Sonoma County Distilling Black Truffle Rye is not a straight rye whiskey. It is a rye whiskey of undetermined aged that has been infused with French Perigord Black Truffles. It is an interesting whiskey with a very earthy flavor, but you can still taste the rye. I am sure bartenders and chefs are finding some interesting uses for this rye but I am not sure that it would be the first choice for a person looking for a drink of rye whiskey.

Today I am being joined by Rosemary’s niece, Rebecca Hammer. Rebecca is a big Bourbon fan but still considers herself a novice at describing the aromas and flavors of whiskey and wanted to join me in the tasting to learn more. Rebecca loves black truffles and is a big fan of truffle fries so I thought she was a natural to join me in this tasting. It turned into a very interesting evening with Rosemary bringing out the kit from the Aroma Academy to help her distinguish and describe some aromas. Rebecca works in the IT industry and her boyfriend, Matt Kohorst has been a guest taster for me in the past.

Sonoma County Distilling Black Truffle Rye

Proof: 100

Age: No Age Statement

Nose: Mike’s Notes: Prunes, caramel, rye grass and a hint of cloves all hide behind the leathery, earthy aroma. After letting it breathe for about 15 minutes there was a cotton candy aroma coming forward.

Rebecca’s Notes: Very leathery with some buttery caramel in the background.

Taste: Mike’s Notes: Earthy leather and caramel with cherries and cloves. With a dried cranberry the earthy tones were mellowed and a citrus note with baking spices came forward. With a pecan the earthy note became a little more oak and vanilla.

Rebecca’s Notes: Leathery and spicy with cloves. The dried cranberry made it smoky and the pecan made it sweeter with more caramel.

Finish: Mike’s Notes: Moderately long with an oak and earthy finish. The dried cranberry made it last longer and brought out the baking spices. The pecan dried out the finish making it mostly oak with a hint of leather.

Rebecca’s Notes: Very long finish with a flavor of dried fruit. The dried cranberry made the finish shorter and reduced the fruit while bringing out some oak. The pecan enhanced the earthiness of the finish.

This is an interesting rye whiskey. I think Rebecca summed it up best when she said “It is different from anything I have ever tasted before.” We both agreed it might make an interesting cocktail or in a savory dish for a meal. Today I am enjoying it with CLE Maduro Azabache cigar. The smoke adds some spice to the rye and actually reduces the earthiness of the whiskey. The rye adds some spice to the smoke.

I would say this is one of the most interesting tastings I have done lately. I find the whiskey pleasant enough but I think it would best be used in cooking a savory dish.

Photos Courtesy of Rosemary Miller