Tag Archives: Rye

Method And Madness, Rye & Malt, 46%

After falling in love with Shortcross Rye And Malt I thought I’d order up a sample of Method And Madness Rye & Malt from Tiny Tipple for a comparison.

Image courtesy Celtic Whiskey Shop

Reassuringly pale in colour.

Where’s the rye on the nose? It’s rather timid & tame.

Mild & malty mouthfeel.

It’s only on the finish a rich peppery spice develops showcasing the rye that’s in there.

After Shortcross I must admit to finding Method And Madness a bit of a letdown.

Despite a 60/40 rye/barley mix there was a distinct lack of warmth from this whiskey.

Too much of the method & not enough madness for me.

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Method And Madness Rye & Malt website here.

My Shortcross blog here.

Tiny Tipple website here.

Shortcross Rye And Malt, 46%, at Thomas Connolly Bar, Sligo

Now here’s a whiskey I instantly fell in love with!

Shortcross Rye And Malt is the 2nd release from the boutique Rademon Estate Distillery in Northern Ireland.

It marks the return of rye to Irish Whiskey with a bold & unapologetic offering.

The 1909 Royal Commission into whiskey – which paved the way for the modern industry we know today – mentions Irish Whiskey usually being made with a mixed mashbill of barley, oats, wheat & rye.

I’m very pleased to see distilleries like Rademon exploring the rich flavours these grains deliver.

Being a self confessed lover of rye – Shortcross Rye And Malt displays that classic rye nose to draw me in.

Some describe it as dry sweet biscuit, my other half experienced almondy nuttiness.

A warming luscious mouthfeel.

The dryness of the rye has been balanced by a barley creaminess.

Offering both depth & complexity Rye And Malt finishes with a flourish of dry peppery spice that delights.

Love it!

Shortcross double distill Irish grown rye & barley & present the whiskey non chill filtered, natural colour at 46%.

Thomas Connolly have an extensive array of Irish Whiskey to suit all palates – especially rye heads!

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Rademon Estate website here.

1909 Commission Report here.

Thomas Connolly website here.

Archie Rose, White Rye, 40%

This one’s eluded me for a while.

Sitting at the back of my cupboard – possibly for a few years – is one of Archie Rose’s first offerings – a 40% White Rye.

They’ve come a long way since 2016 – when this White Rye was bottled. The matured rye can now be enjoyed!

Going back a few years however to the start of their journey is this White Rye – which I was glad to re-discover.

An earthy rye note greeted me – full of promise & flavour.

Smooth mouthfeel – touch of new make going on – but builds to a warm spiciness on the rear.

Leaves the palate tingling with a soft prickly experience.

An engaging little number that set Archie Rose out on the distilling road.

Maybe I’ll have to check out what they’re up to know!

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All images authors own.

Rúa American Single Malt, 46% & Four Roses Small Batch Bourbon, 45%

American Single Malt Whiskey is a growing category.

I thought a back to back with one of the new breed of American Distillery’s releases against a more established Bourbon producer was in order.

Image courtesy Celtic Whiskey Bar

Rúa American Single Malt, 46%

Distilled at the Great Wagon Road Distillery in North Carolina & claiming Irish heritage with the Rúa name is this non chill filtered , natural colour organic, non GMO barley offering.

A lovely richness to the nose. Mild & mellow on the palate. Slowly builds developing into a very attractive & enjoyable array of flavours which dance merrily away.

A very well presented single malt.

Image courtesy Celtic Whiskey Bar

Four Roses Small Batch Bourbon, 45%

Hailing from the long established & popular Four Roses Distillery in Kentucky is this Small Batch release. A blend of different bourbon mash-bills with varying degrees of rye content.

I immediately get a warm dry nose – indicative of the high rye content Four Roses is known for. A satisfying mouthfeel where the dry spiciness of the rye interplays with the smooth sweet corn influence. Leaves with that signature prickly spice.

Nice & easy.

Thoughts

I enjoyed both of these!

Trying to pick a winner is a bit tricky.

Do I go for the subtle yet engaging flavours of the newcomer single malt?

Or stick with the bolder rye spices of the established player?

Four Roses are relatively easy to encounter – but I do think Rúa is worth seeking out.

It’s constantly seeking new experiences that engage me on this spirit journey – so Rúa it is!

