This post sponsored by the Glencairn Whisky Glass

The Redwood Empire Distillery is in Sonoma County, California. Matt and I tasted the Bourbon last year and I had many comments saying we should try the rye whiskey. I found a bottle and we tasted it. It is a three year old whiskey with a 95% rye mash bill, bottled by the distillery. It is named for an August Sequoia tree in Redwood National Park that is 1180 years old and stands over 160 feet tall. 

Redwood Empire Emerald Giant Rye

Proof: 90

Age: Three Years Old


  • Mike: Rye grass with some earthy notes hiding the vanilla. There is some sweet fruit or floral notes that could be apple blossoms. A little oak wood rounds off the aroma.
  • Matt: Rye grass with some citrus notes and caramel and a little oak wood.


  • Mike: Rye grass, mint, vanilla and a little white pepper spice and oak. Tasted with a dried cranberry and the vanilla comes forward and a little citrus note comes out in the taste. Tasted with a pecan and it becomes rich in caramel and some hot pepper spice – definitely black pepper.
  • Matt: Rye grass and mint with a little rhubarb and oak. The dried cranberry brought out some vanilla. The pecan made the vanilla more of a caramel and some cinnamon spice came forward.


  • Mike: Medium long with oak and spice – the spice became baking spices of nutmeg and allspice. The dried cranberry made the finish shorter and sweeter with lots of oak with a hint of those baking spices. The pecan gave the finish a lingering caramel and spice note.
  • Matt: Very spicy with cinnamon and white pepper and a little oak dryness. The dried cranberry gave the finish a hot pepper jelly note. The pecan made the cinnamon stronger like a red hot cinnamon candy.

I would pair this rye whiskey with a cigar rich in cedar spice notes. I would reach for a Fuente Eye of the Shark with its rich tobacco and cedar spice notes.

Photos Courtesy of Rosemary Miller