and texture. Again, charred oak is leading the charge here, along with burnt corn nuts and a bit of vanilla frosting. Tannic. Reduced macerated red fruits. Buttered popcorn. Hot baking spices and black pepper out the wazoo. This is all mid and back palate. It's like something broke the EQ knobs from turning them all up too high - this is SRV at the end of a show playing Voodoo Chile (Slight Return). He'd take his hand and just roll every knob up on every amp all the way. Medium mouthfeel. Finish: You'll be shocked to know that there's just a tremendous mountain of oak, burnt caramel, and vanilla. The ethanol is cooling during retronasal olfaction and the Kentucky hug here is warming. Things slowly die down and we get all sorts of orange, chocolate, leather, sumatran cigar tobacco, black pepper... The tannins and oils here let this just hang out. Eventually some menthol and mint character gets revealed, and then everything fades out on burnt popcorn and oak. Medium long length. Other notes: This bottle is 27 months old and sits at 130 proof. And while I rarely discuss appearance, this stuff is insanely dark for only being 2 years and 3 months old. I keep coming back to this and picking it apart. This requires a lot of acclimation for me - I'm a few glasses into this bottle and while the base flavor profile is consistent, I'm finding new things moreso than I do just day-to-day. This may very well become apart of my "gotta always have" club. Highly recommend if cask strength, super-oaked whiskeys are your thing.
Arran Quarter Cask "The Bothy"
Single Malt — Islands, ScotlandReviewed December 5, 2020 (edited December 1, 2022)Note - I'm doing the Really Good Whisky Company Advent Calendar. I've also decided to pour these whiskeys "blind" (or at least as blind as I can), then providing nose, palate, and finish notes. I'll then look at the label, proof, cask type, etc. before writing my other notes. I'll be providing some guesses around things like proof and cask type and then seeing how much I missed the mark. Slàinte Mhath! Nose: Definitely Scotch - honeyed, toasted grains with cracked black pepper. Also definitely all malt - not getting any grain whisky on the nose. Green tea. There's a thread of what I *think* is smoke. Guessing this is lightly peated similar to, say, an Orkney. There's a moderate richness and density that's pleasant. Coffee grinds, vanilla, and fennel are making me think this has more oak going on than usual. Also getting some ripe berries with a touch of balsamic vinegar. There's a bright note poking out that's making me think this is going to be around 48% abv. New leather. Not bad. Palate: This one kicks you around a bit! Revising my guess and putting this closer to, like, 55% (watch me be TOTALLY wrong here). Honey, oak, brown sugar, vanilla, cereal grain. Green bananas and green tea. Menthol and eucalyptus. Hot cinnamon, warming nutmeg, and cocoa. Some slight floral, perfumed character. This doesn't taste super aged, but there's a high level of oak. Going to guess this is either charred new oak or this is a smaller cask, a la the Octaves from a few days ago. Wondering if that's contributing to the heat. There's a slightly vegetal green bell pepper in the back. Again, there's whisps of smoke, as well as what I think is phenol. This shows up on the front, mid, and back palate. Realtively balanced, though very midrange-heavy. Medium mouthfeel. Finish: Bright flash of tea, ethanol, and fennel. The honey and vanilla mingle in, and then the grain character shows up. We then shift into mint and menthol while that smoke is showing up again. There's a consistent oak note that's present throughout. We then fade away slowly on black tea, vanilla, berries, and cream. Some solid oil content contributes to this medium long finish. Other notes: I enjoyed this one. This particular expression is in first-fill ex-bourbon barrels for 7 years, then dumped into quarter-casks for 2 more before being bottled at 56.2%. Unpeated, which I got wrong, but I'm going to guess the high level of oak, barrel shar, and high proof is what tripped me up - actually JUST saw mention of the oak/peat paradox the other day. My guess around the casks was so close to nailing it - it was't either/or, but both! The age is unsprising, since there's not really any of that lingering "new-make" character you find from super young single malts. All in all, I'm pretty happy with my assessment here. Especially that proof call. I enjoyed this one quite a bit, to boot, which stands to reason since CS stuff tends to be my jam. Until next time, cheers!
