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N: Tart with dry barrel spice leading into tannins. There's a kind of caramel sweetness and bit of vanilla as well, but those scents are fairly restrained.
It isn't all that complex, but it's a nice, fairly typical bourbon nose that I definitely believe leans into the rye.
P: There's a dry, spicy bite right at the beginning. I'm getting a bit of Canadian rye vibe here. There's more vanilla sweetness here than I'd expected. There's plenty of wood, though it's a tad less than I thought it would be. The tannins also show a hair more than I'd like. There's an odd sort of wateriness in with the spices, as well as some clean, bitter herbs. I'm definitely tasting that rye here. Occasional notes of anise. Very very faint hints of peanut. I get a hint of beets at times, but not like I do with some really intense ryes.
The palate has a decent amount going on, but it isn't super complex, I like its rye flavor, but the balance is a bit off in places.
F: Lingering anise and vanilla pod, with some tannins and spicy burn. Occasional dry woodiness as well. It's kind of rich and decadent and it sticks around for a while, so it's fine.
- Conclusion -
I like this. I don't love it and I do think that it needs some work, but it's a fairly enjoyable sipper. I'd probably take 1792 Sweet Wheat over this though.
Four Roses Single Barrel (15/23) is lighter and shows its alcohol more while retaining a spicy nature, but there is more complexity to the Four Roses - though I wouldn't say that it is more balanced. Honestly, the two are quite close. I do think though that the Four Roses is a little ahead because of its nice complexity.
I wouldn't go lower than a 13 on this. I think it's fairly nice. I'm probably going with a 14, but I might end up back up at a 15.
Elijah Craig Small Batch (15/23) is mellower than this, but as a nice sweetness to it, with some chocolate notes.
It's a tough call here, but I think that this manages to be a low 15.
Oof, coming back to this for a final sip, I don't like it quite as much. I think that this is now a 14. I'm now finding the Elijah Craig to be a little bit better than this.
Thanks to @Milliardo for another rare bourbon sample!
1792 Series (9 of 11): High Rye
Did you know:
“High-rye” can be a meaningless adjective. Four Roses has two mashbillls, one with 20% rye and one with 35%. Buffalo Trace (who does not disclose) is generally considered to have an 8-10% rye mashbill and a 10-15% rye mashbill, yet their staff will refer to these as the “low-rye mashbill” and the “high-rye mashbill.” This means BT’s “high-rye mashbill” likely contains less rye than the “low-rye mashbill” from Four Roses. (Note: back in 2019, both distilleries, unprompted, had a tour guide that cracked a well-natured joke toward the other distillery with regard to this irony.)
However, there does seem to be some consistency when distilleries put a moniker on their bottle to suggest a higher rye content. Here are a few:
Redemption High Rye = 36%
Blue Run High Rye = 30%
Garrison Brothers Rye Bourbon = 37%
There are others that aren’t disclosed, like Jim Beam’s High Rye, but reasonable assumptions put those in the high 20s to low 30s. So while there isn’t a true “high-rye” distinction, there do seem to be some norms. Given all that plus the estimation that standard 1792 is 18% rye, I think we can probably make the same assumption here (high 20s-low 30s).
Nose is honey, oak, syrup, apple. Cherry. Baking a cake. Raspberry. Jam. Love it.
Body is grapes, apples. Bit of dust. Fruit punch is there. Raisin. Sugar. Whipping cream. Blood orange.
Finish sneaks in late building up a baking spices note. I love it when the mouth feel changes over time on a finish, and this one is dynamic. It lingers with you.
This is a spicier small batch. The flavors aren’t altogether that different from small batch, and this makes me want to adjust my speculation down to about 25% rye, all other factors equal. I like it a lot, and if this were a regular offering, this would be a 1792 that I keep in stock. The finish has about as good a mouth feel as a bourbon can supply.
Looking forward to the next on-deck:
1792 Sweet Wheat