Photo providedI sampled a wide range of American ryes for a story I wrote for an upcoming issue of the English publication "Whisky," the world's largest such magazine.
• Sazerac Straight Rye:
Quite different from the average rye, with a sophisticated softness that melds the expected fruit and spice notes of rye whisky with a soft, oaky topping. Long finish with a distinct cocoa tang.
• Rittenhouse 100 Proof Bottled-in-Bond Rye:
A fine balance of rye’s traditional sweet-and-sour tastes, with a long, crisp finish that lingers as a peppery tingle on the tongue.
• Old Potrero 18th Century Style Whiskey:
Hits the palate with full force. No wonder. It’s aged in uncharred oak and is bottled at barrel strength, so a bit of water or ice is advisable to reduce the heat and open its spicy richness.
• Michter's Small Batch US 1 Unblended:
This has the distinct sharpness of grain alcohol moderated by aging in bourbon-soaked white oak barrels that take the edge off the initial sharp, robust taste. Relatively short finish.
• Van Winkle Family Reserve Rye:
This 13-year-old offers a mature combination of flavors – cocoa, vanilla, pepper and spices. The long finish is subtle, even refreshing without the warm, cloying quality of younger ryes.
• Wild Turkey Straight Rye Whiskey:
Perfumey quality reminiscent of the distiller’s bourbon, but a coffee/leather/spice layering to the nose and taste makes it a distinctive rye.
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