About a year ago, Castle & Key Distillery released their first whiskey – Restoration Rye. This year they have released more of this rye whiskey –Batches Two and Three. Both are good, but a little different. Matt and I sat down to taste these whiskeys and we thought the Batch Two was more complex and interesting, but Batch Three might make a better Manhattan cocktail. We look forward to the next release of Restoration Rye, which should be four year old rye whiskey. On a side note, Castle & Key will be releasing their first Bourbon next spring.
Restoration Rye, Batch Two
Age: Three Years, Six Months
- Mike: Rye grass, vanilla, orange zest with some herbal notes and oak.
- Matt: Rye grass with vanilla, orange zest, notes of dill and oak.
- Mike: Rye grass, orange zest, vanilla, white pepper and oak. Tasted with a dried cranberry and the orange and pepper notes are enhanced. Tasted with a pecan and there is more vanilla and oak.
- Matt: Caramel, orange zest and oak. The dried cranberry added notes of chocolate and cinnamon. The pecan tasted of a chocolate covered orange candy with a little nutmeg.
- Mike: Medium long with oak and spice and a little lingering orange zest. The dried cranberry made the finish very peppery. The pecan made the finish very dry with oak and spice with some lingering vanilla.
- Matt: Long and dry with oak and spice. The dried cranberry brought out notes of chocolate and brown sugar. The pecan made the finish very long with cocoa, rye grassiness and oak.
Restoration Rye, Batch Three
Age: Three Years, Six Months
- Mike: A very light nose – rye grass, green banana and oak.
- Matt: Brown sugar, banana and rye grass with a little oak.
- Mike: Rye grass, cinnamon spice, vanilla with a hint of banana and sweet oak wood. The dried cranberry enhances the rye grassiness and cinnamon. The pecan enhances the vanilla and oak.
- Matt: Rye grass, rhubarb and banana with sweet oak. The dried cranberry brought out a little cocoa and a hint of mustard seed. The pecan brought out cocoa and notes of Nutter Butter candy bar.
- Mike: Medium long with oak and cinnamon spice. The dried cranberry made the finish longer and enhanced the cinnamon spice. The pecan made the finish very long with oak and cinnamon spice with some lingering vanilla sweetness.
- Matt: Long with rye grassiness, oak and spice – cinnamon and smoked paprika. The dried cranberry made the finish mostly oak and rye grassiness with just a hint of spice. The pecan made the finish buttery with rye grass and oak.
I would pair these two rye whiskeys with a mild cigar. I would reach for a Nat Sherman Metropolitan with a light wrapper – something with light notes of vanilla and tobacco that should play well with the fruit and spice of these whiskeys, without overpowering the whiskey flavors.
Photos Courtesy of Rosemary Miller