You never know what will pop up at an LA Whiskey Society blind tasting, and at the most recent meeting, featuring both Scotch and American whiskey, we were lucky enough to try an old Maryland rye. Mount Vernon was a National Distillers brand, and this one was distilled at the Hannis Distillery in Baltimore in 1934, just after prohibition ended. It was bottled in 1939.
Mount Vernon Rye, Bottled in Bond, 1934/1939 50% abv
On the nose it has those great sandalwood notes that old ryes have. The palate is syrupy sweet with grape juice notes and then more of than sandalwood from the nose along with spicy rye that's more familiar from current rye whiskeys. The finish is full of spearmint and spice.
Maryland ryes had the reputation for being sweet and fruity (and some say fruit juice was a common additive in the pre-regulated days), but this one was a bit too sweet for me, and that sweetness got in the way of those wonderful sandalwood and spice notes that I love in old rye. That being said, it was certainly decent and a lot of fun to try.