Hooten Young Operation Gothic Serpent Rye


Classification: Rye

Company: Hooten & Young Wine and Spirits

Distillery: Sourced from MGP

Release Date: January 2024

Proof: 93

Age: NAS (6 years old according to the company website)

Mashbill: 95% Rye, 5% Malted Barley

Color: Golden Hay

MSRP: $65 / 750mL (2024)

Official Website


Apricot | Peach | Pear | Lemon | Orange | Rye spice | Oak


Apricot | Pear | Touch of citrus | Rye grain | Mild creaminess


Rye spice | Orange chocolate | Seasoned oak | Light pine | Mild lingering ethanol


Hooten Young Operation Gothic Serpent Rye Whiskey is a sourced MGP rye that has more to say than you’d expect.

Hooten Young was founded by former Special Operations Soldier, Master Sgt. Norm Hooten and Tim Young. Notably known for his portrayal by Eric Bana in the film Black Hawk Down. According to the company, “Hooten Young Operation Gothic Serpent Rye Whiskey “commemorates the 30th anniversary of Operation Gothic Serpent, the grueling 1993 firefight between U.S. Forces and Somali Warlord terrorists over the United Nations' peacekeeping efforts...the story that inspired the Hollywood epic Black Hawk Down.”

Hooten Young whiskeys continue to surprise me. Hooten Young Operation Gothic Serpent Rye doesn’t feature an age statement (though their website states 6 years), doesn’t feature the word “straight” on its label, and the whiskey is sourced from MGP, but like their 12 year old American Whiskey I reviewed, it's all about how the whiskey tastes.

There’s no shortage of MGP rye on the market, so you’ll think you’ll know what you’re getting with this one, but this rye has a few tricks up its sleeve. The nose is packed full of fruity scents; everything from apricot, peach, and pear, to lemon and orange. Overall it's an extremely effective aroma that seems impossible to dislike. The palate only deviates slightly, carrying over the apricot and pear, but adding in more citrus and rye grain with a noticeable creaminess on its delivery. The finish gently ramps up the rye spice, which is followed by orange chocolate, seasoned oak, and light pine. There are times when sipping this whiskey that you might be fooled into thinking it was finished in something or has some corn whiskey mixed into it, as it doesn’t taste like a typical MGP rye. Though it's not overly complex, it drinks wonderfully easy and its uniqueness more than makes up for it.

The sample used for this review was provided to us at no cost courtesy its respective company. We thank them for allowing us to review it with no strings attached.
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Written By: Eric Hasman

March 20, 2024
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