Friday, June 11, 2021

Alberta, Michter’s, Jack Daniels, Barrell, DHG fRYEday night

Well it is Friday night so let’s do rye reviews again. I’m slightly under the weather for few parts of this review so fingers crossed. I’ll revisit few things when I can for second opinion.

Alberta Premium Cask Strength Rye, 66%
Not too sure what’s so ‘premium’ about this but label gotta label. Jokes aside, Alberta (R) is a registered trademark somehow. This is quite obviously Canadian rye whiskey and this is a batch cask strength with batches varying in proof a bit. IIRC mine is a batch two. At 66% abv that’s hot stuff in there. Nose is wood, some sweet rye spice, and a lot of alcohol. Palate is very hot, somewhat cinnamon forward with lots of wood and surprisingly not a too much sugar, keeping it quite balanced, aside from scorching heat of the alcohol. It is certainly sweet and woody and spicy but reasonably so in terms of overall experience. Pleasant baking spices and sweet aftertaste develops for a long time after initial burn is gone. This really rather cries out for water. Water cuts the alcohol and sweetness a tad and makes it… quite tasty and a bit woodier with slight bitterness now balancing out the sweetness after the alcohol is no longer overwhelming everything. A bit of licorice and pine palate peeks through as well. Unfortunately as with a lot of ryes, this gets more bitter, the more it sits in the glass so there’s certainly some inflection point where bitter overwhelms the good. Overall it is reasonably drinkable for the price though it’s also nothing too special to write home about the MSRP is about on point for the overall experience here. Water to cut the burn is recommended required as well as drinking it reasonably fast. This may become my Manhattan fodder.
Score: B-

Michter’s Barrel Strength Rye (2019), Cask#79, 56.3%
Another Michter’s Rye from yesteryear? I was considering adding it to the overall Michter’s rundown https://www.aerin.or … y:entry201129-222309 but reviewing it here is good enough, no? Nose, charry, woody, slightly smokey rye spices. To be clear, not actual smoke but notes of super toasted wood instead. Palate is sweet rye deliciousness. Candied orange peel, rye and eucalyptus spice, caramelized sugar. Woody, almost to a point of bitterness but backs off on the bitter notes right before it gets anywhere near unpleasant. Somewhat disappointingly short finish as per pretty much every Michter’s bottle. Overall, yah it’s legit. The secondary pricing on this is a bit insane and plenty of retailers are asking $200+ which is utterly unreasonable… Near MSRP this is solid solid stuff and quite tasty even for this grump that doesn’t like rye.
Score: A-

Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Rye (2020), 65%
A 2020 limited run of Jack’s Single Cask Rye that’s proofed rather high. This became a hot commodity almost immediately. A note to be made about color here, with this being nearly chestnut-colored. Very Jack style nutty varnish on the nose. Mouth-coating toasted spicy nuts and some rye spice on the palate. Surprisingly tame for such high proof. Long and mouth-tingling aftertaste which is super nice. Overall… Hmm, I see why plenty of folks are calling it ‘fire’. Tasty but I’m having a hard time finding rye in there. Frankly, just stick to Single Cask full proof Jack and don’t pay premium for this. But pretty much nothing is worth its secondary value. The bourbon is sweeter in the corn sweetness way so rye does dial back the sugar in a pleasant way. If you see it at MSRP, worth getting.
Score: B+

Barrell Rye #M768, 7 year MGP, Beast Masters Pick, 57.56%
Somewhat a mouthful of a name, this is a Barrell Rye from MGP, nicknamed “Hannibal Nectar”. It’s been chilling in my glass for quite a while actually due to unforeseen distractions, so whatever oxigen would have done to it is already done. Let’s dig in! Well, the nose seems like a reasonable rye with with MGP spice twist though surprisingly sharp on the alcohol side of things. The palate is… surprisingly good. Woody, spicy and just about perfectly sweet without being too much. Quite warming on the palate the alcohol lets itself be known but with the rest of the big bold flavors it integrates well. Solid amount of wood and sweetness show up in the aftertaste that lasts a long time. Overall, I like it a lot. Price and availability aside, this is solid drinking stuff. I’m not usually a fan of ‘traditional’ rye but this gets my vote for being quite tasty and old MGP stuff is pretty darn good with that MGP spice doing well in Rye and barrel influence. MGP 4 year old rye is too young: https://www.aerin.or … y:entry210212-220609 but extra few years in a cask does wonders.
Score: A-

Domaine des Hautes Glaces (DHG) Single Malt Rye, Cask #79, 53.1%
Oh boy… This one got a story. Don’t I just love stories to go with my whiskey? A 100% malted rye from France, aged in used fortified wine casks. A single cask bottling with reasonably high proof. Sounds good yet? Yes it does! The nose is super herbal with malted rye flavors overlayed by grape sugar. So tightly wound between herbaceousness and spice as to be nearly smokey like a flowering grass fire smoke. The palate starts like a rye and turns full on herbal about midway through, then nearly fades and, surprisingly, roars back again with full chocolate and herbs assault on the tongue. This secondary assault slowly fades over a very long time in to the super pleasant aftertaste very similar to having fortified herbal wine. Lots of mint, sage, thyme, some eucalyptus and rosemary on the herbal notes. This is highly reminiscent of Herbs de Provence spice mix. Overall: Holy cow yes! A little young to develop it’s own secondary flavors but any longer and it would have been overwhelmed with too much cask influence, so likely bottled at the proper time. Lovers of all that is weird in whiskey sign up here. This and Old Potrero malted rye single casks are fantastic examples of what I really like about malted rye whiskey. It’s not perfect but its minor flaws are well masked by the outstanding qualities. Where OP is much darker and broodier this leans towards the light side of the spectrum without losing too much of a dark character. Not for every occasion and certainly not a casual drink; this is just something weird, unique and outstanding at the same time. Best I can describe it as herbal whiskey. Value: at $70 are you kidding me? Buy if you can (no chance; it’s been sold out).
Read the good stuff here:
Even the general release is pretty awesome:
Score: A- (*Not for everyone)

Scoring Breakdown: https://www.aerin.or … age=scores_breakdown