Callum Rye-Views Some American Drams

Jack Daniels Single Barrel Rye Well, being a huge fan of Rye whisky I thoroughly enjoyed doing this set of write ups, even though I have tried a fair few Rye whiskies in the past this is the first time I’ve had five side by side and really sat down and scrutinised them.

Turns out a higher percentage of rye in the mash bill doesn’t necessarily mean a better product at the end of it, but all in all a good range of drams all at a slightly higher Abv ranging from 42.5% up to 46.5% and a decent range of flavours, a lot more winter spice, stewed fruits and fresh mint than its American brother Bourbon but a lot of similarities as well especially the ones with a higher corn content in the mash bill (surprisingly…).

To round up, I was a bit disappointed with the Bulliet 95, a bit of a punch in the face and hard to pull out individual flavours, but it makes a fantastic base for cocktails so don’t write it off. The Jack Daniele’s single Barrel Rye was well, a pleasant surprise, shows what they can do when they branch out, looking forward to seeing if the Tennessee rye can stand up for its self.

As for the Woodford rye a good all-rounder, easy on the pallet straight up and works well in cocktails a bit on the pricey side but a good addition to any collection. Then I couldn’t decide on which I preferred between the Michter’s or the Few, the Michter’s the easiest to drink by far without sacrificing on character, it will be good to see how the liquid changes now they have their own distillery. Then last but not least the Few, it had a bit more of a punch to it but I struggled to put it down, complex but not unapproachable for new comers to the rye category.

All in all some fantastic drams.

Bulleit Frontier Whisky 95 Rye

Bulleit Frontier Whisky 95 Rye Bulleit predicted the rye boom before I had even properly got into whisky, their bourbon already had a pretty high rye content at 30% so it’s not surprising that the mash bill for this dram sits at a whooping 95% Rye and 5% Malted Barley (not a piece of corn in sight). This one’s going to be interesting.

All in all, not fantastic but not the worst, this isn’t a rye to be drunk straight, the extremely high rye over powers the pallet and the nose making it hard to pick out individual flavours but, saying that if you use this as a base in cocktails and it will stand its ground. So, in summary great value, use it in cocktails (Especially a Sazerac)

You can pick up a bottle at Master of Malt to try for yourself.

Thanks to Drinks by the Dram for this sample.


Heavy citrus and fresh coriander and ginger on the nose, the freshness lingers then drops off to tobacco and worn leather

Spicy as a girl band from the 90’s, unfortunately not a lot else some vanilla, maple syrup and the tobacco popping up again, but overall a bit flat

A long saline after burn almost like fresh chillies, with a subtle grassy note

Bottle Name: Bulleit Frontier Whisky 95 Rye
Age: NAS
ABV: 45.00
Distiller: Bulleit
Bottler: Bulleit
Type: Rye
From: USA, Not Scottish

Few Rye

FEW Rye As a brand Few are extremely trendy, with cool branding and a great backstory. The original master distiller overturned the century-old prohibition laws of Evanston Illinois to become the first distillers within the city limits (true punks), their slogan "by the Few for the Few" is pretty hispst… I mean trendy yea trendy as well.

Few rye was has a mash bill of 70% Rye 20% corn 10% Malted Barley, it was the first bottle of Rye to sell out in The Hideout being a huge hit with the punters (I forgot to write tasting notes again) so I'm glad to come back to it.

Well where do I start, I knew there was a reason this dram stuck in my mind and sold out so quickly at The Hideout. It has a bit of everything, easily accessible for the newcomers to the rye category but it's also extremely complex, I was picking up different notes every time I came back to it, for me this ticks all boxes (I'm ordering another bottle)

You can pick up a bottle at Master of Malt to try for yourself.

Thanks to Drinks by the Dram for this sample.


A very light nose with sweet nutmeg spice and lightly toasted cereal (frosted shredded wheat), followed by crunchy green apples and sweet freshly popped corn.

A hell of a lot richer than expected compared to the nose, stone fruits, plumbs with peppery spice popping up with butterscotch and custard creams (the middle bit)

The finish is very different again! Dusty and dry, the pepper spice becomes even more prominent leaving you with a lingering sweetness that I can't put my finger on (and I've run out!) rain check on that one.

Bottle Name: Few Rye
Age: NAS
ABV: 46.50
Distiller: FEW
Bottler: FEW
Type: Rye
From: USA, Not Scottish

Jack Daniels Single Barrel Rye

Jack Daniels Single Barrel Rye I was lucky enough to try Jack Daniels single barrel Rye for the first time a few months ago, it's the first new mash recipe since 1866 (Mind Blown!), I was quite surprised to hear that Jack Daniels was getting involved in the rye boom!

