You’ve probably heard of Dry January. Some of our readers and tasting club members might even be challenging themselves to try it this year. Since we’re all about whisky discovery at the Dram Team (and can’t turn down the opportunity for a good pun, either) we’ve decided that this year, we going to do “Rye” January instead.
What is Rye January, you ask? Well, it’s a celebration of one of our favourite, most under-rated categories of whisky: rye. We think it’s also the perfect occasion to launch a new type of whisky tasting box. Introducing The Dram Team “Shiny” editions!
Like a collector’s edition foil playing card, this box is a little bit more exclusive. The whiskies inside retail on average £30-£40 higher per bottle than we’d normally include in our Box-of-the-Month. These range from new releases, to extremely well-aged specimens – all guaranteed to delight and surprise you.
Virtual Tasting Alert! To further celebrate Rye January, we’ve partnered up with long-time Dram Team friend and member, Vin PF from the No Nonsense Whisky channel to bring you a special virtual live tasting of these whiskeys. Watch out for even more rye-based punnery! We’ll be live on our Facebook and Youtube channels at 8:30pm on Thursday 11th of February 2021 – just in time for anyone who has managed to stick to Dry January 😉
So, here are the 6 rye-tastic whiskeys in our inaugural “shiny” edition tasting box.
East London Liquor Company’s ultra-sleek premises in Bow Wharf, London, houses a deceptively geeky and passionate team of whisky-makers. This is their third annual rye release, with each year following a unique recipe in vintage format. This year, it’s a vatting of whiskies made from 42% malted rye and 58% malted barley. This spirit was aged in a quirky variety of casks including virgin French oak, virgin Chestnut, STR (shaved, toasted, recharred), sherry, and ex-bourbon casks. Just 1,200 bottles were made, so enjoy it while it lasts!
Peerless Whiskey as a brand dates back to the late 1800s, as a well-known Kentucky-based distillery that then struggled to bounce back from Prohibition and WW1. Unfortunately, when owner Henry Kraver passed away in 1938, the brand was lost to history. That is, until his great- and great-great grandson revived the name in 2014, even keeping the same distillery plant number in Henderson, KY. This rye is a release of just 369 bottles, aged for 3 years.
Making rye can be a tricky business, as it’s tough to distill in high volumes and yields less spirit than barley or corn. So to find a 100% rye is rare – and rarer still, a Finnish one! After tantalising rye fans with a series of impossible-to-get small batch releases, Kyrö found a way to ramp up production and meet the demand with this core bottling of their unique whisky. Kyrö use only spicy and intense Finnish rye, malted and double pot-distilled, before being aged in new American white oak barrels. Cheers, or “Kippis” as they say in Finland!
Our second feature from independent whisky bottler heavyweights, That Boutique-y Whisky (or in this case, Rye) Company. Stauning, in western Jutland, is Denmark’s first whisky distillery. With a heavy focus on rye, their ethos is based on using what’s abundant in the land around them – including their own locally-sourced peat. This peat finds it way into not only their single malts, but their ryes as well. They insist on their own traditional-style floor malting, distilling in small direct-fired, onion-shaped stills. This limited release is a 3 year old rye whisky matured in casks that previously held rum from Belize. Rummy yummy!
Sonoma County, California is well known for its world-class wine production, and Sonoma Distilling Co. are gaining that same notoriety for their spirits. They’re certainly a creative bunch, releasing some interesting whiskeys, like their black truffle-infused rye. This bottling is made from 80% rye grain, which is considered high by rye standards. The remainder of the mash bill (i.e. recipe) is split evenly with 10% wheat and 10% cherrywood smoked barley, which all adds up to produce a flavour profile like nothing you’ve ever tasted!
It wouldn’t be a special edition rye box without Vermont-based champions of the rye grain, Whistlepig. We’ve featured a couple of their ryes before, but never one as old as this! At 15 years, it’s one of the oldest ryes we’ve ever seen. Made from predominantly Canadian rye, it’s been finished in Whistlepig’s locally grown Vermont oak. This type of oak has a tighter grain and more rings than standard American oak, giving the whiskey a more intense, complex flavour. Hoo-rye indeed!
Because the whiskeys in this box retail on average £30-£40 more than our usual box of the month, supplies are extremely limited. Be sure to grab your Rye January box now, before they sell out!
And, if you like the sound of this box, every month we curate awesome whisky tastings and deliver them right to your door. Join the club today and start exploring more great whisky more often.
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