While New York Distilling Company’s standard rye expression is only aged for 3 years and lacks the punch to capture a serious whiskey enthusiast’s attention, their 4-year Ragtime Rye Bottled-In-Bond Whiskey offering is here to pick up the slack. The aromas it presents are immediately inviting, starting with a salted caramel, suntan lotion, and lavender medley that work in harmony despite being a bit unusual. They’re followed by more entrancing notes like stewed apples, cookie dough, and Brazil nuts and before one even has a chance to give it a taste the mouth is watering!
Baltimore Spirits Company Celebrates Fifth AnniversaryView Post
Walking into the VIP area at the Mount Vernon Whiskey Fest back in November, Patti and I see a familiar face and head over to the area where Ragged Branch Distillery Owner Alex Toomy is pouring samples. One bottle in particular, is a barrel proof rye whiskey, 126 proof. Alex identifies it as samples from a private selection. That was the best whiskey we tasted that night even though Bill Thomas owner Jack Rose was pouring from some dusties over in the corner.
I have written several articles about Ragged Branch for Bourbon and Banter since they first invited us to their distillery in 2017. Located in Charlottesville, Virginia, they started distilling bourbon in July 2014 under the tutelage of Dave Pickerell. In addition, they also distill rye whiskey and at Mount Vernon, Alex told us his rye whiskey would be bottled soon and invited us to visit the distillery for a tasting.
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I was skeptical of a whiskey produced by a company that primarily peddles flavored moonshine. Despite the beautiful packaging, when I read the label I was still a skeptic. The smaller barrel size and air dried staves certainly lend to the earthy oak profile that is just slightly out of balance for me with the lower rye mash bill and sweeter Tennessee whiskey flavor. Although the offset is well-intentioned and designed, I think this whiskey could stand to age in a full-sized 53-gallon barrel for 6-8 years with a better result. I’m perplexed by this whiskey.