Although I wasn’t able to get a bottle at retail, I did snag one from http://www.bottle-spot.com and it is trading for around $200 right now, which is not bad, if it turns out to be a high quality rye. It’s 110.6 proof, lower than both the Handy and Pikesville, but at 11 years in the barrel, it’s almost double their age. Distilled in Kentucky, I have no idea where this is originally from… this is my first Kentucky Owl product ever as the Bourbon has been too small of a production and too high of a secondary price. I did try a dram at Jack Rose and loved it, however, I was about 10 drams into the evening, so who really knows?
On to the review… nice dark color, very inviting. The nose has evolved quite a bit since I opened it this weekend. I’m getting candied orange, rock candy, nutmeg, bubble gum, graham crackers and grapefruit rind. The nose isn’t nearly as hot as the proof would suggest.
The mouthfeel is great, really grippy and bursting with flavor. I’m really getting the orange and rock candy and spicy notes on the tongue. The finish goes on for at least two minutes, hard to tell exactly because I keep drinking more before I get to three minutes.
This is a really nice rye. It is expensive though. I did a quick side by side analysis vs Thomas Handy, and although good, not quite at THH level. Is it better than the Pikesville? Well, it’s different, but it is also 3x more expensive–that hurts it a little bit. The bottom line is this is a wonderful rye and if you like rye, you should absolutely try to get it and if your budget allows, you should pay up for it in the secondary market. Pikesville will still be my go-to rye given the cost and availability, but if you are able to grab one of these, you will not be disappointed to add it to your whiskey cabinet. 95/100.