Saturday, February 5, 2022

Traverse City Whiskey Co. Binny's Private Select Single Barrel 8 Year Straight Rye

- $80
- 115.4 Proof
- 8 years
- Indiana/Michigan

I really haven't had much experience with Traverse City Whiskey. In fact, including this bottle, all I've had have been MGP-sourced store picks. Just over a year ago I was able to get my hands on a 10-year single barrel selected by Pride Stores. And more recently, I made sure to get a bottle of this 8-year single barrel rye picked by Binny's.

The price seemed to be right in line with what I've been seeing recently for cask strength, single barrel MGP rye in the 6-9 year range. Of course some bottles are a bit pricier, and they get passed on for that reason. But this one at 8 years and 115.4 proof seemed right in my wheelhouse. Sure, it's more than I'd like to pay, but at this point it seems the market is what it is.

The aroma is soft, but very cinnamon and vanilla forward. In fact, it was so sweet and soft and delicious smelling, I noted that I would love to make a candle out of this. There was also a light saw dust note and a touch of that pickle note I sometimes get from MGP rye. There was also something herbal, but I couldn't quite place it. Perhaps something between basil and mint.

The flavor was likewise soft and sweet and spicy. Despite being cask strength, this wasn't one of those slap you in the face with spice ryes. Rather, it was more nuanced and subtle, and it leaned a bit more on the sweeter side. Notes of caramel, vanilla and cinnamon were prevalent from start to finish, providing for an absolutely delicious base.

On top of that I got interesting notes of honey and sweet tobacco leaf. There was also something nutty and woody, perhaps like a walnut. In addition to the cinnamon spice, I also got a bit of black pepper spice. There was even a light smokiness to it that I loved, perhaps a flavor picked up from the time with the barrel.

The finish was almost all cinnamon and caramel, but the cinnamon spice seemed to really come forward. In fact, it left a taste in my mouth not unlike a good Manhattan. That sweet and heat at the end just made me want that next sip right away. While not necessarily unexpected, this bottle turned out to be very delicious, and I couldn't help but keep pouring it into my glass.

Grade: A-

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