SBC #87: Pinhook Rye Vertical Series “Esteria Year 5”

Breaking Bourbon Award Winning Single Barrel Club picks are selected by Breaking Bourbon, and whenever possible with the help of Patreon supporters. The bottles are made available to Patreon supporters first by pledge tier. If any bottles remain after all supporters have had an opportunity to purchase, they are made available to the public on a first come, first served basis. Each barrel is sponsored by a retailer partner, who sells the bottles directly to end purchasers.

Retailer Partner: Seelbach’s

Classification: Straight Rye

Company: CJS Beverage Corp.

Distillery: MGP Ingredients, Inc.

Age: 8 Years

Proof: 113.3

Mashbill: 95% Rye, 5% Malted Barley

Yield: 168 Bottles

Release Date: May 2024


Anyone that’s into whiskey knows, as it ages in a barrel, it changes over time. Outside the relatively few who are part of the process of making it, not many whiskey drinkers get to taste this ongoing metamorphosis. Most notably, Orphan Barrel attempted to capture this with Rhetoric, a bourbon that was continually aged and released each year that attempted to showcase how a whiskey changes over time. The main issue with this endeavor was the inaugural release was already a 20 year old bourbon. At that point the majority of the whiskey’s most drastic changes had already taken place. Rhetoric was already heavily oaked at 20 years and at 25 years old (the final release in the series), didn’t leave it very much room to change.

We had already done a Pinhook Rye pick at Castle & Key Distillery, SBC #11 “King of the Castle”, so when the idea came up to showcase how rye changes over time in a barrel with a yearly release, we jumped at it. Rye can go through some drastic changes as it ages. With the majority of rye whiskeys on the market around the 3-5 year old range, being able to juxtapose our first release at 4 years old to the following year, and eventually to a final 12 year old whiskey should be quite shocking.

This is the fifth edition in our Pinhook Vertical Rye series, which will run for four additional years culminating with a 12 year old release. To clarify how this is different from Pinhook’s standard nationwide Vertical Series release, the nationwide version is batched, blending together a set of 8 year old rye barrels to represent the particular year. In this case, we’ve chosen from a select few single barrels that were part of the set and deemed worthy of being bottled individually.

Now at 8 years old, this edition is really starting to show its age. Distilled at MGP, it showcases those wonderful aged 95% rye flavors. Rye spice leads, and spice holds steady throughout morphing to baking spices and even a hint of cinnamon on the finish. Pear and caramel develop on the palate, which is rich and has a deep intensity of flavor with a creamy mouthfeel. Spice is most prevalent in the finish, which is joined by a honey note as well. Overall it’s a nicely developed aged rye, and for fans of this series should not be missed.

In typical fashion, we went all out with our Single Barrel Club sticker for this special set of releases. With each Pinhook release featuring a different horse, we ran with that idea and created an 8 part sticker series that when combined, creates a beautiful panoramic picture of galloping horses. For the final sticker (Year 9), we plan to do a little something special to cap off this epic vertical series. We’re really excited about this latest single barrel release and we hope you will be too.

Tasting Notes

Nose: Rye spice | Graham cracker | Pear | Savory baking spices | Light

Palate: Ripe pear | Savory baking spices | Caramel chews | Creamy mouthfeel | Nicely showcases age | Well balanced | Elegant, deep flavor delivery

Finish: Spice ramps up | Light cinnamon | Honey | Medium length

Distillers, Producers, and Retailers: If you would like to be a part of this program and get your name in front of millions of bourbon enthusiasts, contact us.

Please note these bottles will not be sold by Breaking Bourbon, but will be sold by retailers we partner with in order to fulfill the orders and ship the bottles directly to Patreon supporters. Breaking Bourbon will receive no compensation from our partner retailers under these agreements (with the exception of a bottle from each barrel for editorial purposes). If you represent a retailer and ship to consumers and you’re interested in partnering just let us know!

Written By: BB Team

May 13, 2024
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