Rye Whiskey 2012
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Best Rye Whiskey - 2012

The Great Rye Whiskey Tasting of 2012

 

The Tasting:
The Fifty Best held a “blind” tasting of 19 American rye whiskies with 18 pre-qualified judges. Strict tasting rules were applied. The order of service was established beforehand by lottery. Each of the ryes were poured into fresh glasses from new sealed bottles, and served at slightly above room temperature. Only ice water, neutral unflavored crackers and bar snacks were available to cleanse the palate. The judges tasted through two flights of 7 ryes and one flight of 5 ryes.

The judges wrote down their impressions of each product on score sheets. The scoring was done on a 5-point system, with 5 as the best. Double-Gold, Gold and Silver medals are awarded based on a set range of final point scores received from the judges. The scoring of this tasting was particularly complex since the comprehensive final scores were so close.

The tasting notes which follow are summaries of the judges’ opinions. The states of origin are identified for each brand.

 

Here are the final results:



High West Rendezvous



DOUBLE-GOLD MEDAL WINNERS:

1.  High West Rendezvous
(Utah)

Nose:Honey, cream, caramel, molasses, cola, vanilla, blueberry, cherries, ripe banana, fruit cake, maple, grassy, spice, nutmeg, sweet nuts, almond, buttered popcorn. Palate: Honey, banana, buttery, creamy, toffee, clove, cinnamon, ginger, mint, whiskey cocktail, woody, white pepper, intense spice, sugar cane, roasted cashew, roasted nuts, rye, some smoke. Finish: Creamy, cocoa, peppery, spicy, smooth, gentle, excellent, lingers.


Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal



2.  Wry Moon
(Kentucky)

Nose: Rye flour, grain, plum, sweet corn, creamy, butter, butterscotch, citrus notes, dried fruit, figs, dates, juniper, lovely, elevated. Palate: Apricot, plum, raspberry, strawberry, cool cucumber, buttery, creamy, peppermint, spicy upfront, peppery, leather, clean, crisp. Finish: Black pepper, plum, cola notes, honey, buttery, herbal, hot, spicy, zesty, soft, dry, short.

Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal



Wry Moon



High West Double Rye



3.   High West Double Rye
(Utah)

Nose: Vanilla, pineapple, dried fruit, honey, herbal, rosemary, peppery. Palate: Green apple, plum, fruity, zesty, black pepper, cinnamon, grainy, cloves, walnut, nutmeg, cocoa, toffee, nougat, honey, oak, mint up front. Finish: Juniper, peppery, spicy, jalapeño, velvety, nice, smooth.

Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal



4. Prichard’s
(Tennessee)

Nose: Plum, subtle black cherry, honey, sweet roasted nuts, nutty, floral. Palate: Buttery, maple, brown sugar, vanilla, apricot, plum, banana, dried fruit, nutty, roasted nuts, spicy, hot, ginger, clove, classic, elegant, rye at its best, a real gem. Finish: Walnut, butter, honey, plum, fruity, toasty, spicy, black pepper, smooth, mild.


Double-Gold Medal
Double-Gold medal



Prichard’s Rye



Monterey Rye



5. Monterey
(California)

Nose: Tangy, zesty, plums, vanilla, dates, floral, grainy, buttery popcorn, cream, jalapeño essence, crisp, tequila-like. Palate: Grain, oatmeal, cherry, black cherry, honey, brown sugar, crème brûlée, butter, cream, caramel, toffee, almonds, roasted nutty rye, dried fruit, plantaine, bell pepper, black pepper, clove, gentle. Finish: Honey, vanilla, creamy, smooth spice, smoke, layered, zesty, soft, clean, short to medium.


Double-Gold Medal
Double-Gold medal



GOLD MEDAL WINNERS:

Breakout
(Kentucky)

Nose: Toffee, vanilla, honey, banana, pear, apple, cane, floral bouquet, honeysuckle, pine, lightly sweet. Palate: Apricot, banana, spicy strawberry, orange zest, sugar cane, honey, buttery, vanilla, rye flour, nutty, ginger, mint, spearmint, clove, allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, ultra-smooth, beautiful. Finish: Pepper, spicy, cream, soft, very clean, medium.


Gold Medal
Gold medal



Breakout Rye



Copper Fox Rye



Copper Fox
(Virginia)

Nose: Ripe banana, buttery, vanilla, toffee, nougat, sugarcane, minty, floral, hay, bark, oak, grains, leather, extraordinary. Palate: Walnut, vanilla, caramel, dark chocolate, plum, raisins, toasty, rye, leather, smoky, spicy, white pepper. Finish: Citrus, spicy hot, oaky, soft, crisp, smooth, long, amazing.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



Hudson Manhattan
(New York)

Nose: Plum, cherry, melon, raisin, dried fruit, toffee, vanilla, caramel, dark chocolate, wheat grass, graham cracker, cola, sweetened tea, smoky, leather. Palate: Honey, caramel, toffee, vanilla, cherry, white raisin, dates, licorice, grain, bell pepper, dark wood, leather, robust. Finish: Dates, raisin, cream, spicy, pepper, clean, great.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



Hudson Manhattan Rye



Willett Family Estates Rye



Willett Family Estates
(Kentucky)

