The good people over at Bourbon Pursuit podcast just dropped a new whiskey (their third). This time, it’s a Blended Straight Rye Whiskey that’s part Kentucky and Maryland rye whiskey. Both of those places are great for rye whiskey production, so I’m intrigued.
Since this is a rye whiskey being made by bourbon experts and part of the whiskey comes from Kentucky rye, I’m going to assume from the jump that this is going to be a bourbon-y expression. There’s not a single thing wrong with that. Rye is as varied as any style of whiskey, and I tend to love the fruitier ones from Kentucky over the spice bombs from Indiana.
Okay, let’s get into what’s in the bottle and review our first whiskey of 2022!
Pursuit United Blended Straight Rye Whiskeys
This release is a blend of whiskeys from Kentucky and Maryland (which is the source of America’s rye whiskey heritage). The Kentucky rye is from Bardstown Bourbon Company (a 95 percent rye), which is contract distilling and aging whiskey for Pursuit United. The other rye is from Maryland’s famed and beloved Sagamore Spirits (a 52 percent rye), which makes some of the best ryes in the country. Kenny Coleman and Ryan Cecil took barrels from each warehouse and masterfully married them to create this expression with a touch of water to bring the proof down a notch.
This opens with a big Kentucky rye vibe of cherry syrup spiked with loads of cinnamon and nutmeg next to an almost buttery note that’s part brown sugar streusel and part caramel candy beside a slight hint of leather. There’s also a touch of vanilla extract lurking in the background of the nose. The palate is so soft and builds from that cherry spiced syrup towards a hint of wet wicker to an apple tree that ends on the stems and core of an overripe Granny Smith. The finish takes its time and has a light touch of dark spice that’s more on the sweeter side than “hot,” while the apple gets woodier and hints at the brown sugar and vanilla very late.
The rounded bottle is an eye-catching shape. It’s sort of a cross between a stubby and port bottle. The label is underplayed and, thankfully, not cluttered with too much information [though it does look like an airline logo — ed]. Still, this feels more like a rail bottle than a bar cart centerpiece bottle at the end of the day.
This really feels like a bourbon lover’s rye whiskey. There’s a nice, svelte nature to the sip that makes it super easy to sip neat. While there were no big surprises, I can’t wait to try this in an old-fashioned or Manhattan.
89/100 — This is a really nice rye whiskey. Still, it felt like a bourbon drinker’s rye more than a big and bold rye that might expand on or build on someone’s ideas of the style. That being said, this is going to make some killer cocktails later.