Classification: Barrel Aged Rye Whiskey and Natural Flavors
Company: Preservation Distillery
Distillery: Sourced from an undisclosed Canadian distillery(ies)
Release Date: Ongoing
Color: Red Amber
MSRP: $180 (2023)
Buttered cornbread | Baking spices | Maple syrup | Raisin | Sweet
Maple syrup | Rye spice | Animal crackers | Very sweet | Cohesive | Thick mouthfeel
Maple syrup base | Toasted marshmallow | Brown sugar | Light spice on the backend | Long & sweet
Layering natural flavors onto a Canadian rye whiskey base, Very Olde Saint Nick Winter Maple Rye is sweet and cohesive, but demands quite a price for what it is.
Very Olde St. Nick was originally released in the 1980s as an export-only whiskey to the Japanese market. This continued for years, and the source of the whiskey was ever-changing, with most speculating its original sources being Stitzel-Weller, Heaven Hill, and Willett Distillery. The brand was first released in the United States in the mid-2010s. Today, Very Old St. Nick Distillery is owned and operated by Marci Palatella, who also owns Preservation Distillery which is located in Bardstown, Kentucky.
Winter Maple Rye Whiskey is a flavored whiskey, with a Canadian rye base with added natural flavors (presumably including maple syrup). It’s clearly maple-focused, with maple syrup flavors permeating throughout the whiskey from start to finish. It’s characteristically sweet as a result, and certainly won’t be for whiskey traditionalists. At the same time, the base rye provides a solid structure and complementary spice resulting in a cohesive marriage of flavors that comes together nicely and is by no means too sweet as flavored whiskeys typically are. With that being said, at $180 it’s quite an ask for a flavored whiskey, as much of the taste feels driven by the addition of natural flavors, which feels off for such a high priced whiskey even if it is nicely executed.
The bottle in review has a designation code of I-YE-3.