Rare Character Single Barrel Kentucky Straight Cask Strength Rye Whiskey (Selected by Gordon’s)
Age: 6 Years 7 months
Recipe: 95% rye, 5% malted barley
Distiller: An undisclosed distillery in Bardstown KY (Bardstown Bourbon Company?)
Price Paid (MSRP): $95 ($95)
Nose: Wood spice, mint, intensely floral, lots of nutmeg, a little milk chocolate, pine, and allspice. Very nice but mellow.
Palate: Medium mouth feel, lightweight without being thin. Wood and rye spices, chocolate, winter green, and more floral notes. The spice builds through the palate.
Finish: Medium to long length, gentle and almost underwhelming initially but the spice notes settle in and it lingers for quite some time. More oak and mint. Very refreshing.
Rating: 82/100 – Excellent | Really quite exceptional
You don’t see a lot of cask strength whiskies below 90 proof on this side of the pond. I’m fairly certain that this Rare Character pick is the lowest full proof rye that I’ve tasted. Narrowly edging out the 45.65% ABV James E. Pepper 15 year that was matured in the damp cellar casks of MGP. While this bottle doesn’t quite reach the heights of JEP, it is still an exceptional pour. The low proof makes it dangerously drinkable, providing relief to the palate without sacrificing any flavor. It lacks the traditional rye punch but still manages to deliver a spice driven experience with tons of oak and rye spice. In a community that has become obsessed with high proofed pours these oddball barrels seem to fly under the radar, but I’ve found that they still have a lot to offer.