Fleischmann’s Rye Whiskey

Maker: Barton-1792, Bardstown, Kentucky, USA (Sazerac)

Age: NAS

Proof: 80 (40% ABV)

Appearance: New copper penny with thick, clingy legs.

Nose: Lemongrass, spearmint, caramel, alcohol, white pepper, a bit of sharp oak.

On the palate: Rock candy, peppermint, oak, vanilla nougat.

Finish: light, very sweet, maple sugar candy, a touch of oak.

Parting words: Fleischmann’s Rye is part of a line of Fleischmann’s spirits, including a blended whiskey, brandy, vodka and gin. All are made by Sazerac at Barton-1792 and all are really cheap. They are made and marketed under license (or something like that, I’m not a lawyer) from the Fleischmann’s yeast people. Ironically they are not made using Fleischmann’s yeast.

For reasons that are mysterious to me, Fleischmann’s Rye whiskey is only available in Wisconsin. In many ways it is a typical Kentucky-distilled rye. It’s barely legal at 51% rye and is much closer to bourbon in flavor than high-rye rye whiskeys like Jefferson’s and Bulleit. Where it differs from its kin like is in its lack of sharpness, usually in the form of pine and potpourri scents in Rittenhouse, Sazerac, Wild Turkey and Beam ryes. Its closest rye relative may be the Van Winkle Reserve Rye. Not that Fleischmann’s has anywhere near the complexity or sophistication of the Van Winkle rye, but both exhibit darker, sweeter flavors than other ryes. If you ever find yourself in Wisconsin, pick yourself up a handle (they’re only sold in handles now) of Fleischmann’s Rye. It’s cheap fun. Works exceptionally well (for its age) in Manhattans and Sazeracs too. If you can find it, Fleischmann’s Rye is highly recommended.