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Whiskey & Philosophy, Editors Fritz Allhoff & Marcus P Adams

Wow!

I’ve never read a whiskey book like this before.

Authors from differing disciplines were invited to submit essays on varying aspects relating to whiskey.

The results are highly entertaining, thought provoking and at times – challenging.

Can you apply Hegelian thought, Aristotle virtue, the philosophy of Dualism, Buddhism or plain old group think & social cohesion to tasting a whiskey?

It’s all in the mix of this publication.

Why do you like one whiskey over another?

Is taste malleable?

Does knowing the master blender, visiting the distillery, being part of the clan, liking the manufacturing techniques, agreeing with the sustainable policies, bottle design, price point all alter our experience of drinking whiskey?

I certainly have my views of the above – and they’ve been further enlightened by the discourse within the pages of this book.

Whiskey & Philosophy is a bold publication full of complexity & rich depth. The diverse elements combine elegantly giving creative excitement to this blended entity.

Highly recommended!

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Bart’s Blended Irish Whiskey, 46%

My 1st encounter with Bart’s Whiskey – a core release blend for Lough Ree Distillery in advance of their own distillate – was in the comfort & warmth of Skelly’s Bar Ballymahon.

Sitting by an open turf fire I found Bart’s to be clean & fresh with a lively citrusy nose.

A smooth silky mouthfeel with touches of oiliness warmed to me.

Delightful soft kisses of smoky turf on the finish left an engaging dry spiciness melting away.

A highly entertaining & complex whiskey!

The following week found me in possession of a bottle with the chance to explore further.

Meeting Bart’s in Skelly’s had already won me over – but the additional information only confirmed this.

Complete with QR code for all the geeks out there – a lovely passage honoured the memory of Lough Ree Distillery’s founders father Bart.

A component breakdown of the blend explained my brief tasting notes.

Clean & fresh’ equates to non chill filtered & natural colour.

The high – & probably youthful – grain percentage explains ‘lively’.

The pot still ‘oiliness’ is evident.

But the crowning glory – for my palate anyway – is undoubtedly the rye cask & peated malt giving those ‘smoky kisses’ & ‘dry spice’ on the gorgeous finish.

Some demand such information on the bottle.

For me it’s an optional extra & an additional selling point.

Even if all the label stated was ‘Bart’s Irish Whiskey’ – my palate told me this is a damn fine whiskey!

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All images authors own.

Foxes Bow Irish Whiskey , 43%, Blend

There’s a bright new shiny brand of Irish Whiskey from Limerick creating a few waves.

Using artwork designed by a local illustrator Foxes Bow strikes a bold, fresh & contemporary pose – and that’s only the bottle label!

So what of the liquid?

Positively sparkles on my palate!

A light, clean & fresh nose offers up hints of peppery spice.

Smooth mouth coating palate.

Dries out towards the finish but leaves a fruity juiciness gently fading away too.

The bourbon cask maturation with Oloroso & Rye barrel finishing has created a highly entertaining blend with an engaging array of flavours to tease out.

Very enjoyable!

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All images courtesy Foxes Bow website & social media.

Stork Club Straight Rye, 45%, Germany, v’s Balcones Rye, 50%, Texas

Some blogs sink without trace – while others gather a bit of traction.

There’s little advance knowledge as to what will – or won’t – capture attention beforehand & it’s often the unexpected that gets results.

Old Grand-Dad was one of them.

Living up to it’s ‘cult’ status a fellow whiskey fan expressed interest in sample swaps.

As I’m sitting on close to 100 opened bottles that will damage my health if I drank the lot – I’m still damaging my wallet by eagerly seeking the next flavour adventure.

My cupboard is always open for exchanges so Old Grand-Dad went one way & a couple of ryes came mine.

2 rye c/othewhiskeynut

I was very pleasantly surprised by the package!

c/oStork Club Distillery

Stork Club Straight Rye, 45%, Germany

My previous encounter with this distillery was back in 2015 when I came across their rather enticingly labelled Sloupisti Single Malt.

Sloupisti Single Malt c/o deutsche-whiskys.de

Sloupisti has undergone both an ownership & rebranding exercise since – resulting in the Stork Club Rye before me.

The nose exuded an earthy, almost farmhouse style of rye.

A very grounded feel to the palate. Rich & vegetal, powerful yet smooth.

A signature dry rye spice finished of proceedings – undoubtedly boosted by the 45% ABV.

