Monday, May 31, 2021

Switchgrass Spirits Rye Whiskey

- $20 (375 ml)
- 100 Proof
- 1 year
- Missouri

One thing I've always loved doing when I travel is going to the local liquor store in whatever area I'm in and finding a bottle or two of something that I can't find by me. Often that ends up being something from a small, local distillery that has limited distribution. Admittedly, this hasn't resulted in any spectacular finds or anything. Rather, most of what I end up with is young whiskey that leaves me wanting more.

I have learned, however, that I fair better by grabbing a craft distillery's rye over a bourbon, as rye tends to hold up much better at a young age. So, when I was in St. Louis for my daughter's hockey tournament a few weeks back, I grabbed a couple of St. Louis area ryes, including this one from Switchgrass Spirits. Honestly, what drew me to this one was the fact that it was available in a 375 ml bottle. I really wish that more products were available in the smaller, cheaper bottles. It makes it a lot easier to try stuff I might not otherwise grab.

The nose on this one was a bit surprising to me. As a young rye, I expected to get a lit of cinnamon and pine forward notes. The pine was there, but it was more muted and had more of a woody quality to it. Like pine bark rather than pine needles. What I found surprising, though, was how malty it was. I got heavy notes of honey and wheat bread, and I found myself sticking my nose into my Glencairn a lot while I was drinking this.

The flavor showed its youth, however. It had a lot of sharp edges, but it seemed farily grain forward. It had the wheat bread note, but considering how strong it was on the nose, I expected a lot more of that out of the flavor.  It had that overripe apple note, though, that I always associate with young whiskey. It's always a turn off for me.

I also got something green, almost spinach-like, and that was weird to me as well. There was a bright, fruity note as well, kind of like fresh cantaloupe, maybe even pear. This could have been somewhat redeeming, except that the pine notes really took over. And, unfortunately they weren't good pine notes. Rather it was more cleaning solvent-like and just not that enjoyable.

The nose on this one gave me a lot of hope, but in the end this whiskey was just too young and unrefined. It had a lot going on as far as flavor goes, but the flavors weren't all good, and they certainly didn't work with each other But, it was fun tasting this one, and it certainly didn't break the bank.

Grade: C-

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