I did not taste as many rye whiskeys in 2021 as I did Bourbons, but there were a few that did impress me for their quality. I am going to list these whiskeys in alphabetical order by brand, not by preference. They are all good whiskeys and it depends on my mood as to which one I will drink. I do hope you enjoy this list and have a chance to purchase a bottle or two of these whiskeys.
Buzzard’s Roost Toasted Finish: This is a three year old sourced whiskey from MGP that was finished in a toasted barrel. It is an excellent rye whiskey neat and makes an excellent old fashioned cocktail.
Coalition Rye: These whiskeys were distilled by Kentucky Artisan Distillery for a customer. There is a barrel proof straight rye that is excellent, but there are also several versions finished in various wine casks. All are very good whiskeys worth purchasing.
Leopold Three Chamber Rye: Leopold Bros. Distillery always makes excellent whiskey. This one is no exception. It was distilled using a three chambered pot still and does have a unique flavor that is sure to please.
Liberty Pole Rye: This whiskey is made by Mingo Creek Craft Distillery in Pennsylvania. They are making excellent rye whiskey that is now being bottled at two years old. I can’t wait to try more of this as they bottle it with more age. This whiskey will get better and better with age.
McKenzie Single Barrel Rye: The Finger Lakes Distillery has always impressed me with the quality of their whiskey, but I think this may be the best bottle of rye whiskey I have tasted from them. Unfortunately, as a single barrel product, I can not be sure the next bottle will taste the same, but I am sure it will be very good.
Middle West Pumpernickel Rye: This whiskey is made by Middle West Spirits of Columbus, Ohio. This artisan distillery is making some good whiskey, but I particularly like this three year old rye. It is very good straight but also makes a good Manhattan cocktail.
Old Overholt 114: It is good to see Jim Beam giving this rye whiskey the respect that it deserves. They have recently released first, a bonded Old Overholt and now a 114 proof expression. This is excellent whiskey and reasonably priced. Every rye drinker should have a bottle of this in their bar.
These are just the rye whiskeys that I tasted in 2021 that impressed me. There are many other excellent rye whiskeys being produced in this growing category of whiskey. I hope you enjoyed this list and take time to purchase a few bottles to try for yourself. You will not regret it.
Photos Courtesy of Rosemary Miller