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Tasting Date: 03/29/2018
Bright and sweet caramel-covered apples. Twist of zesty, but sweet and juicy navel orange. Nose is warm and sweet, but piquant. Red currant and dried cranberry. Mild fennel seed. Expecting a bourbon by the nose.
Initial Taste: 11/15
Bourbon on the initial punch, but the follow-up is immediate and unmistakably rye spice. The rye spice comes and lingers in the sinus cavity as if it were horseradish. Caramel crème candies, like Cowtails. Fairly mild in the initial impression, but every not perceived is a pleasant one. Very polite rye!
Medium bodied. Alcohol does not thin it out on the palate. Super smooth and caramel-sweet with a sugary slickness, like caramel crèmes.
Chewing it, the same notes from the initial presence persist, bourbon corn notes, followed by some rye spice, and settling into light caramel and sugary crème filling, but there’s a slow fade into the navel orange note picked up in the nose. Nothing herbal, minty, or spicy in a salient, astringent, or pungent way. Notably, a bready character backbone is absent.
For a whiskey that gives such a smooth and dainty performance, the finish sticks around! The rye spices, bready and punchy with caraway, coriander, and star anise stick little flavor pins and needles all over and continue to fill the nose. Nevertheless, the palate is left pretty dry and begs for another sip. No overbearing astringency, no cloying sweet, but not a ton of depth either and moderate alcohol burn.
For $16 I picked this up for…. Absolutely worth it, and I might go grab another bottle!
Solid enough on its own, but for the serious rye drinker, it may be lacking in depth and/or intensity. Every note is good, but there’s not too much to explore here. A fine drink, but somewhat lackluster. Again, decent enough to sip, but certainly an excellent mixer for any rye cocktail, especially those using highly aromatic bitters.
Likely, this would be an excellent gateway rye for those who love very polite bourbons and want to dip their feet into some spice, especially with the low level of commitment to buy a bottle.