Giving each whiskey (and whisky) I try a final grade, but only after reaching the bottom of the bottle. After all, just one drink is never enough!
Friday, August 23, 2019
Three Rivers Distilling Franklin B. Rye Whiskey
- 95 Proof
- 6 Months
- Batch 6
Occasionally my work causes me to travel to far away and exotic places. Well, not really, but lately I've had to travel to Fort Wayne, Indiana quite a bit, to the extent that I've managed to identify all the decent shops in the area. On one of my scouting expeditions one night, I stopped into one shop that had a really good selection of Indiana whiskeys, and I figured it was about time to take a shot at something local.
Having no familiarity with any of the brands I was seeing on the shelf, I took to reading the bottles and the backstories. This particular bottle intrigued me. Not only is Three Rivers Distilling local to Fort Wayne, and not just Indiana in general, but it is also veteran owned. While the whiskey was notably young, I figured my money could certainly go to worse places, so I grabbed a bottle hoping for the best.
I popped open the cork and the first thing I noticed was that this smelled super young, which was certainly to be expected. I got far more corn notes on the nose than I should in a rye. I also got that over-ripe apple note that I seem to find in young bourbons, as well as a weird sort of vegetal quality, almost a bell pepper smell. At times I seemed to get black pepper, and at other times I noted a sort of sugar cookie smell, but both of these notes were fleeting and inconsistent.
I will say that the flavor was certainly more enjoyable than the nose, but that was a pretty low bar. It was very sweet up front, and had some traditional notes of cinnamon and light pine, with even a slight mint note on the back end. However, what actual flavor there was to this whiskey was overwhelmed by that up front sweetness. This was almost cloyingly sweet, with almost a corn syrup quality to it.
On the finish, the light peppery spice did manage to find its way through. I also got a bit of a cinnamon applesauce flavor, which I again associated with the fact that this is a very young whiskey.
As I worked my way through this bottle, I just didn't find anything to change my impression of this whiskey. It remained cloyingly sweet throughout and always had that weird, over-ripe apple flavor to it. It did develop a slight smokey note which I thought was interesting, but as I had my last few pours of this bottle, my sole impression was that this was simply way to sweet, and it was incredibly harsh. I really struggled to finish it, unfortunately.
As much as I wanted to like this, and there were a few hints of goodness from time to time, I just couldn't find much to enjoy.
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