Saturday, October 17, 2020

Sagamore Spirit Cask Strength Straight Rye Whiskey


- $60
- 112.2 Proof
- Batch No 10AA
- Maryland/Indiana

Sagamore Spirit is one of those brands that I've been seeing on the shelves for years now, that seems to have some interesting products, and which has received, for the most part, really positive reviews online. While it's been on my shortlist of products I've been wanting to try, I just never got around to grabbing a bottle off the shelf. I'm not really sure why, perhaps I just always found something else I wanted--a matter of priority.

Interestingly, though, after purchasing this bottle, I attended a bottle share at a local restaurant, and two Sagamore Spirit reps attended. So all of a sudden I was not only trying this cask strength rye, but I also got to sample their Double Oak Rye, their Muscatel Finished Rye and their Manhattan Finished Rye. This, however, was the only bottle that I purchased (and finished), so this is the only one that gets a review on here.

I got some of those traditional rye mint notes on the nose, as well as a bit of that dill note that I commonly associate with MGP ryes such as this. Of course, there was also a healthy dose of vanilla, but I also got some sweet, crackery notes as well as a decent amount of cinnamon spice. I have no idea as to the age of this rye, but it also had a certain dry, woody note on the nose.

On the first sip I got a healthy dose of cinnamon right up front. That was immediately followed by a number of sweet, dessert-like flavors, including notes of chocolate and vanilla, as well as a light honey sweetness.  I was immediately impressed by that balance of spicy and sweet right away, not to mention the boldness of the flavors. This was a punchy whiskey (which you want from a cask strength whiskey), but the flavors seemed all right on point.

It had a certain grainy or cereal note, but not necessarily a corn note as I so often get. Along with the honey note, I likened it to sort of a Honeycombs cereal flavor. 

The finish on this whiskey was outstanding. It had a nice, viscous texture that really coated the mouth and made for a nice, long finish that carried a nice, light black pepper spice. On top of that, though, was a bright citrus flavor, kind of like orange or nectarine. The mint carried as well to create this spicy yet citrusy and cooling flavor which, when mixed with the vanilla, all combined to make for a delicious mix!  

This was a fantastic bottle, and I still can't get over just how much I loved the finish on this. Compared to the other bottlings from Sagamore I got to try, this would certainly be my favorite (though perhaps those didn't get a fair shake). I did, however, really like the Double Oak as well, and I'm already eyeing the Cognac finish. Clearly I'll be picking up more Sagamore Spirit bottles down the road.

Grade: A-

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