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Best Rye Whiskey - 2015

 

The Fifty Best Rye Whiskey Tasting 2015


The Tasting:
The Fifty Best held a “blind” tasting of 16 rye whiskies with a panel of 12 judges. Strict tasting rules were applied. The order of service was established beforehand by lottery. The ryes were poured into fresh glasses from new sealed bottles, and served at slightly above room temperature. Each of the ryes were judged and scored separately. Only ice water, neutral unflavored crackers and chips were available to cleanse the palate.

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 according to a set range of final point scores received from the judges. There were no bronze medals awarded for this tasting. The tasting notes that follow are summaries of the judges’ opinions, with all replicated commentary eliminated. The states of origin are identified for each brand.



DOUBLE-GOLD MEDAL WINNERS

Last Feather Organic Rye
(Michigan)

Nose: Dried fruit, raisins, plum, banana, green apple, vanilla, caramel, creamy, cinnamon, walnuts, grain, root beer, pipe tobacco, oak.
Palate: Toffee, nougat, dark chocolate, caramel, vanilla, cherry, prunes, raisins, dried fruit, banana bread, rye bread, grain, clove, pepper, pipe tobacco, oak, smooth, wonderfully balanced.
Finish: Dried fruit, cherry, nutty, coffee, softly spicy, nutmeg, smooth, beautiful, just lovely.


Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal



   Last Feather Organic Rye



291 Colorado Whiskey
(Colorado)

Nose: Vanilla, chocolate, light cocoa, caramel, honey, apricot, cherry, plum wine, dried orange peel, sugar cane. ginger, leafy mint, nutmeg, cinnamon, clove, baking spice, intense spice, nuttiness, rye, oak.
Palate: Toffee, cherry, black cherry, apricot, honey, walnuts, herbal, ginger, sweet spice, clove, tarragon, grassy, black pepper, rye, oak, nice complexity, classic style.
Finish: Light honey, clove, spicy, nutty, oak, smooth.


Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal



291 Colorado Whiskey



Col. E.H. Taylor, Jr. Straight Rye
(Kentucky)

Nose: Cherry, plum, cola, toffee, chocolate, cotton candy, vanilla, honey, brown sugar, sweet corn, grain, nutty, cinnamon, baking spice, mint, wood.
Palate: Toffee, dried cherries, light strawberry, fruit cake, rich vanilla, cane sugar, toasted almond, grain, nutmeg, mint, wormwood, peppery, great toast, leather, oak.
Finish: Cherry, citrus, gardenia, cocoa, spicy, toasted, leather, oak, dry, round, lovely.


Double Gold Medal
Double Gold medal



Col. E.H. Taylor, Jr. Straight Rye



GOLD MEDAL WINNERS

Van Brunt Stillhouse Rye Whiskey
(Brooklyn, NY)

Nose: Toffee, buttery, honey, citrus, peach, black cherry, plum, grain, nutty, ginger, spice, clove, leather, white oak, aged.
Palate: Cherry, honey, Graham cracker, grain, barley, mint, herbs, rosemary, cardamom, clove, spicy, birch wood, oak, leather, great complexity.
Finish: Clove, pepper, slight spice, leather, woody, soft, smooth.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



Van Brunt Stillhouse Rye Whiskey



Wigle Small Cask Rye
(Pennsylvania)

Nose: Banana bread, dried apricot, vanilla, fresh honeycomb, chocolate, nuts, mint, herbs, spice, cinnamon, clove, peppery, grain, toast, leather, oak.
Palate: Vanilla bean, toffee, honey, honeycomb, banana, citrus, apple skin, grain, clove, allspice, cinnamon, leather, cigar, oak, balanced.
Finish: Mint, honey, spicy, peppery, cedar, oak, soft, smooth, unique, lovely.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



Wigle Small Cask Rye



John David Albert's
Taos Lightning 5 yr Rye

(New Mexico)

Nose: Cocoa, toffee, caramel, vanilla, peach, banana, green apple, plum wine, toasted popcorn, baking spices, cinnamon, bread, light oak.
Palate: Cherry, dried cherry, green apple, banana, honey, caramel, vanilla, nougat, mint, cinnamon, tarragon, black pepper, grain, earth, nutty goodness, oak, smooth, balanced.
Finish: Black peppercorn, nutmeg, spice, banana, nutty, woody, oak, soft, incredibly smooth, easy.