Lambay Small Batch Blend Finished in Cognac Casks
Blended — IrelandReviewed December 4, 2020 (edited October 10, 2021)Note - I'm doing the Really Good Whisky Company Advent Calendar. I've also decided to pour these whiskeys "blind" (or at least as blind as I can), then providing nose, palate, and finish notes. I'll then look at the label, proof, cask type, etc. before writing my other notes. I'll be providing some guesses around things like proof and cask type and then seeing how much I missed the mark. Slàinte Mhath! Nose: Sweet and fruity. Bananas, strawberries, and eucalyptus. Honey. Shortcake with sweetend whipped cream and a sprig of mint. Sweet cinnamon and nutmeg are along for the ride. Is this Irish? Maybe blended Irish? Oak - but not charred. Toasted oak. Lightly toasted marshmallow. Apparently Twinkies used to have banana-flavored cream and this is what I imagine that to smell like, just not as type-2 inducingly sweet. The ethanol is light - based on the nose alone, I'm guessing in the neighborhood of 43%. As the glass warms the bananas drop to the back and the strawberries come forward, bringing in blueberry and blackberry. Nilla wafers, too. There's nothing bright or sharp or pokey about this. It's very well rounded and approachable. Guessing ex-bourbon cask? The berries aren't musty or funky or rich, and there's no nut going on either. Not a ton of age here - guessing 5ish years maybe? Palate: This is almost certainly Irish - shortbread cookies, bananas, cream. It's all there. There's a lightness to this that makes me wonder if this is Midleton spirit. There's a good amount of what I'm parsing as oak, as well. Jamo Black Barrel comes to mind. Slight tannic bitterness and texture. Coconut, nutmeg, black pepper, and just a light touch of orange blossom water. Vanilla and honey. Chocolate milk - but the gallon jug of it you buy at the store, not the homemade Hershey's version. Maybe just a hint of leather? Maybe? Mid and back palate-centric. Very midrange-driven, with the only rough edges being what I think is barrel character. Medium light, creamy, semi oily mouthfeel. Finish: Bananas, whipped cream, vanilla. Some honey, too. Just a toch of mint and thyme pop in, and then we get oak and European milk chocolate. We then slowly fade out from there. Medium length finish. Other notes: After yesterday's experience I was tempted to just say "this is obviously Laphroaig!!1!" and just skip to the reveal. Glad I didn't though! When I looked at the container and saw that this was a blended Irish, I actually felt kind of proud and like I've learned things! It was rad. I don't have much of a life. Some research reveals this is 40% ABV (missed this one, though not too far off), started in ex-bourbon (got this one), and finished in cognac (missed this one). There's no age statement, but we know it's at least 3 years. Also seeing this is sourced since it's from a newer distillery. I regularly have A Time™ when trying to differentiate oak influence vs proof, so to get it within a few percentage points isn't too bad. I'd love to try this without that finishing barrel just to see what that's bringing to the party. Irish isn't normally my bag, but this might be something I'd pick up from time to time. Not bad. Until next time, cheers!
Single Malt — Orkney Isles, ScotlandReviewed December 3, 2020Note - I'm doing the Really Good Whisky Company Advent Calendar. I've also decided to pour these whiskeys "blind" (or at least as blind as I can), then providing nose, palate, and finish notes. I'll then look at the label, proof, cask type, etc. before writing my other notes. I'll be providing some guesses around things like proof and cask type and then seeing how much I missed the mark. Slàinte Mhath! Nose: Cracking the bottle, I can swear I'm getting a hint of what I want to say is peat though that's quickly turned into a general funk - maybe we're out of Highland for tonight? Lemon zest, bananas, honey. There's some grainy malt character buried in there, but it's mixed in with some minerality and that touch of funk. A fruit smoothie with blueberries, apples. Some sage and roasted almonds. Lightly toasted sourdough bread with cultured butter. Warming the glass in my hands (it's pretty cold here) is slowly revealing some subtle dark fruits - figs, plums, dates. Going way out on a limb and guessing sherry cask is at play here due to the nut and dark fruits. There's also a level of dryness that makes me wonder if this is a "newer" cask, and sherry casks usually are simply "seasoned" with sherry and then sold, so maybe this is a first fill scenario? Based on the nose alone, I'm guessing we're around 45% ABV. That may change into the taste and finish, though. As I'm acclimating, a bit more of that classic toasted, honeyed cereal grain character is coming through, along with a faint touch of vanilla. So maybe a blend of sherry and bourbon casks? I'm ready to be so wrong here. Palate: I don't know if this is just an off day for