Was looking for a Rye and noticed Russell’s Reserve 6 Year Old Rye was on sale awhile back for $35, so I figured why not give it a whirl. At 90 proof I did not expect this to be a barn burner, rather a daily drinker. The aroma was rye with honeysuckle, vanilla, and cinnamon. The flavor was more honeysuckle, cinnamon, a hint of black pepper, vanilla, light leather, and of course a light rye spice. The finish was black pepper with cinnamon and vanilla fading into the aftertaste. The alcohol only appeared post consumption and reminded you this is an alcoholic spirit. It was not overdone, but at the same time was only mildly restrained. As with all the Russell’s Reserve products this was delicious, approachable, and affordable. Don’t hesitate to buy this rye. While it won’t blow your socks off with complexity, it will scratch that itch for a nice Rye Whiskey.
I’ve seen several positive reviews of Stellum Rye, so when I happened upon a bottle I decided to give it a try. At 116.24 proof this had potential to be a hottie. At a price point of 55 bucks per bottle, I was hopeful I would like this Rye. My first couple of pours seemed to have a mint characteristic, but after having glasses with a clean palate, I think it was due to the interaction with what I had eaten or drank prior to the glass. The website indicates this is a Rye blend of 95% Indiana Rye with the remainder being comprised of barrels from Kentucky and Tennessee. The aroma was leather, brown sugar, caramel, black pepper, sweat, baked apples, and an underlying earthy note. The flavor was initially sweet with brown sugar, caramel, apples, slight black pepper, melon, and just a slight hint of mint. The finish had apples, brown sugar, and light black pepper long into the aftertaste. If you’re paying attention, what I didn’t mention was alcohol. Sure it was present, but always in the background and never strong nor oppressive. I’m not exactly sure how they made a high proof Rye without a strong presence of alcohol, but here it is. There is a lower proof Rye which is slightly less expensive I prefer more, but when you consider the proof on this one the price point seems appropriate. I’m not going to run out and grab another bottle, but perhaps you should if high proof spirits are you favorite. Give it a whirl and see what you think.
Many people reported loving Redwood Empire Lost Monarch so I had to give this blend a try. It took awhile, but I finally snagged a bottle. I’m still not sure why it was difficult to find, but when I did, it had a $40 price point on the 45% ABV Whiskey. I was hopeful after trying Pipe Dream this would be just as delicious, but it turned out to have more in common with Emerald Giant. That’s understandable once you realize this is a blend of 60% Rye Whiskey and 40% Bourbon. The aroma was filled with spicy rye, black pepper, brown sugar, clove, and hints of spearmint. The flavor was slightly sweet and focused on caramel, brown sugar, vanilla, black pepper, rye, and of course spearmint. The finish was restrained brown sugar and caramel, light black pepper, and lasting low spearmint. I’m just not a fan of spearmint in my rye so this one, although the spearmint is restrained, doesn’t make me want to purchase another bottle. If you love EG then this bottle is definitely one you should try, otherwise, go for the Pipe Dream.
PS: The namesake for this Whiskey is a 321 foot tall coastal redwood.