This three-year-old rye whiskey is from the Finger Lakes Distillery in New York State. Once again this whiskey proves that older is not better. At three years old this whiskey is as good as many whiskeys three times its age. I will be happy when they start sending their whiskeys to Kentucky.
I believe that Finger Lakes Distillery is still using locally sourced rye grain for this whiskey. It is an heirloom variety that I found gave the new make an orange blossom honey aroma and taste when I tasted it several years ago. I still find a little of that honey note in this whiskey. I also believe that they have a low barrel entry proof which helps to get more of the sweet notes from the wood to balance the raw tannic flavors from the barrel char. I find that the Finger Lakes Distillery is becoming one of my favorite artisan distilleries.
Age: 3 Years Old
Nose: Rye grass, cherries, vanilla marshmallow and oak.
Taste: Rye grass, honey, cherries and raspberries with some vanilla and oak wood tannins. Tasted with a cranberry and the honey is enhanced and some citrus notes come forward. Tasted with a pecan and the vanilla becomes more caramel and some pepper spice comes forward.
Finish: Long, dry and spicy with oak tannins and baking spices. The cranberry enhances the oak and lessens the spice. The pecan makes the spice white pepper which dominates the finish.
I have decided that a Rocky Patel Winter Edition 2018 is the cigar to pair with this rye. I find the smoke full of rich sweet tobacco with chocolate and spice notes. The rye whiskey adds some caramel notes to the smoke and the smoke brings out some maple syrup notes in the whiskey.
Photos Courtesy of Rosemary Miller