me, but the palate here is very light. Toasted grain, honey, and lemon oil. Lightly herbal, with basil, thyme, and mint. Sparkling mineral water. Some subtle baking spices - like what I imagine a "used" cinnamon stick might smell when you just huck the whole thing in and steep it. Cheap English breakfast tea. Just a touch of mint, cucumber, and roasted peanuts. Pie crust. My lack of context on these flavors, as well as the volume not being cranked to 11 (and the fact that I am dumb), really is throwing me here. Doesn't drink very "hot", and the delicate flavors and nose make me wonder if this is relatively young, say 5 years or so. That would make sense, especially with the funk I was getting on the nose, which may be the character of the new make coming through. This is almost all front palate, with a touch of mid. The balance here is much the same, with a lot of brighter, sparkly notes and then things quickly falling off from there. Light mouthfeel, but some decent oil content. Finish: Just the smallest pop of ethanol, a quick taste of wintergreen candy cane, and just the slightest thyme. Lemon oil, pine sap, black pepper come in a little. Then that minerality comes back alongside frosting and vanilla, and things fade away from there. A light, medium length finish. Other notes: When I plugged the name of tonight's sample into Google and saw that it's sourced from Orkney everything immediately came into focus. As noted, when I first cracked this bottle, I could have sworn I was getting some peat but then quickly acclimated, deciding it had to be some kind of light, generic funk. That then lead me down the path of potential sherry cask. In hindsight, a whisky in sherry casks that briefly wouldn't make sense, and much of what I noted here would have made a lot more sense if I'd stuck with that peated thread. Black pepper, spent cinnamon stick, and minerality should've tipped me off. But hey, that's the entire point of running these blind. Ultimately, I didn't properly recognize the peat (if there's an Islay in this calendar and I miss the peat there...), and that fed into me mis-identifying casks. I'd give myself a half point for that one, but that feels like cheating. As for what I got right, I was pretty close on abv, guessing 45% while this clocks in at 46%. And though this is an NAS offering, I'm seeing reference in various places at it's 6 years (not sure where that originates, though), so I'm comfortable saying my guess for age being "5 years or so" is at least in the ballpark, since it has to be at least 3, and the color makes me believe it's definitely well below 10. Though the distillery isn't confirmed, this producer is located quite close to Highland Park and so it's believed that they supply these casks. Looking back, that I mentioned peat and then typed the word Highland should have jogged my memory here. Alas, it did not. Nothing is real. Whiskey is confusing. Still, another fun experience that I've learned a ton from. Cheers!
Timorous Beastie 18 Year
Blended Malt — Highlands, ScotlandReviewed December 2, 2020 (edited January 22, 2022)Note - I'm doing the Really Good Whisky Company Advent Calendar. I've also decided to pour these whiskeys "blind" (or at least as blind as I can), then providing nose, palate, and finish notes. I'll then look at the label, proof, cask type, etc. before writing my other notes. I'll be providing some guesses around things like proof and cask type and then seeing how much I missed the mark. Slàinte Mhath! Nose: Definitely Scotch territory again - going to guess Highland. Moderate intensity. Toasted cereal grain and green apples. Imagine Cheerios with a little added sugar and slices of green apple. There's some astringency, as well, like under-ripe green grapes. Light oak and vanilla character is weaved through, which makes me want to guess ex-bourbon cask with some decent age. As the glass slowly warms up, I'm getting accidentally fermented apple juice. You know - that jug you forgot in your fridge once, opened it, and got that blast of bright, acidic, borderline vinegar-y aromas? It's not super intense here, but definitely reminded of it. Sugar-y sweetness, but subtle. Lime peels, crushed citrus tree leaves. Berries are also popping out - that berry and grape combo, combined with that bright, acidic character is kind of like when you add blackberries and raspberries to moderately dry champagne along with a splash of super-acidic orange juice. Some lavender tucked in there, though that might be more of a general lamiaceae character. Palate: Lots of bright fruit character. Grapes, green apples, dry sparkling white wines. Toasted grains are joined by vanilla, cream, and sugar. That lamiaceae character is focused now mostly on mint, thyme, and that lavender eagin. Grassy - fresh cut wet grass in the hot summer sun. Apples, cinnamon, clove - but fresh, not in a pie. Lemon zest. Some definite oak coming through, though tannin content seems to be relatively subdued though