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Blaum Bros. Straight Rye Review

In Rye Whiskey Reviews by Jim KnudsenLeave a Comment

We wanted to create something unique – a bit more spicy and smoky than most traditional offerings. It’s a bit of a unique take in rye whiskey.Mike Blaum, Co-founder and chief distiller
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Blaum Bros. Straight Rye Whiskey

  • DISTILLER: Blaum Brothers Distilling Co.
  • MASH BILL: 92% Rye  |  5% Smoked Malt  |  3% Malted Barley
  • Fermentation: Standard
  • Cooperage: Air dried for 18-24 months in charred white oak barrels
  • AGE: More than 4 years
  • YEAR: 2019
  • PROOF: 100 Proof (50% ABV)
  • MSRP: $49.99

NOSE: Rye Spice  |  Toffee Sweetness  |  Slight Oak

TASTE: Spicy Rye  |  Honey  |  Slight smoke

FINISH: Medium, nice burn, spicy with leather and hay notes at the end

SHARE WITH: Rye fans this is a good rye.  It has a good complexity and will not be confused with bourbon on the palette.  I like the Spicy burn in the finish, reflective of the decent 50% ABV.

WORTH THE PRICE: Yes. They priced it at $50 MSRP as a craft rye.  Perhaps a little high for a rye, but not completely out of line.

BOTTLE, BAR OR BUST: This one I am going to give it a solid bottle.  I don’t claim to be a rye expert, but I like a good rye, and I like this one.

OVERALL: The Blaum Brothers message of quality and authenticity comes through on this product.  The smoked malt adds to the complexity and a full four years in the barrel, not overly common in ryes is evident in the taste.   Having tasted this during bourbon heritage month, I feel like I am cheating, but I will try it in a Manhattan as soon as we get to October.

An emphasis for this distillery is locally grown grains.  I like this approach as it provides an opportunity to create subtly and local identity in the spirits business.  In the wine business its called terroir.  There are disagreements as to whether terroir can survive the distillation process, but I’m a believer.

Learn more about Jims’ whiskey preferences and check out more of his reviews…

Blaum Bros. Distilling Co. Expands Premium Spirits Portfolio With Four-Year Old Straight Rye Whiskey

GALENA, Ill. – Aug. 15, 2019 – Blaum Bros. Distilling Co. adds even more variety to the spirits portfolio at the independent distillery with the new release of Blaum Bros. Old Straight Rye Whiskey.  Aged a minimum of four years, the small batch rye fermented and distilled in a more traditional way, with a focus on a longer maturation.

“With our Straight Rye Whiskey, we wanted to create something unique – a bit more spicy and smoky than most traditional offerings.  It’s a bit of a unique take in rye whiskey, while still maintaining the traditional characteristics familiar to rye whiskey lovers,” says Mike Blaum, co-founder and chief distiller of the family-owned operation based in Galena, Illinois.

Air dried for 18-24 months in charred white oak barrels, Blaum Bros. Straight Rye Whiskey is aged a minimum of four years.  The 100 proof (50% ABV) whiskey is made form 92 percent rye which was sourced from a single farm in Illinois, fiver percent smoked malt and three percent malted barley.

Blaum Bros. Straight Rye Whiskey Characteristics:

Proof: 100

Nose: Toasted caramel, sweet tea, and leather.

Palate: Wood spice, dried berries, and honey notes – with a burst of mint.

Finish: Maple sweetness, tapering off with hints of more mint and perique tobacco.

“This expression offers a mature rye with subtle caramel, vanilla and dried fruit notes paired with the robust rye spice that draws people into the category.  We took our time with this one and are proud to have a delightful, mature 4 year-old rye from 53 gallon barrels,” says CEO and distiller, Matt Blaum.

Base in the historic town of Galena, Illinois, the Blaum Bros. Distilling Co. includes a retail shop a tasting room that welcomes over 125,000 visitors annually.  Multiple 45-minute tours of the distillery are offered daily ($10 per person, under 14 free).  The Blaum Bros. team show visitors how the family-owned craft distillery selects the best grains available in the local area and abroad, then hand crafts spirits by meticulously controlling the entire process – form the milling of the raw grains, to the mashing, fermentation, and distillation on their custom-made copper stills.

Now available in fine establishments and retailers where premium spirits are sold (CO, IL, KY, TN, WI)., the Blaum Bros. Straight Rye Whiskey (750 ml) is available for the suggested retail price of $49.99.

Blaum Bros. Distilling Co. is located at 9380 W. U.S. Highway 20, Galena, IL 61036.  For tour reservations, call (815) 777-1000 or visit

Disclaimer: Blaum Brothers Distilling Co. provided Bourbon & Banter with a sample of their product for this review. We appreciate their willingness to allow us to review their products with no strings attached. Thank you.

About the Author

Jim Knudsen

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Jim Knudsen has lived in every region of the United States, traveled the world, and always enjoyed spirits along the way. While he has sampled local spirits in 50 countries on 6 continents, he always comes home to bourbon. Jim is an accomplished global sales and marketing executive, with a degree in Physics from Michigan State University and an MBA from Baldwin-Wallace College. Growing up in Michigan, in a household rich with the experience of enjoying drink. He now lives in Georgia with his wife Karen, the love of his life, his personal editor, and style consultant. When not drinking bourbon he likes to golf, reading, and enjoys professional football and boxing. Actually, these are more often enjoyed while drinking bourbon. His four great kids, with families of their own, have blessed him with 6 grandchildren. While coming to bourbon late in life, he is working diligently to catch up. Read Jim's full profile.

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