The newest expression from Knob Creek is a cask strength rye whiskey. I initially assumed it would be hard to find but maybe it was my lucky day since I found it at the first store I went to. Aged 9 years and uncut and unfiltered I am hoping this is similar to the Booker’s Rye.
I have been chasing this particular expression for a long time. After I quit looking for it I ended up stumbling onto a bottle last week–isn’t that how it always works. A Midwinter Night’s Dram is a blend of three ryes that, according to High West, have been aged betwixt 5-20 years. That rye is then finished in French oak and used port barrels.
A limited release rye that I was able to get my greedy paws on. Rarely do I get the opportunity to buy a limited release barrel proof and pass on it. I thought about it with this one, as I had to drive two hours to pick it up, but in the end I’m glad I made the trip.
Redemption Rye has been recommended to me the last few times I went to my local liquor store and I finally broke down and picked it up. I do like a good rye and if it’s bad I figured I can always make cocktails with it so it wouldn’t be a big loss. Plus at $35 it’s not so expensive that I’d feel bad using it as a mixer. Redemption Rye is made in the MGP Indiana distillery and distributed by the Deutsch Family Wine and Spirits. It’s mashbill is 95% rye and 5% barley, but how does it taste?
Another entry from the superb High West distillery; this one gifted to me since I can rarely ever find it in my area. As all three of my regular readers know I tend to enjoy the various blends that High West delivers. Does this expression continue that trend?
Catoctin Creek Roundstone Rye
Last weekend I took a trip out to Purcellville, Virginia to visit the Catoctin Creek distillery with some friends. The tasting room was all kinds of fun, and one of the great things about it was that they distill more than just rye. They also have brandy, gin, moonshine, and limited release expressions of each. So when you go to the tasting room you can try a bunch of different flight variations including cocktails and a pairing with truffles. There is literally something there for everyone.
While there I tried all their ryes–I enjoyed both of them, but I preferred the 92 proof expression–except the limited release cask proof, which has been finished in maple syrup barrels. So what’s one to do but buy one of the few remaining bottles to try out. It’s been a long week but I waited diligently and now it’s time to crack the bottle open.
Front of Whiskey Bar (photo via whiskeybardenver.com)
It’s been a couple weeks since I posted but I have plenty of great excuses: playoff baseball, work, vacation, sleep etc. It’s my recent vacation that I’ll be writing about. Specifically, a whiskey bar in Denver that I learned of through Whiskey Reviewer.
I’ve been to a lot of bars over the years (seriously a lot) and often times when you read glowing reviews of bars–especially niche bars–they’re written by people in the know and part of the cliche. If you are a tourist, an outsider, or new to the spirit, wine, or craft beer game then these bars can be painful to visit. They tend to raise a lot of barriers to newcomers and novices–often as a way of keeping the establishment as a locals only or snobs only joint–and therefore they end up not being very welcoming. Sometimes the experience can be so bad it’ll put people off a certain type of drink.
Thankfully, the Whiskey Bar was not that. Dave and the entire crew at Whiskey Bar created a fun, welcoming and inclusive atmosphere. Even though we were there on a Friday night we were still able to spend plenty of time chatting about bourbons, ryes, and local Colorado distilleries. He also took time to chat with my wife and help her find something she would enjoy. In a word, no one there was a whiskey snob.
I really can’t say enough great things about the Whiskey Bar and the entire staff. If you ever find yourself in Denver make sure you carve out a little time to go check it out and drink a few drams of whiskey. My only regret was being too tired to stay more than a couple hours. Hopefully, I can make it back there sometime soon.
Blade & Bow and Weller 12
Like many whiskey aficionados Booker’s Rye has been on my radar for awhile. I first learned about it when Sku tweeted out the label for it; no one knew what the price would be then but it shot to the top of my want list. I figured it would run about $100, but then later news rolled out that it would sell for $300 a bottle–which is steep. However, once the reviews and the hype started in I was pretty sure that if I was able to find one I’d probably buy it.
Luckily for me, the VA ABC has a pretty good system for selling limited release bottles through their website and via lottery. When the day of the sale came I was perched at my computer refreshing like a maniac until I was able to buy one. It came in last Friday and even as I was going to buy the bottle I was doubting whether it would be worth it and thinking maybe I should let someone else buy it. I quickly regained my sanity and bought it and then immediately started doubting my purchase and hoping it was worth it. Did I spend too much on a bottle of rye? I mean I love the Booker’s brand but how good can this really be?
So I let it sit on my table a few days in it’s beautiful box and let the expectation die down. Last night I had a dram whilst hanging out and chatting with my wife on the porch, and after I finished I couldn’t wait to drink another and write a review. Unfortunately, it was a late and I had to wake up early for my non-whiskey drinking job. After struggling through a Monday here’s my review…