Limestone Branch Distillery is a small artisan distillery founded by Steve Beam. With the last name Beam you know that there is a rich heritage behind the distillery and their brands. Not only does Steve have the Beam heritage but also the Dant distilling heritage on his mother’s side. He wanted to bring back that part of his heritage and started a small distillery. Needless to say, he has plenty of family support and many old family papers upon which to build his brands. One of the results of this heritage is the Minor Case Rye Whiskey, named for Steve’s great-grandfather. This is a two year old rye finished in Sherry casks. I find this to be an excellent rye whiskey.

Minor Case Rye

Proof: 90

Age: 2 years, then finished in Sherry casks for about 6 months.

Nose: A little rye grass with caramel and baking spice and a hint of fruit – raisins and cherries. As it breathes, the caramel really begins to come forward.

Taste: Rye grassiness with caramel and fruit – dates or cherries, with some baking spices – cinnamon and allspice. After eating a dried cranberry it becomes more fruit forward with cherries and berries and a bit of vanilla. A bite of pecan brings out some citrus notes – orange peel, with some vanilla and oak. The pecan removes most of the spiciness from the rye.

Finish: Long and spicy with some oak notes. The cranberry makes the finish fruity and sweeter. The pecan makes the finish dry with some nice oak wood.

This is an excellent rye from Limestone Branch Distillery. I find it also goes well with a cigar, in this case a Rocky Patel Vintage 1990. It really enhanced the smoke with some sweet spices and chocolate notes. I am not usually a fan of cask finished whiskey but this rye still comes through strong with only a hint of the sherry in the nose and flavor. The sherry enhances the flavor of the rye without overpowering it. I highly recommend a bottle of this rye for your bar.

Photos Courtesy of Michael Veach