Gold Medal
Gold medal



John David Albert's Taos Lightning 5 yr Rye



Cedar Ridge Rye Whiskey
(Iowa)

Nose: Cherry, plum, citrus, honey, vanilla, nougat, roasted filberts, light toffee, herbal, eucalyptus, light cocoa, clove, nutty, leather.
Palate: Walnuts, citrus, apple skin, honey, grain, green pepper, black pepper, fennel, tarragon, cinnamon, nutmeg, spice, mint, zesty, some oak, rich, silky, classic.
Finish: Cocoa, cherry, grain, leather, spicy, pepper, mint, dry, really nice, mellow.


Gold Medal
Gold medal



Cedar Ridge Rye Whiskey



Monterey Rye
(California)

Nose: Butterscotch, toffee, vanilla, cream soda, crème brûlée, ripe banana, pear, nutty, tobacco, wood.
Palate: Nougat, butterscotch, chocolate, caramel, vanilla flan, cream, banana, apple, brown sugar, sugar cane, popcorn, sweet nuts, smooth.
Finish: Vanilla, cream, clotted cream, oak, smooth, mellow.


Gold Medal
Gold medal



Monterey Rye



Sazerac Straight Rye
(Kentucky)

Nose: Apricot, banana, green apple, vanilla, honey, cotton candy, toffee notes, cocoa powder, ginger, grain.
Palate: Caramel, butterscotch, vanilla, honey, cane sugar, cherry, dried fruit, citrus, ginger, mint, spearmint, herbs, clove, spice, black pepper, oak, well balanced, ultra-smooth, beautiful.
Finish: Ginger, fruity, honey, buttery, mint, peppery, spice, oak, smooth, mellow.


Gold Medal
Gold medal



Sazerac Straight Rye



Ole George Rye
(Michigan)

Nose: Plum, black cherry, banana nut, vanilla, honey, cocoa, grain, honeysuckle, herbs, nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, ginger, eucalyptus.
Palate: Dried fruit, cherry, apricot, green apple, honey, sugar cane, creamy, nutmeg, cinnamon, pepper, black pepper, clove, woody, charred wood, oak, smooth.
Finish: Grain, black pepper, clove, spicy, complex, beautiful.


Gold Medal
Gold medal



Ole George Rye



Kinsey Cask Strength Rye
(Pennsylvania)

Nose: Cherry, dried plum, faint apple peel, vanilla, molasses, spice, cinnamon, nutmeg, Graham cracker, grain, leather.
Palate: Raisins, banana, citrus, honey, Graham cracker, nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon, pepper, spicy, herbs, pine, wood, oak, leather.
Finish: Mint, spicy.


Gold Medal
Gold medal



Kinsey Cask Strength Rye



Cedar Ridge Malted Rye Whiskey
(Iowa)

Nose: Toffee, vanilla, whipped cream, corn cobs, plantains, wheat, grain, barley, pepper, spice, herbal, nutty, wood, leather.
Palate: Toffee, nougat, caramel, vanilla, buttery, honey, cherry, banana, strawberry, soft spice, cinnamon, pepper, malt, grain, oak, silky, well balanced.
Finish: Cherry, honey, malt, spice, oak.


