This post sponsored by the Glencairn Whisky Glass

The other day, Matt was in Westport Whiskey & Wine and saw this bottle of rye whiskey. He knew we had not reviewed it, so he purchased the bottle and brought it over to taste with me. We both were pleased with this product from an Ohio artisan distillery. 

Middle West Spirits, LLC is an artisan distillery located in Columbus, Ohio. This distillery has been bottling their whiskey under the OYO brand name. They have been distilling for several years now and this is a rye whiskey that they distilled. I was first introduced to their whiskey by my friend, John Lipman, who lives in Ohio. He was impressed with their whiskey and I too found it good solid whiskey. They are making good whiskey. Here are our tasting notes.

Middle West Dark Pumpernickel Rye

Proof: 96

Age: Three Years Old


  • Mike: Rye grass, black licorice, oak and vanilla.
  • Matt: Rye grass, roses, vanilla and oak.


  • Mike: Rye grass, vanilla, black licorice, dried dark fruit – prunes or figs, black pepper and oak wood. Tasted with a dried cranberry and the pepper is reduced but the dried fruit is enhanced. Tasted with a pecan and the vanilla comes forward with a hint of caramel and chocolate and the pepper notes are moved to the background.
  • Matt: Black licorice, rye grass, figs and a note of butter – a nice mouth-feel. The dried cranberry enhanced the fig notes and brought out some cocoa. The pecan brought out notes of smoky oak wood, leather and plums.


  • Mike: Medium long with oak wood and licorice. The dried cranberry brought the pepper out in the finish. The pecan made the finish sweeter with vanilla and oak, but there were no spice notes.
  • Matt: Short and buttery with some black licorice and oak. The dried cranberry brought out some notes of fine leather. The pecan made the finish longer with oak and leather.

I would pair this rye whiskey with an aromatic pipe tobacco – something with lots of vanilla and fruit in the smoke. Kremer’s Black Royal is my favorite pipe tobacco for a whiskey like this one.

Photo Courtesy of Rebecca Hammer