David Meier has a background in manufacturing and takes an interest in how things are made. As he was looking for a new project to sink his teeth into, he happened upon the Old Crown Distillery which had been laid to ruin for 30 years. This is where the idea for Glenns Creek Distilling stemmed from and he went to work restoring Old Crow’s dilapidated buildings to resurrect the spirit of the old distillery. He reused and repurposed as many items as he could and almost all of the work was done by him and his team. He also designed and built nearly all the equipment they use for their mash cooking, fermentation, and distillation process.
While their OCD #5 Bourbon is made entirely on premise, their Ryskey Rye is a single barrel, barrel proof rye whiskey that’s sourced from MGP. It’s aged with toasted staves which gives the whiskey its notable dark hues. Staves are often used by young distilleries to mask a whiskey’s youthfulness, but Glenns Creek counters that by saying it helps soften Ryskey’s base whiskey’s peppery taste and mellow it overall.
Caramel, pepper, black licorice, toasted oak, orange, and grass. A nice intensity with scents that work well together.
Brown sugar, syrupy oak, mild youthful notes, and rye spice. Not overly complex but flavorful.
Punchy with a burst of oak, burnt caramel, and black pepper. Slightly dry with a mild bitterness during its long hot finish.
This whiskey is a good example of how staves can change a whiskey for the better. MGP rye whiskey comes in many forms from many distilleries and producers these days, but this whiskey showcases how adding staves can transform it into something new. If you’re not a fan of stave finishing, this won’t convert you. Yet others may find this to be an interesting pour. It’s clear the staves are hiding its youthful notes as you can taste subtle hints of them here and there, but it also sports an appealing richness that is hard to deny. Inserting staves may never fully replace traditional aging time in the barrel, but they can produce something that may otherwise never reach this degree of richness. Some might find it manufactured, and others will be intrigued by it. While it may not have made me a convert to stave finishing, I did enjoy my time sipping it.
Glenns Creek Distilling contacted us after this review was posted with a clarification that despite the label stating it containing 6+ month old whiskey, it is actually 4 years old.
The sample used for this review was provided at no cost courtesy of Glenns Creek Distilling. We thank them for the sample and for allowing us to review it with no strings attached.
Note from the Breaking Bourbon crew: Tasting Note Tuesdays posts are now considered “Reviews” going forward. They will be assigned a Overall rating and be included in our Review Sort pages including Name, Rating, Price, and Review Date for easier navigation. Current full Reviews, as you have come to know them, will remain unchanged, but will be reclassified as “In-Depth Reviews” and will be noted on our Sort pages so they can be clearly differentiated from the new, shorter Reviews.