Disclosure: These samples were given to me by Nashville Barrel Co. for review.
Nashville Barrel Company Small Batch 1 & 2 Ryes
Age: Batch 1: a blend of 4 and 7 year ryes. Batch 2: a blend of 4 and 8 year ryes.
Recipe: 95% rye, 5% malted barley
Price Paid (MSRP): N/A ($60 / 750ml)
Batch 1 Tasting Notes
Nose: Clove and allspice, mild dill and oregano, oak, vanilla, anise, some brown sugar, and orange peel.
Palate: Light to medium mouthfeel, lively with black pepper, vanilla bean, anise, baking spices and more herbs.
Finish: Medium length, drying with wood and bit more vanilla sweetness.
Rating: 70/100 – Great | Well above average
Batch 2 Tasting Notes
Nose: Caramel, vanilla, mint, oak, honey, and allspice. More subdued than Batch 1.
Palate: Medium mouth feel, creamier with more weight than batch 1, more of that brown sugar, heavier oak, cinnamon and pepper spices, a little mint and bit of dill.
Finish: Medium length, cinnamon, oak, caramel and lingering menthol.
Rating: 74/100 – Great | Well above average
And the winner is batch 2! Both are great whiskeys and while batch 1 had the superior nose, batch 2 wins on the palate and finish with a thicker, weightier mouth feel. It’s also closer to my preferred MGP rye profile with lots of brown sugar sweetness and a nice spice backbone. Batch 1, on the other hand, reminds me a lot of Stellum Rye which leaned heavily into anise and vanilla notes, and didn’t appeal to me as much.
Value wise, I think $60 is about right for these ryes. In many ways they feel like a spiritual successor to recent releases of Rendezvous Rye, now that the brand has moved on to using more of their own (inferior) distillate. It’s a well crafted blend of younger and medium aged MGP ryes at a respectable proof. In today’s market I’d probably pick the more competitively priced Stellum Rye over batch 1, but if NBC can put out more releases like batch 2, they’ll have a bright future ahead of them.