still present. Reminded a little of Kirsch. Fresh cracked black pepper. Canned black olives sitting in the background. Proof seems to be moderate. Front and mid-palate focused. Bright without much midrange or foundation - almost "top heavy". Medium-light mouthfeel, with some exccellent oil content. Finish: No big splash to begin with, but instead those bright fruit notes stick around, along with the oak and some honey. Apricots, peaches, and bananas - softer fruit flavors. There's a small swell of ethanol, which dies back down and lets the oak come back through, along with some lavendar and general green vegetation. A touch of cinnamon and black pepper, barrel tannins kick in. We ride out on honey, vanilla, and fruit. Medium long finish. Other notes: I did a little better tonight - another Highland, though this is a blend with decent age (18 years) and moderate proof (93.6). I've done some digging and can't find any information about what they're sourcing, nor can I confirm the cask type, though ex-bourbon is common so I wouldn't be surprised if it was in play here. Contrasting this with my experience yesterday, I'm starting to get my bearings for this part of the world, this particular glass giving a more lively, spicy experience overall. One thing I'm still calibrating to is how different the oak influence is when dealing with a relatively cool, mild, consistent climate. Strong barrel character is such an integral part of bourbon that removing that piece of the puzzle really puts me off kilter. This was another fun experience, and getting more of a sense for the range of possibilites and variations is eye-opening. Though I DO wish this were a mostly American whiskey experience, I'm not at all disappointed so far. Until next time, cheers!
Glenglassaugh Octaves Classic
Single Malt — Highlands, ScotlandReviewed December 1, 2020 (edited December 3, 2020)Note - I'm doing the Really Good Whisky Company Advent Calendar. I've also decided to pour these whiskeys "blind" (or at least as blind as I can), then providing nose, palate, and finish notes. I'll then look at the label, proof, cask type, etc. before writing my other notes. I'll be providing some guesses around things like proof and cask type and then seeing how much I missed the mark. Slàinte Mhath! Nose: Pouring this into the glass, the smell was jumping out at me. Going to guess this is 100+ proof. Beautiful - honeyed toasted grains with vanilla-flavored yogurt. Cracked black pepper. Fresh hay. Walking into a kitchen while a pie is being baked with green apples, light on the spices. There's a vase of fresh cut flowers on the counter, as well. Getting a sense of brown sugar and oak buried under the flowers and greenery. Definitely a Scotch, so I'll guess bourbon cask is in play. Also going to guess Highland? Totally out of my element on Scotch regions. Fresh thyme and rosemary with a touch of mint. Expressed orange peel. The floral character is slowly becoming more perfume and potpurri. Cucumber and canteloupe. Maybe just a touch of salt. Also an earthy, nutty undertone that starts to butt up against wet cardboard territory for me. Palate: Where the nose is big and bold and jumping out of the glass, the palate is soft and approachable and sweet. Age is evident, with oak and tannin showing up, alongside a touch of black pepper. Ripe hoenydew and canteloupe drizzled with honey and topped with whipped cream. Herbs again, with more baking spice than on the nose - getting a bit of cinnamon and nutmeg, though not crazy amounts. Letting this sit on my tongue the palate wakes up and the proof shows itself. Toasted cereal grains. Raw red bell pepper, arugala, red radish, dill. Herb salad vibes, no tomatoes. This is very mid palate heavy, with midrange and bass for days and a solid presence. Light mouthfeel, leaning towards medium. Finish: A swell of melon, black pepper, and yogurt. Slowly strawberries with balsamic vinegar show up, with some bitterness as well. Cream and vanilla, banana, coconut. Subtle sour notes play off the honey sweetness. Things slowly fade out on oak, bitter, sour, honey, etc. Long finish, with decent oil content helping things stick around. Other notes: Seeing that this was only 44% surprised me - though I'm guessing my brain parsed the higher oak influence as higher proof (likely a conflation due to my appreciate for highly aged, cask strength bourbons). This is named for the cask type, apparently about 1/8th the site of a butt, or around 17 gallons, which is why there's a higher oak presence and, again, I parsed as having a lot of age. I also missed that on top of the bourbon, there's PX and Amontillado sherry cask going on, though going back that would explain some of the fruit and nut I experienced. Doing this blind was eye opening and humbling - I still have a ton to learn and a lot of palate development ahead of me. Getting out of my wheelhouses of bourbons and Islays was also a ton of fun. I can't wait to see what the next 24 days holds.
