November 9, 2011

Woodford Master's Collection Rare Ryes

For its sixth annual release in its Master's Collection, Woodford Reserve has created a change of pace with a pair of 375ml bottles of rye -- one aged in a used, charred cask, the other in new wood.

Woodford master distiller Chris Morris hates being predictable. Thus, the "Rare Rye" version of his Master's Collection, to be released sometime in November.

The two are a triple distilled rye bottled at 92.4 proof. I obtained samples of both and evaluate them side-by-side, as Morris suggests doing.

The New Cask Rye has an enticing aroma, heavy on the brown sugar caramel with a hint of spice. On the tongue, both elements expand to go along with a noticeable heat one might expect from being matured in new wood. The finish is lingering, spicy and smooth.

The Aged Cask Rye has, surprisingly, a much more restrained nose and lighter color -- both more of a lemon honey than the pale brown and brown sugar, respectively, of its companion. On the tongue, there is a distinct tarry edge before the semi-sweet chocolate, thyme and burnt sugar notes kick in. A long finish, smooth to the very end.

To be frank, I'm not wild about the execution of either, but like elements of both.

Suggested retail price: $99.99 for the two 375ml bottle.

Go to Dowd's Spirits Notebook.

No comments: