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American whiskey followers have lengthy been stricken with single barrel fever. And for a neighborhood primarily based round evaluating and contrasting opinions on taste, that basically comes as no shock. Barrel picks enable us to discover a single producer’s vary, all whereas admiring the range that may emerge when sipping in any other case an identical distillate side-by-side.
Some hallmark manufacturers — Blanton’s, Baker’s, and Elmer T. Lee instantly come to thoughts — are ubiquitous as single barrel releases. Others are chosen by particular person shops or regional distributors, with widespread picks turning into one thing akin to gold at bottle shares and neighborhood meetups.
In a social media-friendly twist, some producers have been inviting visitors to strive their hand at selecting for broader releases. That features Maryland-based Sagamore Spirit, which just lately invited 4 social media creators to strive their hand at a collaborative decide of rye whiskey. They have been:
- Ryan Mills (@thatoneduderyan), Spirits Influencer
- Leandro DiMonriva (@educatedbarfly), Mixologist
- Sarah Jeltema (@whiskynomad), Spirits Influencer
- Shannon Harris (@TheBrewBrotha), Brewer
The 4 influencers visited Sagamore’s facility to style by and in the end choose certainly one of 4 samples. (A part of the choice course of may be seen in this video.)
Technically, the creators have been really selecting amongst two-barrel blends. All Sagamore Barrel Choose releases incorporate whiskeys from two separate mashbills — one very high-rye and one significantly lower-rye — with liquid initially distilled in Indiana and warehoused in Maryland. (It’s price noting that Sagamore has been distilling their very own rye since 2017, so it’s doubtless the Barrel Choose program will finally characteristic Maryland-made spirit.)
The outcome, dubbed Creator’s Cask, is a “Maryland-style mix of 7-year-old rye whiskies.” Finally, the two-barrel mix was bottled at 110 proof. Let’s dive in.
The nostril places to relaxation any thriller surrounding the supply distillery. This noses like an excellent MGP 95/5, together with some extra depth I’m guessing comes from the inclusion of the lower-rye mashbill. This has wealthy notes of darkish and purple fruit: blueberries, black cherry, and nearly candy medicinal cherry that’s removed from off-putting. Then freshly cracked black pepper together with a few of that traditional dill and parsley. There’s a ton happening right here, and instantly it jogs my memory of some excellent MGP rye I’ve tried at 14 years plus. Not a nasty begin for a seven yr age assertion.
The primary sip is good and fruity, with an enormous hit of raisins and dried cranberries. The baking and rye spice come a little bit later, however they’re current and linger for some time. On the second sip, I get some traditional natural notes and mint jelly combined in with the fruit. Whereas there’s black pepper on the nostril, it’s extra pink peppercorn on the tongue. There are complicated flavors layered right here, and whereas it’s straightforward to inform the flavors come from distinct liquid streams, they’re not clashing on this mix.
On the end, the spice provides technique to sweetness, not terribly lengthy however lengthy sufficient. There’s a contact of mint, then some leather-based, and a pop of lemon drop that retains issues from getting too drying and leaves me reaching again for one more pour. Seems my glass is already empty. It’s not the best possible end I’ve had on an Indiana-sourced rye, however this one actually punches far above its age.
This one shocked me, and it’s bought a depth I didn’t essentially anticipate from a seven-year mix. It looks as if the Sagamore group chosen not less than one “honey barrel” — I suppose it might be a “honey two-barrel mix” — for the creators to select. I’m simply glad they selected this one.
The Sagamore Spirit Creator’s Cask Rye is offered solely by Reserve Bar.
A / $71 / sagamorespirit.com
Sagamore Spirit Creator’s Cask Rye