Saturday, May 15, 2021

Starlight Distillery Huber's Old Rickhouse Single Barrel Indiana Straight Rye Whiskey

- $60
- 113.8 Proof
- 4 1/2 years
- Indiana

I recently took my family on an impromptu trip down to Louisville over Spring Break. We didn't have anything else planned, so we figured that would make for an easy road trip. While Louisville didn't exactly captivate young minds, on the way out of town we took a detour to Huber's Farm. This was a success with the kids!! They had live music, people everywhere enjoying the sunshine and live music (a stark contrast to our experience in Louisville), an ice cream shop and a pond full of ducks and koi to feed.  My kids absolutely enjoyed it!

I, of course, went in with a plan, at least as far as whiskey is concerned. I wanted to get a cask strength, single barrel rye. I just haven't seen any by me, and I knew this would be the place I could nab one. But, after only a few minutes of perusal I realized my disappointment in the fact that they didn't have any available. So, I grabbed a four-grain distiller's select single barrel as a consolation price and checked out. As my kids were getting ice cream, though, I had to use the restroom, and on the way back out, I passed a barrel in the gift shop with three bottles on top and a sign that read, "In need of a good home." And sitting right on top was this solitary, lonely bottle, just begging me to take it home (not to mention that it was on sale!). And so I obliged. I couldn't have felt more lucky.

It's been a while since I've had any Starlight rye. In fact, the last time was a bottle with their old label. But I know they've been getting a lot of love, so I couldn't wait to crack this one open. The nose was full of some of the more traditional rye notes, with loads of pine and cinnamon, and a light woodiness.  It had underlying notes of vanilla and sweet spearmint. I even got a great blackberry note as well. I could have sat nosing this one all day it was so good!

As to the palate, it certainly did not drink to its proof. This was very easy to drink, with no sharp or harsh edges, and minimal burn--just flavor. It was dangerous in this respect.  I got a decent amount of anise or black licorice, but not enough to turn me off. It also was more on the sweet end than on the bitter end as that flavor can sometimes go.

Behind that, though, were all sorts of other wonderful notes. I got some of the pine and vanilla notes that I was getting off the nose. I also got that sweet spearmint note, which I absolutely loved. In that respect it leaned toward what I love in Willett and MGP ryes.  

I also got a bright fruity note, like fresh black raspberry. This note worked so well with the black licorice note, and the combo was unexpected yet delicious.  As that bright note faded, the finish was left with creamy notes of nougat to match the spearmint and vanilla. It was on the finish that I also got a light smoky note that was also unexpected but very welcome.

This whiskey absolutely lived up to my hopes and expectations. I'm so glad that I was able to grab this last bottle while I was there.  Word on the streets is that there are some store picks coming to my area in the very near future, and I'm going to be all over those when they come in. This stuff is great!

Grade: A

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