Sunday, March 26, 2017
Town Branch Rye Whiskey
- 100 Proof
I had heard that Alltech, under it's Lexington Distilling Co. name, was going to release a rye whiskey. While I liked their bourbon, it didn't exactly knock my socks off. Accordingly, I wasn't going out of my way to grab a bottle of this. Additionally, I had read a few initial reviews of this whiskey that, while they weren't bad, weren't really good either. However, more or less on a whim (and the fact that the store I was in had a limited selection), I picked up a bottle to give it a try.
Normally I don't put much stock in reviews (as I sit here writing my own review, the irony is not lost on me), and this whiskey is a good example of why. While craft and smaller distilleries have a hard time competing with the big boys when it comes to making bourbon, I've found more than a few distilleries that have made some delicious ryes (Mississippi River Distilling and FEW Spirits come to mind). I'd put Alltech in that same category.
It's got a traditional rye nose, though it was oddly faint. The cinnamon and vanilla notes are there, but I really had to work to notice anything. It was one of faintest smelling whiskeys I've ever had.
Luckily, though, the amount of flavor made up for it. The initial sip was all sweet cinnamon. Remember those fireball jawbreakers from when you were a kid? They'd be really hot until you finally dissolved the spicy outer coating, and then it was this sweet cinnamon flavor in the middle? That's what this reminded me of, and it was really good and what I look for in a rye.
Given the reviews I had seen prior to trying this, I was surprised that I liked this as much as I did. In addition to that sweet cinnamon note that I loved, there were undercurrents of pine and sweet cereal notes that reminded me of Life cereal. It was just the right amount to offset the sweetness of the rye.
On the finish, in addition to the cinnamon heat, there was a crisp light fruit note that lingered as well, like sweet pear. All in all, this rye was very complex and had a lot to offer as far as character and variety of flavors go. Alltech is on to something good here!