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It was solely a matter of time earlier than Sagamore Spirit turned its ending eyes to the venerable rum barrel, with this mix of 5- to 6-year-old MGP rye whiskeys spending 10 additional months in a mixture of South American and Jamaican rum barrels. It’s price noting that Sagamore appears to have now dropped the “Distiller’s Choose” moniker in favor of a extra cohesive “Reserve Collection” label, although the corporate has toyed with names like “Brewer’s Choose” and “Vintner’s End” previously, so who is aware of.
Rum and rye are pure bedfellows, and right here the 2 show that they proceed to work properly, Baltimore-style. The nostril is at first sweetly rummy however not overblown with sugar, providing a couple of quiet notes of hogo, however then rushes into that intensely grassy character that’s endemic to rye — this most likely being constructed on MGP’s 95% rye/5% barley mash. Peppery and biting at occasions, it options notes of lumberyard and brush fires lingering after the rum character dissipates, which occurs rapidly.
The palate has a extra elegant composition, the grassy core mixing properly with a evenly candy, buttery high quality. Notes of darkish cocoa powder perk up alongside a slug of vanilla and caramel, adopted by Maraska cherry, buttered toast, and graham cracker notes. Some orange peel pops up late on the end, with a reprise of grassy natural character.
This whiskey actually grew on me over a number of hours of tasting, and I stored returning to my pattern bottle to uncover increasingly more of its charms. The nostril is unusual because it reverts quickly to an virtually vegetal state — however the palate is so pleasant one can finally push previous any flaws detected there. Whether or not the answer to this paradox is utilizing older rye, a special mash, or extra time within the rum barrel — properly, that’s a job for Sagamore to determine subsequent time round.
98 proof. Reviewed: Batch #1A.
A- / $79 / sagamorespirit.com
Sagamore Spirit Rye Rum Cask End