Nose: Peppermint, caramel, cola, honey, toffee, ripe banana, fruity, cinnamon, nutty, rye flour, fresh oak, cognac elements. Palate: Grain, toffee, honey, butter, vanilla, black cherry, plum, dark fruit, lavender, citrus, spicy, mint, herbal, clove, black pepper, roasted nuts, leather, layered. Finish: Herbs, cloves, complex, dry, spicy, soft, smooth.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



E.H. Taylor
(Kentucky)

Nose: Cola, rye, vanilla, grain, citrus, cherry, amaretto, clove, oak. Palate: Plum, currants, peaches, apricot, toffee, honey, maple, caramel, vanilla, cola, herbs, citrus, nutmeg, walnut, clove, nutty, woody, oak, leather, hot, spicy, zesty, super rye, very robust. Finish: Buttery, pepper, jalapeño, spice, herbs, smoky, intense.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



E.H. Taylor Rye



Redemption Rye



Redemption
(Kentucky)

Nose: Light grain, some spice, complex, clean. Palate: Almond, nutty, rye, slightly peppery, herbal, grassy, floral, mineral, complex, very smooth. Finish: Almond, clean, intense floral, soft, silky, balanced.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



Riverboat
(Kentucky)

Nose: Vanilla, buttery, sweet toffee, light caramel, dried fruit, fruity, banana, celery, pine forest fresh, rye, zesty. Palate: Plum, apricot, cranberry, green apple, melons, honey, vanilla, floral, grassy, nutty, toasty, leather, oaky, licorice. Finish: Sugar cane, sweet cream, anisette, nutty, pepper, rich, so smooth, mild, gentle.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



Riverboat Rye



Bulleit Rye



Bulleit
(Kentucky)

Nose: Faint cola notes, vanilla, nougat, maple, fruit salad, dried fruit, grainy, oak, cloves. Palate: Delicate entry, herbs, bell pepper, black pepper, spicy, ginger, clove, nutmeg, nutty, toasty, apricot, sweet crème brûlée, smoky, very balanced, light, elegant. Finish: Buttery, cherry, black pepper, spicy, clean, mild, soft, smooth, medium, big.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



Catoctin Creek
(Virginia)

Nose: Fruity, green apple, grain, toasty, vanilla, honey, brown sugar, cotton candy, spicy, cinnamon. Palate: Ripe banana, raisins, dates, plums, dried fruit, fruity, honey, bittersweet chocolate, milk chocolate, fruit & nut bar, spice, nutmeg, ginger, walnuts, roasted coffee beans, nutty. Finish: Citrus, licorice, herb, pepper, smooth.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



Catoctin Creek Rye



Charred Oak Rye



Charred Oak
(Wisconsin)

Nose: Lavender, cinnamon, honey, coconut, subtle vanilla & spice, nutmeg, green apple. Palate: Green apple, light lemon, ripe banana, apricot, plum, cherry cola, dried fruits, honey, vanilla, creamy, buttery, popcorn, cinnamon, peppery, dry rye, oak, smoky, light, delicate. Finish: Creamsicle, toasty, sweet nuttiness, smooth, zesty, delicate, short.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



Ryemageddon
(Kentucky)

Nose: Grain, bread pudding, honey, oats, dried fruit, raisins, bee’s wax, sweet nuts, floral, cherry wood, leather. Palate: Vanilla, honey, sugarcane, cola, banana, nutty, rye, clove, herbs, spicy, zesty, woody, leather, light smoke, reminiscent of Corsair Triple Smoke, well-balanced, great in a cocktail. Finish: Herbs, black pepper, smooth.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



Ryemageddon Rye



WhistlePig Rye



WhistlePig
(Vermont)

Nose: Vanilla, sugar, honey, caramel, cotton candy, green apple, fruit, ginger, grainy rye, rhum agricole. Palate: Green apple, banana, apricot, melon, citrus, toffee, honey, cola, rye flour, oak, woody, leather, nutty, roasted nuts, slight honey, cinnamon, spicy, hot, peppery, zesty, intense. Finish: Cinnamon, gentle spice, pepper, mild, complex, well-rounded.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



SILVER MEDAL WINNERS:

Masterson's
(California)

Nose: Chocolate, cocoa, cherry, dried apricot, ripe banana, caramel, sweet butter, cream, butterscotch, nutmeg, oak, bourbon-esque. Palate: Honey, toffee, nutty, buttery, creamy, spicy, hot, chili pepper, sour apple, dried fruit, mint, spearmint, floral elements, herbs, rye, oak, leather, woodsy. Finish: Herbs, vanilla, buttery, creamy, spicy, peppery, strong.

Silver Medal
Silver medal



Masterson's Rye



High West Silver



High West Silver
(Utah)

Nose: Grain, corn, popcorn, coconut, banana, fig, green apple, leather. Palate: Plum, sweet cane, corn, honey, cucumber, celery, cinnamon, juniper, spice, nutmeg, clove, leather, warming. Finish: Creamy, licorice, black pepper, spicy, short.

Silver Medal
Silver medal

 

 

 

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Comments or questions welcome, please e-mail to: editor@thefiftybest.com

 

 

Comments and Suggestions:

 
Sat. January 5, 2013 7:53 PM - by: Don Milgate
Where's Rittenhouse? It's not only one of the best but it's priced right.
 
 


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