Monday, January 22, 2024

Old Scout Binny's Private Selection Straight Rye Whiskey

- $50
- 114 Proof
- 5 Years
- Barrel No. 31905
- Indiana

This is one of those whiskeys where by now I pretty much know what I'm going to get. After all, this is a single barrel, cask strength bottling of MGP rye. This has stuff has been bottled under so many different labels, of course at varying ages and proofs, but almost always the 95/5 mashbill.

This is a single barrel, though, so it should have its own unique qualities. And, it was good enough to be selected by the tasters at Binny's (though if you look at number of private barrels sitting on the shelves at Binny's lately, it doesn't exactly scream discriminating).  So, what's another cask strength, single barrel MGP rye?? At least I know going in I'm going to to enjoy it!

And yet, when I first popped the cork, poured my glass and took a big whiff, I wasn't much of a fan of the nose. I got notes of dark chocolate and cherry cola. Good so far. But, what followed that were notes of bitter oak, and a healthy amount of pine-scented household cleaner. At first I thought it was just the typical pine note and I was blowing it out of proportion, but I definitely got that Pine-Sol note off of every single pour. 

Luckily, though, that note did not carry over to the flavor. It made for a bit of a weird experience getting something so strong on the nose but not in the flavor, but that was a good thing. Rather, I got a great, strong cinnamon spice. There was a bit of a bitter note, but it came across as more of a coffee note. And this all seemed to mix with a cherry and dark chocolate note that just really worked.

There was a light pine resin note, but nothing even close to approaching that cleaner note. Rather, it was a welcome note of pine, one that came across as natural and complementary to everything else going on. And all in all, this was a rich, sweet and spicy pour. In fact, the last few pours of the bottle were even sweeter and incredibly enjoyable.

This rye also had a great oily texture, which made for an incredibly long finish full of that same, bold cinnamon spice I got up front as well as the rich dark chocolate notes. 

If I could have gotten past the nose, this would have been one of the best MGP ryes I could recall. But that nose was really off-putting, despite how good the whiskey actually tasted.

Grade: B

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