- 104.4 Proof
- 6 1/2 Years
This is one of those bottles that I had eyed multiple times as I perused the whiskey aisle at Binny's, and for whatever reason never pulled the trigger. I'm sure it was some combination of the price being a bit off-putting and me wanting other stuff more. This was a release in 2021, and it wasn't until earlier this year that I finally got around to grabbing a bottle.
To be clear, the price certainly caused some hesitation. After all, this is 6 year barrel strength MGP rye. While I do love the fact that it's barrel strength, and that it's a single barrel, the fact of the matter is that there seem to be a number of ryes on the shelf boasting similarly age-stated, barrel strength, single barrel MGP rye at a similar price point. I think what eventually put this one over the top, though, was that it was a private pick. And so I bit the bullet.
The nose on this one was full of sweet cinnamon, almost cinnamon candy-like. There was also a nice, buttery pastry note, kind of like a Danish but without any fruit filling. I also got a little bit of pine as well as some orange peel. There was even a little butterscotch to add another layer of complexity and flavor. This cacophony of aromas was absolutely delicious (I've been reading the "C" section of the dictionary).
As to flavor, that sweet cinnamon note certainly dominated. It had that Big Red gum or Fireball candy note to it, though not necessarily so oppressive. There was also a dark fruit note that seemed to accompany it, kind of like wine-soaked raisins, and even cooked cherry. That combo of the cinnamon and the dark fruit notes was delicious and very warming.
On the finish I got a rich, lingering amaretto note that was sweet and a bit tangy. It was here that I got some of those typical MGP rye notes, specifically a lingering mint note and even some root beer left behind. I also got a bit of that pine resin on the finish that I sometimes get in ryes.
As expected, this is a rich and spicy rye. However, it was more complex than most MGP ryes I've had, and the dark fruit notes up front were absolutely delicious, certainly setting this apart from other ryes. I'm glad I finally pulled the trigger on this one and only wish I had done so sooner.