Classification: Straight Rye
Company: Rare Character Whiskey Co.
Distillery: Undisclosed Tennessee Distillery
Release Date: February 2022
Age: 5.5 Years
Mashbill: Undisclosed percentages of rye and malted barley
Color: Light Gold
MSRP: $80 (2022)
Crème brulée | Vanilla creme | Rice pudding | Mint | Cocoa powder
Bananas Foster | Nutmeg | Cinnamon | Oak | Thick & mouth warming
Cinnamon | Leather | Pine | Light clove | Lingering baking spice aftertaste
Rare Character Whiskey is a purveyor of single barrel whiskey which they then offer wholesale to hotels, restaurant groups, bars, country clubs, whiskey clubs, liquor stores and distributors. Where other companies create a brand based on whiskey they source and then offer private selection single barrels at a later point, Rare Character goes right for the private single barrel market. It’s an interesting business plan and one that makes sense in the ever-popular and ever-growing private selection market.
Being a solely single barrel operation, it’s hard to get a true grasp on the quality of the barrels they source. But a 5.5 year old Tennessee rye caught my attention, as the state’s distilleries aren’t known (yet) for their rye output, and even less offer non-distiller producers a chance to purchase them outright.
That might be why the first sip completely took me by surprise. Big baking related flavors hit hard and fast. A thick mouthfeel and a warm 110 proof immediately makes a good impression. The entire sip presents a nicely developed rye that offers ample maturity and baking spice complexity. A good amount of oak is also present, but thanks to some light youthful notes, it’s kept in check. While every single barrel will be different, the fact that sourced Tennessee rye is pretty rare to come across, means your bottle might share many similarities to this one. If that proves to be true, for any rye lover, this is an instant buy.