Old Carter Rye is the latest project from Mark and Sherri Carter. The Carters partnered with Dixon Dedman in the creation of Kentucky Owl. They hope to reproduce the success of that brand with their Old Carter Rye Whiskey. It is an MPG rye whiskey bottled at barrel strength. There is no age statement and I suspect this is because there is some younger whiskey married to an older whiskey to get the flavor profile they were looking for in the brand. Today I am again joined by Matt Kohorst in my tasting.
Old Carter Rye
Batch 1, Bottle number 389 of 1269
- Mike: Caramel and ripe peach, rye grass, water opens up the nose strengthening the caramel
- Matt: Citrus and sweet
- Mike: Very hot and tannic, but the peach and oak flavors are coming through. Water brings out the sweetness of the fruit and the caramel while reducing the burn. A cranberry brings out citrus – oranges. A pecan brings out the citrus as well but it is more sour orange
- Matt: Hot and tingly on the tongue but the citrus comes through. Water brings forward the caramel, oak and leather. A cranberry brings out lemon citrus. A pecan brings out earthy leather
- Mike: Very dry and tannic. Water makers the finish more oak and leather. A cranberry makes the finish long and leathery. A pecan makes the finish less tannic.
- Matt: Some leather comes through. Water lessens the citrus flavor but pepper, leather and oak comes forward. A cranberry brings out a sweet peppery finish. The pecan makes the finish more leathery and earthy rather than tannic.
This is a pricey rye whiskey. It is obviously well aged whiskey. It is rather tannic and water really helps the whiskey. I think a little more filtration would help this whiskey by getting rid of some of the bitter tannins and letting the sweeter barrel notes come through. I am going to smoke a My Father Le Bijou Petit Robusto. The smoke really brings out some cherry in the whiskey and the whiskey adds some spice to the smoke.
Photos Courtesy of Rosemary Miller
August 24, 2020 at 1:35 am
I too found it really hot and tannic. But there were so many flavors coming in at different phases with a really long finish that i told myself: “This is a really good Rye”. But it was not a pleasant Rye. The best analogy is a cask strength Laphroaig. I love it, but have to be in the right mood for it. After several nights of trying to adjust to it (adding water, leaving it out for a couple of hours) I stopped.
The next night, I took a Masterson rye and made myself a Manhattan. After a few nights of Old Carter it felt… flat and without character. Then I wondered- what if I made myself an Old Carter Manhattan?
It seemed like sacrilege and a waste of money but what the hell.
THE BEST MANHATTAN. EVER. And I don’t even feel guilty about having a bunch more. This rye is so badass that the whole taste evolution kept going and all the vermouth did (Carpano Antica) Was soften the rough edges.
Highly recommended “when I’m in the right mood”, and when I’m not I’ll just have the best Manhattan ever.