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Review: Castle & Key Small Batch Bourbon Batch 1 and 2 and Restoration Rye 2022 Batch 1

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Castle and Key Bourbon

Now for the second a few of us have been ready for since first indicators of re-awakening appeared on the deserted Taylor distillery off McCracken Pike. After a number of years of persistence, time, and alter, the inaugural batches of Fort & Key’s bourbon have been delivered.

The primary spherical of Restoration Rye went stay in early 2021, and even via the peaks of the pandemic Fort & Key’s output remained stage and constant: placing out seasonal gins, a number of new batches of vodka and Restoration Rye, and a particular whiskey paying homage to the position African People have performed in American whiskey manufacturing. We had been fortunate sufficient to catch a really busy (however energetic) Blender/Model Ambassador/Jack of All Trades Brett Connors from Fort and Key on the eve of the discharge of Bourbon Batch 1 for a fast catch-up and tasting session.

The inaugural iterations encompass two separate small batches at about 80 barrels and round 4 years of age. The mash invoice is 73% white corn, 10% rye, and 17% malted barley blended by Jon Brown, director of Fort & Key’s Analysis & Growth division, together with Connors. Sufficient prep, let’s get right down to brass tacks.

Fort & Key Small Batch Bourbon Batch 1 – With notes of honeycomb, orange creamsicle, and lightweight cereal grain on the nostril, Batch 1 is instantly accessible. Conventional notes of oak and vanilla ultimately make an look, however the sweetness retains issues fascinating. The palate retains a minor oak affect with honey, nutmeg, and a contact of rye in direction of the top. The true enjoyable is throughout an extended, beautiful end the place the sweetness wanes and a robust wave of rye and pepper takes over for the length. A straight drinker that might additionally do nicely in cocktails, however why spoil the experience? 98 proof. A- / $50

Fort & Key Small Batch Bourbon Batch 2 – In some way, the second batch pivots into a completely completely different expertise. Muted and stylish, it bursts out of the gate with mint, baking spice, and only a contact of floral affect that’s immediately likable and structured within the basic bourbon profile. The end is rounder with a heavier wooden inflection than the primary providing, offering an fascinating distinction that by no means dulls because of oak and spice hanging round for a beneficiant period of time. It’s onerous to choose one batch over the opposite, however this will get the nod by only a contact. That is one to pour into your favourite glass and make investments an extended period of time having fun with. 99 proof. A / $50

Together with the 2 bourbons, I used to be fortunate sufficient to strive an advance of Fort & Key’s first Restoration Rye batch of 2022.

Fort & Key Restoration Rye Batch 1 (2022) – The nostril is gentle however knowledgeable by an attractive mix of wintergreen and a slight contact of baked cinnamon apple. The sweetness fades barely on the palate, with a balanced mix of apricot, chestnut honey, and brown sugar. The end hints on the cinnamon apple observe however stays on track with the palate and is a contact too quick. Drew lately reviewed the ultimate 2021 batch and gave it excessive reward. This carries on Restoration’s high quality in tremendous type. 113 proof. A- / $45

Fort & Key’s definitely having a second, one which is most deserved and well-earned. All three releases are proper within the middle of the standard vs. value Venn diagram, pleasing to the attention in art-deco-inspired bottles, and most significantly: they’re versatile and well-balanced. There are extra releases on the way in which, and it is going to be fascinating to see what occurs because the distillery rolls out aged inventory and additional experiments with its mixing course of.

castleandkey.com

Castle and Key Bourbon

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