June 14, 2007

Black Maple Hill Rye 23-year-old

Photo provided

I 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.

Go back to Dowd On Drinks main page.

1 comment:

Paul said...

I couldn't agree more. Last fall a panel and I tasted our way through 18 ryes for a story I was writing for Imbibe magazine, and the BMH 23 year was one of the last ones we tried. It immediately blew everything else away -- even the Thomas Handy that some of us were still swooning over. (Longer notes on each of the ryes start over here.)

My favorite aspect of the BMH23 (and the 18 year, for that matter) is the finish -- lasts for miles, and that lingering touch of fruit and brown sugar almost makes you weep.
Which reminds me, I've got a birthday coming up...