Gold Medal
Gold medal



Cedar Ridge Malted Rye Whiskey



Kinsey Rye
(Pennsylvania)

Nose: Cherry, peach, mixed dried fruit, light banana, vanilla, buttery, toffee, nougat, sweet grain, ginger, sassafras, nutmeg, coriander, cumin, light cinnamon, light spice, black pepper, leather.
Palate: Strawberries, apricot, banana, dried raisins, nice fruit notes, honey, sugar cane, powdered sugar, vanilla, caramel, creamy, sassafras, clove, spice, lemongrass, mint, floral, oak, smooth, well balanced, pretty, easy drinking.
Finish: Honey, buttery, citrus, woody, flavorful, soft, smooth.


Gold Medal
Gold medal



Kinsey Rye



SILVER MEDAL WINNERS

Stalk & Barrel 100% Rye
(Canada)

Nose: Strawberry, banana, citrus, fruit, vanilla, honey, molasses, creamy, grain, oak.
Palate: Cocoa, hint of chocolate, creamy, molasses, honey, cherry, dark fruit, raisins, dried fruit, ginger, herbal, mint, roasted nuts, spicy. pepper, black pepper, oak.
Finish: Cocoa, toffee, peanut brittle, nuts, cherry, cinnamon, mint, spicy, flavorful, smooth.


Silver Medal
Silver medal



Stalk & Barrel 100% Rye



Masterson's Rye
(California/Canada)

Nose: Cocoa, cherry, candied currant, stewed plums, vanilla, sugar cane, banana, banana bread, fruitcake, grain, cinnamon, faint oak, soft.
Palate: Cherries, fruit, vanilla, nougat, honey, sugar cane, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking spice, spearmint, black pepper, pepper, oak, balanced.
Finish: Toast, nutty, mint, cinnamon, nutmeg, pepper, spicy, pleasantly dry.


Silver Medal
Silver medal



Masterson's Rye



3 Howls Rye Whiskey
(Washington)

Nose: Honey, brown sugar, nougat, corn, oatmeal, grain, macadamia nuts, walnuts, pine nuts, leather.
Palate: Dried fruit, plum, banana, vanilla, honey, powdered sugar, corn, buttery, cocoa powder, sweet grain, herbs, mint, spicy, black pepper, walnut, oak, smooth.
Finish: Dried cherries, banana, cocoa, nutty, woody, spicy, zesty, light. smooth, easy.


Silver Medal
Silver medal



3 Howls Rye Whiskey

 

 

 

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Mon. November 21, 2016 10:06 PM - by: JC
Crown & OFC always ryes of choice but knob is a nice flavor...as a kissing cousin, black bush Irish is worth a try...smooth &tasty
 
 
Thu. July 7, 2016 1:33 PM - by: moomoo
Have consumed Crown Royal for many a year. Tried Knob Creek Rye over a year ago and now consume only rye. Knob is my favorite but Bullit is also very high on the list. As mentioned by "Gary", a double rye w/ginger is mighty tasty after a good day or a bad day.
 
 
Sun. June 12, 2016 1:12 PM - by: Gary
My Dad liked his Hi-ball or 'old-fashioned'. It was simply rye and ginger over ice. I got into it too and get a kick out of young bartenders who have no clue what I'm asking for! I wonder what brands of rye are carried by most bars in FL. I'll have to go find out!
 
 
Tue. February 2, 2016 12:18 AM - by: Rob
Just tried a rye today. Will have to hunt down some off the list. Not very common around here. I must say it's a different taste, though enjoyable and as with other styles or regions lot of room for variety within the range to suit anyone. To Chris: Not all whisky is Bourbon, but all Bourbon is Whisky. Kentucky does not have sole claim to the spirit.
 
 
Thu. December 31, 2015 9:25 PM - by: Tim
Chris, if Kentucky whiskey is the only thing you can drink, you have a very narrow palate as well as a narrow mind. There are so many varieties to experience, it would be a shame not to enjoy more than just Kentucky's offering. As for the yuppie comment... Your an idiot!
 
 
Sun. December 27, 2015 9:35 PM - by: Chris
The ONLY people who make decent bourbon are located in Kentucky. PERIOD. No, I don't live anywhere near Kentucky. The rest of the horse huckey on this list is just yuppie BS.
 
 


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