I m a huge fan of rye whiskeys so I was extremely intrigued to see what they had come up with, The Single barrel rye mash bill consists of 70% Rye, 18%corn, 12% Malted Barley, and from what I can find out it is around 4 years old. I have also seen a recent press release for Jack Daniels Tennessee Rye soon to be landing on the UK shores (if it's not already here).

I was pleasantly surprised by this rye a lot better than expected and proves you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover (or by its family?) but, its still distinctively Jack Daniels and would love to try this before the charcoal filtration as I think it loses a lot of its potential character, still decent though.

You can pick up a bottle at Master of Malt to try for yourself.

Thanks to Barry from The Whiskyphiles for this sample.


Straight off the bat, you get that distinctive sweet maple Tennessee nose that comes from the charcoal filtration, with a nutty cinnamon spice and almost doughy.

Well I'm presently surprised, initial hit of alcohol that soon dies off then extremely rich with caramelized bananas and butterscotch, not as spicy as you would expect from a heavy 70% rye mash bill

Hazelnutty and chestnutty (or something along those lines) with the banana still lingering, then the heavy rye spice rears it head, leaving the palate with a slight alcohol burn

Bottle Name: Jack Daniels Single Barrel Rye
Age: NAS
ABV: 45.00
Distiller: Jack Daniel's
Bottler: Jack Daniel's
Type: Rye
From: USA, Not Scottish

Michters US*1 Straight Rye Whiskey

Michters US*1 Straight Rye Whiskey This is going to be my first experience with Michters. They recently opened their new distillery in 2014 in Louisville previously Bomberger's Distiller where all their liquid is now distilled, previously distilled in an undisclosed distillery ("Cough Willets Cough"), as for the mash bill that's not disclosed either but I can guarantee its over 51% rye (Wink). Anyway, love the branding and a few of the expressions are extremely hard to get hold of so it can’t be bad!

A fantastic dram rich and moreish with a shed load of character and from what I can find online extremely underrated, this was my first experience with Michter's but defiantly not the last, I'll be looking into this distillery a lot more. Epic.

You can pick up a bottle at Master of Malt to try for yourself.

Thanks to Drinks by the Dram for this sample.


Amazing….. extremely complex straight in with Vanilla, then fresh tobacco and mint followed by sticky toffee pudding (the one with raisins in)

Huge amounts of stewed stone fruits topped with golden syrup, then zesty orange with hints of pepper, caraway and fresh fennel (got to love a bit fennel).

The finish doesn't disappoint the richness lingers, then the cardamom and caraway dryness kicks in leaving the anise to keep you coming back for more

Bottle Name: Michters US*1 Straight Rye Whiskey
Age: NAS
ABV: 42.40
Distiller: Michters
Bottler: Michters
Type: Rye
From: USA, Not Scottish

Woodford Reserve Kentucky Straight Rye

Woodford Reserve Kentucky Straight Rye We use Woodford Reserve Straight Rye as our house pour rye for the last year or so, it’s got a decent back bone and stands up in classic rye based cocktails, but I have never got really into it in depth straight up as I always use it for mixing, so this should be interesting.

The mash bill consists of 53% rye, 33% corn, and 14% malted barley, quite low for a straight rye.

Initially I just presumed I was a big fan of this dram, but after tasting it straight for the first time in a while I found it was a bit flat compared to when had it straight last. But after letting it breath and giving it a bit of time, it got a hell of a lot better. You need to give this one a chance don’t judge it on first taste. Although not ground breaking, it’s still a pretty decent dram.

You can pick up a bottle at Master of Malt to try for yourself.

Thanks to Barry from The Whiskyphiles for this sample.


For want of a better phrase initially damp oak on the nose with clove and cardamom, dry powdered chocolate powder but not quite as sweet with sugar-coated almonds.

Firstly, the spice comes through a lot more than expected (thank god), you can almost taste apple and pear crumble with winter spices and baked fruit, followed by fresh mint

The Finish is long with spiced caramel ending up with a lingering tartness not forgetting some dried banana chips

Bottle Name: Woodford Reserve Kentucky Straight Rye
Age: NAS
ABV: 45.20
Distiller: Woodford Reserve
Bottler: Woodford Reserve
Type: Rye
From: USA, Not Scottish

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