As fall kicked off this yr, KO Distillery in Manassas, Virginia introduced the discharge of two new expressions, each of which are supposed to fulfill whiskey-drinkers’ rising love of rye (or so says the press launch). First up is Distiller’s Reserve Bottled-in-Bond Rye, the observe on to final yr’s Distiller’s Reserve Bottled-in-Bond Bourbon constructed from 100% Virginia-grown rye. The second launch is a brand new addition to the Bare Knuckle line, and its backstory is a bit more fascinating. This can be a sourced, high-rye bourbon from Indiana that KO bought after they first started distilling to have further inventory available in case provides ran low (which they apparently have). The 75% corn, 21% rye, and 4% wheat recipe was barreled per KO’s requirements in barrels from Kelvin Cooperage and aged six years on website in Manassas. KO is making it obtainable as each a single barrel bottled at 90 proof and, just like the pattern we acquired for evaluation, a cask energy providing. Let’s dig in!
Distiller’s Reserve Bottled-in-Bond Straight Rye Whiskey – Immediately cool and refreshing on the nostril with large, inexperienced notes of backyard mint, dusty baking spices, and a little bit of candy sawdust. The palate continues the pattern with an preliminary rush of spearmint bordering on chewing gum that rapidly transitions to one thing extra earthy, showcasing notes of damp soil, dried herbs, and pink peppercorns. There’s a little bit of astringency on the very again finish because the mint returns alongside just a few pesky tannins. Extra traditional barrel notes arrive on the cooling end that fades with notes of toasted sugar and grass clippings. Followers of greener rye whiskeys will discover so much to love right here. 100 proof. B+ / $75
Naked Knuckle Cask Energy Excessive Rye Bourbon – A knockout from begin to end. Wealthy on the nostril with darkish spices, black tea, Demerara syrup, and a few barrel char. The palate is a rush of indulgent sweet store flavors, from caramel apple and Cracker Jack to toasted marshmallow-filled S’mores and Almond Joys. The end sees a silky chocolate sauce word accompanying brighter components of orange peel and brandied cherry. There are lots of layers right here, nevertheless it’s well-balanced, and even at a wholesome cask energy, it’s remarkably approachable. For those who reside wherever close to Virginia, be looking out for this bottle. 127.6 proof. A / $73