Stork Rye c/othewhiskeynut

Using German grown rye & partially aged in German Oak has brought out a rather unique taste of locality & place.

Very enjoyable.

c/oBalcones

Balcones Rye, 50%, Texas

Balcones also briefly entered my sphere with an entertaining sample of their Single Malt Whiskey.

c/oBalcones

This Texas Rye initially offers up a more traditional nose of sweet vanilla & dark caramels.

A rich earthiness – not normally found in US rye – began to make it’s presence felt in a very attractive & enticing way.

For 50% I found Balcones Rye to be full of flavour with a rich warm spiciness on the finish wrapped up with a hint of tobacco too!

Dry yet lip smacking all at the same time.

Using Texas grown rye – along with crystal, chocolate & toasted rye in the mashbill – a melange of unexpected & highly engaging flavours were experienced.

Balcones Rye c/othewhiskeynut

Thoughts

Both these ryes are a delight.

Using mashbills & ingredients not normally encountered elsewhere the range of flavours are boosted adding a richness of depth & complexity I found very alluring.

Both push the rye category forward in new & exciting ways.

Suits me!

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DOT Brew, Session Rye Revisited, 4%

I don’t just enjoy a rye whiskey – I’m also partial to rye in beer.

The grain imparts different qualities to the beverages.

In whiskey there’s usually a light sweet aroma, rather dry palate & a gorgeous spiciness to finish.

In beer I loose the spice.

Rye beer c/othewhiskeynut

With this Session Rye from DOT Brew a light sweet & fruity nose kicks things off.

Definitely dry on the palate.

Then fades rather quickly leaving you wanting more!

Back label c/othewhiskeynut

Rye grain is harder to work with – which is probably why it’s use faded over the years.

Makes it all the more enjoyable to savour when it does appear!

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A Blind Tasting Experience

In a departure from the usual – today’s blog is courtesy of the Irish Whiskey Stone Company who received one of my blind tasting packs.

This is the experience they enjoyed!

“About a week ago I saw a post on Twitter by a whiskey reviewer, @2DramsofWhiskey of Westmeath Whiskey World, in which he showed a picture of some vials of whiskey and informing us that he was going to be doing a blind whiskey tasting. I replied to his tweet asking what was a blind whiskey tasting and how does one go about doing it. Not really expecting an answer, I was more than pleasantly surprised when I got a reply telling me that it could easily be arranged!

This was followed with some private messages in which I then had to admit that I know next to nothing about whiskey (which may surprise some of you, considering I sell whiskey stones but how and ever…)

That didn’t put the reviewer off and before I knew it, here I was with 3 samples of whiskey to try out.

I have to admit, it took me a few days to get around to doing it and a certain amount of mental preparation (don’t know why but I was quite daunted by this task!).

Anyway, today was the day. I got out the samples, I found three glasses, got a spittoon glass at the ready and a bottle of water to clean my palate between tasting.  

I got a pen and paper out ready to make some notes and cracked open Sample D. I poured some into a glass and first took note of the aroma, which struck me as quite sweet. I sipped and let it rest in my mouth, closed my eyes and thought for a moment about the flavours. The two flavours that struck me the most was citrus and wood. I then added a wee drop of water to see what flavours this would release and the sweetness became more intense. I found this sweetness too much for my liking to be honest.

Sample D West Cork Peat Charred Cask

I washed my mouth out with some water and proceeded to try out Sample E. Again, the first thing I noted was the aroma. This time I could almost detect the freshness of the sea. (probably not remotely a technical whiskey tasting term but it fits for me). This whiskey had a very pure taste and I found it very pleasant indeed.

Sample E Kilbeggan Rye

On to Sample F I went. As soon as I opened the bottle, I could catch a hint of peatiness. I like peat but not too much of it so I was wary. However, this was not overbearing at all. I tasted. Wow, what an explosion of flavour in my mouth. There was an almost orange tang of it but it was a little sharp for me. Having said that, I think this would be an amazing after-dinner tipple.

Sample F Mackmyra Reserve Cask

I gathered my notes and what you have just read is my semi-coherent interpretation of them. 

So, there you go. My first whiskey tasting. I actually really enjoyed it and it was a good challenge to write about it too!”

Many thanks to Irish Whiskey Stone Company for sharing their thoughts.

Have you tried blind tasting yet?

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