The unaged rye whiskey from Buffalo Trace. Nicely spicy and quite different from a unaged corn whiskey.
Notes: This is one of the newest products from Buffalo Trace along with their wheat white dog reviewed here . Following last years’ launch of their first white dog – White Dog Mash # 1 – (formerly only available from the distillery gift shop – and now in stores) which by most accounts was wildly successful, they decided to follow up with the latest releases, both of which have different ingredients or mashbill’s.
This is the distillate that comes off the still at Buffalo Trace at barrel strength.They use rye, corn, and barley in a rye whiskey mashbill (recipe) as a base and rather than age it, bottle it at the proof it came off at directly to preserve the full on white rye whiskey taste. It differs from some others who use who use either a heavy corn base (as in all or at least mostly corn) and a traditional bourbon mashbill (which must be at least 51% corn).
Their many other products include a wide range of bourbons and ryes and their antique collection which is a (at least) yearly collection of small batch products . The following are a few links to reviews of their products we have done: Ancient Age, Ancient Ancient Age, Eagle Rare 10 year-old, Eagle Rare 17 year-old,Blanton’s, Rock Hill Farms, Hancock Reserve, Elmer T. Lee and their Wheated Bourbon Series; W. L. Weller Special Reserve,and W. L. Weller 12 . (See ourAdventure Section for a tour of the distillery).
Appearance: Very thin edge line on the glass when you swirl it, smooth layer of whiskey on swirling, after quite a bit of time some scalloping, then a few thin legs and finally very small droplets forming at the edgeline.
First Impression: Unmistakably rye whiskey. Spicy sweet/sour smell, but less sweet than a number of others. The rye in particular lends a in turns sour, sweet, and spicy underpayment for the bouquet. (Note this is 125 proof so sniff carefully and no smoking while drinking).
Taste: Seriously spicy stuff start, finish is medium short, quite smooth (especially for 125 proof) with a warming glow. Nice corn sweetness and touches of barley malt become apparent after a couple sips and your palate gets over the first sip. A nice blending of grains to make a harmonious and tasty whiskey. This is particularly difficult as this is a young, naked whiskey, it can’t hide behind wood aging.
Drinks: There is a dearth of drinks recipes for new make or white dog whiskey – particularly for a rye. Think vodka color, Old Tom Gin in graininess with no juniper. Closest we can come to is a Genever (Jenever) or Roogenaar (similar to Genever) not that any of these comparisons is more helpful unless you are a Genever/Jenever aficionado. Works nicely in a variation of a Tom Collins, Manhattan or a sour – we especially liked a Pisco Sour swapping out the Pisco for White Dog we call this variation The Pit Bull (now added to the New 75th Annivesary Edition of the Mr.Boston Official Bartenders Guide). We also found the this white whiskey worked well paired with game or smoked fish fish.
Cigars: Something mild but complex so as not to lose the nuances. A Fuente Work of Art, Rocky Patel or possibly a Ghurka. But keep the cigar and drink well separated unless you want to do a Richard Pryor impersonation.
Bottle: Short clear glass. Small size also makes it stand out. Simple paper seal is used instead of a neckwrap making it easy to open and the composite cork closure (what it lacks in character it makes up for in sealing).
Final Thoughts: A very spicy rye white whiskey with outstanding taste and smoothness. While quite challenging from a cocktail standpoint,we highly recommended as an addition to both your mixing and whiskey cabinet as it is a great example of a fresh from the still rye – something that no one has seen (legally) in years. Price is excellent given quality and proof.
Web site: http://www.bourbonwhiskey.com
Good web site with easy navigation, cover all of their extensive whiskey collection and has links to the parent company (Sazerac) and their other offerings also.