Monday, July 25, 2022

Starlight Distillery Huber's Old Rickhouse Binny's Private Select Single Barrel Rye Whiskey Finished in Calvados Barrels

- $80
- 104.6 Proof
- 4.5 yrs
- Barrel No. 21-2128
- Indiana

Starlight has become one of those distilleries where I feel the need to grab just about any store pick that I see on the shelves. It has certainly become one of my go-to's for store picks. So, if I find myself in a random, unfamiliar liquor store and I'm trying to decide what, if anything, I want to grab, if Starlight is an option it's going in my basket.  Granted, I haven't really run into this scenario yet, but it kind of seems inevitable.

While it's certainly not an unfamiliar store to me, this particular single barrel rye from Binny's was finished in Calvados barrels. I've found that I generally like those brandy, Cognac, Armagnac and Calvados finishes, often imparting a variety of fruity notes, and in some instances certain nutty notes, that seem to really compliment the whiskey well.  So, this was an easy choice for me in bringing this bottle home.

The nose was interesting. I got a base layer of caramel, not unexpectedly, but I also got a decent amount of oak on the nose. That was surprising given the age. I also got a rich, dark chocolate note. And, instead of the brighter apple or pear notes I expected from the Calvados influence, I got a distinct fennel note. I honestly wasn't sure if I liked it or not, but I did find it intriguing.

The flavor provided much more in the way of rye influence. I got that healthy rye spice, with notes of dill and mint, and some cinnamon. Of course it had that layer of caramel, and even that dark chocolate I was getting on the nose came through.

This was, however, certainly a sweeter rye, and I think that's where the Calvados influence really came in. I didn't get a lot of fruit-forward notes, but I did get a sweet nougat note. In fact, that was one of the more dominant flavors in this bottle. Aside from that, I also got some nutmeg, and, while it wasn't as noticeable as it was on the nose, I definitely got that fennel note.

Where it was most noticeable was on the finish. That fennel note seemed to stick around, somewhere in the background, behind the notes of caramel and rye spice that also lingered. 

While I certainly enjoyed this bottle, it wasn't my favorite Starlight pick. It came across as somewhat odd, with some misplaced flavors that never seemed to completely connect. I liked it, but it fell flat in comparison to some of the other amazing single barrels I've had from Starlight.

Grade: B

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