It’s a Bird! It’s a Booze!

It’s RYE! That’s right, today I review most mixologists most beloved spirit, rye. I’ll be discussing this wonderful spirit over the next two weeks here at the Dram. First up, we have my newest acquisition. I ran out of my old standard, Old Overholt a few weeks ago, so now I’m drinking:

Austin Nichols Distilling Co.: Wild Turkey Real Kentucky 101° Straight Rye Whiskey

Tasting Conditions: I enjoyed this whiskey after a long day at work. It was the first sip from the bottle. I used a Spirit Sippers large snifter (“The Wide-Mouth”) for the taste. For comparison purposes, I will taste it in a London dock glass later to see how the two glasses differ.

Eye: The bottle is similar to other Wild Turkey offerings, excepting that the green cap and a green bar on the label signify that it is rye. The rye pours a honey-wheat tan with very slow-forming and quite stubby legs.

Nose: The first thing I get is apples and toffee or caramel. It smells much like a nice caramel apple one might get at a state fair. Backing that up is a hint of both peppercorn and perhaps green bell pepper.

Mouth: In the mouth at very first, it almost tasted of vodka. Then I got a sweetness, and a fruitiness on the finish. The finish started with apples but then moved to the green bell pepper I noticed in the nose. A second sip showed more apple on the front while the sweetness remained the sweetness of unmodified sugar. I added water and gave it a swirl to mix. I lost much of the fruitiness, but got a lot more complexity with the sweetness. I got caramel notes as well as oakiness and a cumin-like smokiness. A second sip reminded me of the apple on the front, though it became more of a baked apple and lost crispness. Addind ice and pausing to allow it to melt and cool the whiskey, I took my final sips. When it cooled the rye lost much of its distinctiveness. There was still a Scotch-like smokiness, and some sweetness, and a little fruitiness, but it tasted a lot like a Scotch on the rocks.

Conclusion: This is not a bad whiskey. In fact, I quite enjoyed it. However, if my recollection of the Old Overholt is good, I think I preferred that. The search for good rye continues…

The Scribe


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