Green Hat Rye is distilled by the New Columbia Distillers, LLC in Washington D.C. It is a very interesting product because the distillery was founded as a gin distillery. Green Hat Gin is their flagship product with several different versions of the gin available in the D.C. market. The distiller and co-owner, Michael Lowe, decided he wanted to make some rye whiskey and add it to his brand portfolio. Thus, Green Hat Rye was created. The rye is a very interesting whiskey. Michael told me that he is using 73% rye and 27% malted barley. The malt is also broken down to about half distiller’s malt and half brewer’s malt. It gives the rye its own unique characteristics. I think it would be interesting to see him make it with a small percentage of the brewer’s malt also being caramel or chocolate malt.
This product is available in the Washington D.C. area, but I am not sure where else it is distributed. If you are in the D.C. area, you should pick up a bottle of their rye and if you are a gin drinker, their gin is very good as well.
Green Hat Rye
Age: 3 Years Old
Nose: Very simple nose. Very malty with vanilla and green apple and oak.
Taste: Green apples, vanilla, rye grass and a hint of nutmeg, oak and malt. When tasted with a dried cranberry the apple becomes more of a ripe apple with lots of vanilla and oak. The pecan enhances the malty notes and the nutmeg spice.
Finish: Long with lots of malt and oak – very beer-like. The cranberry made the finish shorter and sweeter with apple and spice and only a hint of oak. The pecan also made the finish sweet, bringing out a lot of malt sweetness with only a hint of oak, again very beer-like.
I paired this rye with an A. Fuente Reserva Don Carlos “Eye of the Shark” cigar. I find the smoke to be full of vanilla and rich tobacco with a hint of fruit sweetness. The fruit note became candied cherries with a hint of chocolate. The smoke reduced the malt flavors of the whiskey and brought forward more rye grassiness. I enjoy this pairing very much.
Photos Courtesy of Rosemary Miller