The theme for this tasting was Wheat and Rye Whiskies. To be called a Wheat or a Rye Whisky at least 51% of the mash bill must be of that grain, as opposed to Corn Whisky which must have at least 81% corn in the mash bill.
Rye whisky was generally considered a product of Canada until recently. Ryes have seen a great market growth over the last 10 years and are now produced by a great number of distillers both north and south of the Canadian/American border.
Wheat whiskies are a different story. We are just recently seeing the growth of wheat whiskies as makers are looking for new products to offer whisky drinkers.
Wheated and Rye bourbons have been around forever so a venture into the individual grain whiskies is a must for the American Whisky drinker.
In the first paragraph I mentioned that we have seven whiskies, two more than our usual five. The other two were bonus whiskies for the tasting. They are new to the market and I will address those in a separate article.
The following is a list of the five for the main tasting along with how they were ranked against each other and a few comments from the tasters.
5th Place: Masterson’s 12 year old Straight Wheat Whiskey, 50% Price: $70.00 – 100% Wheat
Not much on the nose, Taste of butterscotch, Mild taste, Simple and Straightforward, Some oak taste, Spicier than normal wheat whisky, Taste of toffee, Weak flavor, Peppery finish.
4th Place: Masterson’s 10 year old Straight Rye American Oak Finish 45% Price: $58.00 – 100% Rye
Good aroma, Very sweet, Taste of vanilla, Very oaky, Great spicy undertone, Peppery notes, Long spicy finish, Very smooth.
3rd Place: Lot No. 40, 43% Price: $43.00 – 90% Rye, 10% Malted Rye
Mild nose, Nice bite, Taste of figs and vanilla, Very good spices, Somewhat dry, Sweet aftertaste.
2nd Place: Breukelen 77 Wheat Whiskey, 45% Price: $43.00 – 100% Organic Wheat
Sweet and smooth, Very drinkable, Tastes of caramel and dark vanilla, Silky smooth, Tastes young, Caramel finish.
1st Place: Pendleton 1910 12 year old Rye, 40% Price: $36.00 – 100% Rye
Caramel nose, Beautiful color, Thick and buttery taste, Taste of maple and vanilla, Good smooth finish, Good dessert dram.
There are obvious difference between the Wheats and the Ryes so it may not be fair to compare then with each other. That may just be up to personal preference so feel free to simply compare the wheats with each other and the ryes with each other. But notice one thing…..the overall first place winner had the lowest price and the highest priced came in last place. This proves the point that price should not dictate your preferences.
Thanks to everyone who attended and to those who are taking the time to read our posts.