Style: High Rye Rye (Bottled-in-Bond)
Proof: 100 (50% ABV)
Appearance: Burnt orange.
Nose: Caramel, alcohol, potpourri, pine.
On the palate: Medium bodied and a little hot. Caramel, tarragon, Thai basil, cumin, coriander.
Finish: Oak, alcohol, leather, dried flowers.
Parting words: This is Buffalo Trace’s stab at a high rye rye whiskey. It is made using rye and a small amount of malted barley, but no corn. The result is something spicier and with more rye character than their Sazerac line of rye whiskeys, but not as far over the line as the 100% rye whiskeys being sourced from Canada like Whistlepig, Jefferson’s, etc. It’s more elegant than those or the MGPI ryes like Bulleit and Willett. The caramel flavors (a bit surprising given the absence of corn) and oak keep the rye from overrunning things.
As with the rest of the Col. Taylor line, price is a problem. Even accounting for the relative scarcity of straight rye, $70 is too much for this. At $10-$20 less Taylor rye would be a sure-fire recommendation, but as it is, it’s only mildly recommended.