Basil Hayden Dark Rye

A strong foundation of Kentucky Rye, blended with hints of smooth Canadian Rye, and finished with a bit of sweet California Port create a very interesting flavor profile in this complex offering from Basil Hayden’s.

The nose on this whiskey is subtle and sweet, with oak undertones. Once tasted the profile is very different, most of the oakiness falls away leaving fruity sweetness, and a mellow spice that carries though to a very mellow, and lasting decidedly rye finish. I love the Basil Hayden brand but this offering seems to fall a bit short. My closing opinion is that all in all this whiskey is good, and has huge potential for mixing and cocktailing, but isn’t really strong enough to stand on it’s own.

Available almost everywhere, and priced around $45, this whiskey is worth looking at if you want to change up your manhattans and old fashion game, but not worth adding to your selection of sippers.

Jameson Caskmates

Sometimes the best creations come through cooperation. Apparently Irish whiskey is no exception. The result of cooperation with craft breweries in Ireland, Jameson has created these Caskmates editions. In both the IPA and Stout editions the process starts by aging Jameson in the traditional barrels, which are then sent to the brewery where they are used to create an aged beers. After some time the flavor exchange creates better beer, and leaves the barrel with hints of the flavors therein. These barrels are shipped back to Jameson, who then refills them with Jameson and leaves them to rest for a finishing period. The results are more flavorful and complex, both are delicious and very worth trying.

IPA Edition –

A softer, more gentle version of Jameson. The notes in the nose, are very floral and crisp, a very fall friendly flavor, almost you could expect like walking though an apple orchard. The taste is more citrus forward with a little bite and spice on the finish that doesn’t linger nearly long enough.

Stout Edition –

This is a bigger more full flavored Jameson, The nose is rich and full of sugary, chocolate and caramel aroma. This leads into an equal rich taste. The first sips wrap the tongue in smooth sweet notes of oak and cocoa. This was my favorite of the 2 caskmates editions, mostly due to its complexity, sweetness, and finish.

Both are fairly readily available, and are priced in the $32-$37 price range. Highly recommended for any liquor shelf, it allows for a bit more adventure, experimentation, and conversation than the Jameson you usually buy.

Tap 357 Maple Rye Whisky

This Whiskey Wednesday we present our review of

Tap 357 Maple Rye Whisky

Tap 357 Maple Rye

This blended Canadian Rye whisky smells quite sweet with heavy maple and slight citrus. The first sip is surprisingly smooth with a lingering mild sweetness. Overall the flavors are smooth and almost too easy to drink, having very little smokiness and a mild finish that leaves you wanting more.

In addition to being quite nice on its own, this whiskey also seems like it would be easily mixable, and lends itself to putting a subtle maple twist on some cocktail classics like the Old Fashioned or even a Manhattan.

This bottle may be finding it’s way into our personal liquor cabinet soon.

~ 8 out of 10 ~

Comparable to Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey

Slow & Low “Rock and Rye”

This Whiskey Wednesday we give you thoughts on
Slow and Low “Rock and Rye”

This intriguing concoction is more of a ready to drink cocktail in a bottle than whiskey and so is a bit off of our usual tasting track. That being said the blend of whiskey with orange, bitters and sugar is a tasty little spin on the classic old fashioned and is noticeably smooth and easy to drink.

It was said by the bartender serving us this round that it was essentially a “Old Fashioned in a glass” and we think that may be just a bit of an oversell. Slow and Low hides its depth of flavor well, not revealing the sweet fruitiness to the nose, but once tasted is actually quite complex with good lingering flavors, the only real detraction was that the pour comes out perhaps a bit too sweet.

Slow and Low is inspired by a bottled “Rock and Rye” tonic made by Hochstadler’s and claims a heritage dating back to 1884. Cooper Spirits, a company based in Pennsylvania, has revived the recipe and produces the hooch in bottles and cans for a new generation of boozers..

~ 7 out of 10 ~

Comparable to Jack Daniel’s Tennesee Honey or Southern Comfort

Jim Beam Double Oak

For Whiskey Wednesday, we sampled a recently released bourbon,  Jim Beam Double Oak

This whiskey was a decent but not exceptional blend of flavor and smoothness. As a mid-priced call whiskey it competes in price with the likes of Makers Mark and Jim Beam’s own “Jim Beam Black” with a flavor profile somewhere between the two. I think this puts Jim Beam Double Oak in the unfortunate position of not standing out as a lighter more herbaceous whiskey or as a darker smoky aged one. This whiskey does not boast a strong woody aroma but definitely has an oaky flavor on the back end. Due to its heavier flavors it’s probably best as a sipping whiskey (neat or as we preferred with light rocks), but could probably hold up to a light mixer like soda or 7. All in all a decent whiskey but not one we’d choose off the shelf for our own bar.

~ 6 out of 10 ~