Photo providedI had already completed, or so I thought, an article for the UK magazine "Whisky" on American ryes when I received this hard-to-find gem as a birthday present. It completely changed my mind on which ryes were the best.
• Black Maple Hill Rye:
It's tough enough to find a bottle of the 18-year-old rye, but the 23 takes special investigatory powers. An initial burst of brown sugar, heat and spice quickly transforms into a mellow, oaky smoothness. Despite the richness there is an ethereal lightness one seldom experiences in hot ryes.
Fruit notes such as apple and pear dance around the edges, but the palate responds again and again to the varied spices. Utterly splendid, and worth every moment you spend tracking it down.
Retails in the $110 range.
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