Knob Creek 15 Year Bourbon (2020 Release)
Bourbon — Kentucky, USAReviewed November 30, 2020 (edited March 11, 2021)Nose: Oak, vanilla, brown sugar. Fruits - bananas, apricots, peaches, blueberries. Cinnamon leads the baking spices, though there's a solid clove punch as well. That oak is absolutely present, but not overtaking the rest of the glass - everything else is still able to shine through. Well worn leather. Undercooked roux, with a butter plus raw flour thing going on. Barrel char and smoke are also present, but again aren't overtaking the rest of the show. Compared to standard Knob Creek 9 year, this is deeper, richer, and has more fruits, while the black pepper and spices aren't as "front and center". Palate: Dry and tannic oak, with brown sugar and some vanilla extract. Under-ripe bananas, strawberries, and blueberries are also here. Floral alongside classic baking spices - toasted anise, camphor, black pepper. Lightly sweet ketchup-based barbeque sauce, smoked ham, and charred beef. Again, this is almost exactly what you have in mind when imagining Knob Creek but older. The depth of fruit here is a welcome addition, but never turns into extreme territory - balance here is superb. Getting reminded of the Red Bull cola - should see if I can't order that online. Middle and back palate heavy, with a nice little pop on the front. This fills in the bass that's missing from standard KC. Medium mouthfeel, but with enough tannin texture that it almost presents as more dense. Finish: Big pop of ethanol, citrus peels, and flowers. That signature oak character comes forward, alongside honeyed grains and fruits. Big time parfait with overcooked granola vibes. Bitterness and texture show up and the proof is still hanging out. There's an effervescence to the finish that I find really enjoyable. Medium long length. Other notes: Knob Creek 9 year is my favorite daily sipper. It's the single bottle that I will go out of my way to ensure I have in my cabinet. So any time I come across anything new under that label I buy on the spot. This 15 year simply reinforces that strategy - this is a beautiful expression, and while I wish (as I often do) that it were at a higher proof, I am by no means disappointed. The overall integration and balance on the nose, palate, and finish show some masterful blending that showcase a well aged bourbon that isn't over-oaked. This sits very comfortably in the Knob Creek flavor profile while also showing what advanced age can accomplish with that mash bill. Really beautiful bottling. I can absolutely recommend it.
Elijah Craig Toasted Barrel Bourbon
Bourbon — Kentucky, USAReviewed November 30, 2020 (edited March 14, 2021)Nose: Big, big oak, metallic vanilla, light brown sugar. Bitter/sour notes - combo of tannin and lactones lending to this funky "drying" character on the nose. Rose garden floral. Hershey's chocolate, under-ripe banana. Some green bell pepper vibes in the background. Definite well-worn leather and funky english tobacco playing off each other. Classic baking spices (think cinnamon, clove, etc), though that oak character is domineering. Walnut bread and lemon icing. This smells higher than 94 proof. Palate: Loads of dry oak. Canned vanilla frosting and brown sugar, as well. That oak character is drying and bitter, but without the charred characteristics that normally accompany it. Tannins are here, some sweetened whipped cream. Baking spices with cocoa. Not as much leather as the nose, and that tobacco shifted into a more Virginia direction. The orange julius' my dad used to make at home come flooding back to mind. Sublte sweet citrus. Plenty of texture here, though not as "hot" as on the nose. Plenty of mid with some back palate. Relatively balanced, though I am missing some of those denser, richer, deeper char characteristics from, say, an ECBP. Mouthfeel is medium. Finish: Splash of ethanol and orange peels, which as they fade reveal vanilla, oak, cream, and leather. Tannic texture and flavor are present throughout. Black pepper and softer baking spices show up, but otherwise the finish remains relatively consistent. Medium length. Other notes: Though I genuinely enjoy this, it's more as an oddity than anything else. Elijah Craig generally represents one of the best values in whiskey, and while I try to avoid the subject of price it's hard not to with a lot of what's coming out of Heaven Hill (Evan Williams is another great example). I also generally find myself finding Heaven Hill products representing excellent examples of styles, from Evan Williams BiB to Elijah Craig Barrel Proof. In this case, however... I can understand and appreciate the angle. And this gets very close to what I'd guess they were really shooting for. I wouldn't be surprised if we saw some tweaking of this in the future. I can't say that this is something on my re-buy list, nor can I really recommend it. Like I said - I enjoy this, but mostly as an oddity. If that's your bag, then give this a go - it might be your kind of funky adventure.
