Friday, June 18, 2021

Starlight Distillery Huber's Binny's Private Selection Single Barrel Indiana Straight Rye Whiskey


- $60
- 114 Proof
- 5 years
- Barrel No. 16167
- Indiana

I have quickly grown into a sucker for just about everything that Starlight Distillery is doing. It started a while back when I first tried a Binny's single barrel pick from them a couple years ago. That was back when they had the older label design which, quite frankly, was unimpressive. But, the whiskey inside was good.

Since then, Starlight has updated their bottle and label design (a vast improvement), and coincidentally has also seen a lot of increased love for their products . . . and deservedly so!  I keep trying different products from them, whether it's a single barrel bourbon, a honey barrel finished rye, or a single barrel rye such as this, and it's clear that these people know what they're doing and they keep churning out great product after great product. So I knew before they even got them in that I'd be picking up one of these Binny's single barrels as soon as they hit the shelf.

The nose on this one was surprisingly off-putting at first. I was immediately hit with a strong pine note, but it same across a bit like floor cleaner.  Luckily, I only really noticed that on the first pour or two. From there, that cleaner note seemed to go away and lend to more enjoyable aromas of cherry and black pepper. There was also an earthy or nutty quality to it as well as a burnt sugar type of sweetness that reminded me of candied pecans. It ultimately turned out to have a very enjoyable nose, despite that initial off note.

As to flavor, the first flavors I noticed were dill and cinnamon. Dill is something I typically associate with MGP rye, but it was somewhat prominent here as well.  I also noticed the proof. This was certainly a heater, and while some high proof whiskeys can hid the alcohol, this one did not. 

However, underneath the burn and those initial flavors, I found a lot of complexity and very enjoyable notes and combinations of flavors. It had this black pepper and vanilla note to it that made me want some sort of dessert with this combination. There was a bit of the pine note, but it wasn't in any way cleaner-like like I initially got on the nose. 

There was something different about this whiskey to, a sort of flavor and spice that I couldn't immediately place. Eventually I attributed it to a semi-sweet chocolate note, but with an interesting twist to it. After a few more sips of focusing on that specific note, I finally decided that it was almost a ginger note. I don't know that I've ever had ginger and chocolate together before, but here it was really good, and certainly unique.

This whiskey was very viscous, leaving a nice, oily coating in the mouth. That provided for a nice long finish that was full of rich, buttery caramel. This finish was absolutely delicious and the best part about this whiskey. Following shortly behind that rich caramel note was a cinnamon red hots type of spice that seemed to cut the sweetness just enough, not to mention make my mouth water and cause me to dive right in for that next sip.

I'm really coming to love Starlight. They are putting out flavorful, complex and unique whiskeys, and I've really enjoyed everything I've had from them so far. While people seem to be catching on, hopefully I'll continue to have access to quality bottles such as this on at least a semi-regular basis.

Grade: B+

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