Monday, September 17, 2012
Craft Whiskey Week - McKenzie Bourbon & Rye from Finger Lakes Distilling
Today, I'll be sampling their McKenzie Bourbon and Rye. Both are aged first in small barrels and then finished in wine barrels (the bourbon in chardonnay casks and the rye in sherry casks).
McKenzie Bourbon, 45.5%, Batch 7/2012 ($35)
The nose has young wood and licorice. The palate has that craft taste of young spirit aged in small barrels. There is a lot of raw wood but not too much else. The finish is slightly minty and just a little bitter.
McKenzie Rye, 45.5%, Batch 8/2012 ($46)
The nose on the rye is quite new makey, with some pine/fir type notes and lots of wood, like walking through the lumber aisle at Home Depot. The palate is sweet up front with some fruit. Rye spice comes in mid palate and into the finish, which is a nice sweet an spicy balance from the rye and sherry.
I liked the rye better than the bourbon, but both of these fit my stereotype of small barrel aged spirit. They taste very woody and very young (there is no age statement on the bottles, which should mean they are at least four years old, but I'd be surprised if that were the case, and knowing the TTB these days, who knows).
The rye, in particular, shows a lot of promise. You can tell it's really good distillate. It's one of the better small barrel whiskeys I've had, but I would love to taste it aged for six years in traditional sized casks. Hopefully, the McKenzies will consider it.