Four Roses Single Barrel Bourbon
Bourbon — Kentucky, USAReviewed November 12, 2020 (edited March 14, 2021)Nose: Classic, leaning into spicier and lighter. Vanilla, oak, and bown sugar are all here, along with distinct black pepper and baking spices. Chocolate covered cherries with cordial. Berries, too. Angel food cake with macerated strawberries and homemade whipped cream. Palate: We lead with the light and spicy theme. Again, classic bourbon profile with the oak, vanilla, and brown sugar combo, but not dense and rich. Rye carries through as slightly herbal, cinnamon, and clove. Bananas, apricots, and strawberries are all here - for some reason I'm reminded of Fufu Berry Jones Soda. Sweet mandarines. Tannin taste and texture, though I'd expect that for a 100 proofer. There's also a slight almost lavender character buried deep in here. Again, getting some of that angel food cake and berries combo noted on the nose. Upper palate is out front, middle palate is well represented but obviously not the focus. Lower palate is there, but not prominent. Medium mouthfeel. Finish: Nice pop of ethanol and light berry notes. Almost effervescent. Mint, thyme, and camphor come forward, along with oak and a thread of char. Menthol also comes in, and as these fade away sweet cream, oak, and light fruits, slowly fading away. Medium length. Other notes: For the curious, this is from warehouse SS, barrel 89-3M. This is absolutely a cornerstone bourbon, giving folks a chance to see something at 100 proof that isn't going to beat them over the head with oak and richness. This plays off fruitier characteristics very well and is easy to drink without being boring. I have a bad habit of passing up bottles like this, discounting them and not giving them their fair shot. I'm glad I'm revisiting this - though still not among my favorites, the relative quality and care put into this are worth it. While there are plenty of other offerings at this price point, and I don't feel compelled to keep this on hand at all times, the variation from batch to batch makes me consider buying this every once in a while to see how things have changed. Worth a go.
Woodford Reserve Straight Rye
Rye — Kentucky, USAReviewed November 12, 2020Nose: Oak, vanilla, barrel, and char all present, though I'm also getting a big combo of thyme, dill, mint, and dusty corn. Getting a distinct Play-Doh with herbs vibe. Sweet red bell pepper. Black pepper, clove, cumin, and slight cinnamon. Cocoa and dusty leather. THis is definitely rye, but also a very high percentage of corn for a rye, so it's exactly what you'd expect from, say, a high-rye mashbill bourbon. Palate: Surprisngly consistent with the nose - the oak's tannic bitterness coming through now. Also getting some solid fruits - bananas, strawberries, and blueberries. Hot cocoa with toasted marshmellows. Thyme and rosemary, subtle hits of dill. The basking spice/black pepper combo is also still here, along with that dusty corn. Certainly middle and upper palate focused, whith the lower palae pulled way back. Light mouthfeel. Finish: Soft fruits, cocoa, and cigar tobacco give way to dusty corn and cheerios. A good swell of camphor and mint alongside a ping of ethanol settle down into a peach cobble with lemon and topped with vanilla-flavored whipped cream, the oak hanging out underneath the rest of the experience. Mediun-short length. Other notes: Though not terribly complex or big, this answers a question I didn't realize I had - we have high-rye bourbon, why not high-corn rye? Which makes me further consider other options - high barley rye and a 51/49 malt/rye combo specifically come to mind. I'll be upfront that this is not what I'm necessarily looking for in a rye, but is interesting nonetheless, the corn balancing against and taming the rye spice in a very appealing way. I could totally see this as an excellent introduction to the style for somebody that doesn't want to drop much money or have something deeply challenging. Not something I'd feel compelled to have on-hand, but something I might pick up if I wanted a few bottles around for company.