An excellent gateway rye that is smooth , flavorful but not overly challenging.
Notes: Kentucky Release only. Produced at and Available at Evan Williams Bourbon Experience 528 West Main Street, Louisville, Kentucky . Produced in an artisanal distillery there. It is also available on a basis at select Kentucky retailers.
This is the second product released by the Square 6 Distillery – the first being their Square 6 High-Rye Bourbon. These are both made by Artisanal Distiller Jodie Filatreau in a copper pot still one barrel at a time, using the same still and yeast. A small side note to this is the still ( and the one barrel at a time yield) is highly reminiscent of the Original Michters ( not the new Kentucky one).
The major difference between the two from a mashbill standpoint at least- is that the High-Rye Bourbon has (of course, to all you whiskey aficionados, but for the newbies) more corn than rye (52 percent Corn, 35 percent Rye, and 13 percent Malted Barley) and this the High -Rye Rye, has a mashbill of 63 percent Rye, 24 percent Corn, and 13 percent Malted Barley. A further note of geekery is that the reason that they call this one a High-Rye is that their usual mashbill for their rye whiskies is 51 percent Rye ( legal minimum, among other points), 35 percent Corn, and 13 percent Malted Barley. At my last count, they made at least five rye whiskies prior to this one – all of which are reviewed and searchable on Spirits Review under Heaven Hill Rye. They also of course produce more bourbons than I can comfortably recall, and most of the m are reviewed on Spirits Review searchable under Heaven Hill .
Appearance: Clear, Baltic amber color with a slight red honey shift to it denoting a longer aging than many ryes these days. Medium body leaving an oily coat on swirling. Crenellations on the edge line but not a lot of legs
First Impression: What is it about a Heaven Hill product that makes it immediately recognizable by smell ? ( and I mean that in a good way)Obviously it must be the particular grains, yeasts and other factors then of course the blending to profile . Always a bit of sensory treat and anticipation. Rye, corn, barley of course , but a nicely structured dry but not overly sweet dark fruit profile at first blush. Leather harness, tobacco, char and smoke whisper behind the initial fruity , spicy melange,
Taste: Delicious spice bomb! Citrus, Seville oranges, light allspice and cinnamon notes with the alcohol backbone supporting a host of smells nicely. Saddle leather, tobacco, and oak char also are the follow up in a pleasantly lingering finish.
Drinks: Excellent for all the usual suspects that call for a rye whiskey (Manhattan, Old Fashioned, etc., but gentle and subtle.Also excellent on its own in a decent glass, with maybe , a touch a water if you like but no ice- you don’t need it and it only dumbs down the whiskey.
Bottle: Can’t comment as we did not receive a production bottle.
Other: Price is a bit disappointing. But this ia a small production,artisanally made small batch and those costs add up fast ! So can’t begrudge them the price as much as a mass production bottle.
Final Thoughts: A nice starter or gateway rye that is not overly challenging, but has the complexity to be a welcome gift for a more experienced rye drinker. Not the bitch slap of sweet/sour complexity and flavor of some of the other ryes out there. It whispers rather than shouts
While this website says nothing about the Square 6 offerings it IS about the Artisanal Distillery on Main Street and the related, shall we say less than small batchwhiskies of the Evan Willams Branch of the Heaven Hill Tree.