Rye whisky seems to be in a renaissance right now and today I’m talking about the newest release from GrainHenge Whisky out of Red Deer, Alberta Canada.
It’s hard for me to believe that just over a year ago, I was tasting GrainHenge’s first release, a single malt released at cask strength, Meeting Creek. Wow, that was a whisky distillers and distilleries dream about releasing as the first release. Since then they have followed it up with the easily drinkable single malt Elevator Row and what would be called bourbon if it had been made South of the 49th Parallel – Alliance (a store pick by Wine & Beyond).
Each previous release was unique to itself and all were released at Cask Strength.
“I am not creating rye whisky; I am creating whisky from rye.”
— Garret Haynes, Head Distiller
This 39-month-old whisky was not made to improve the Canadian classic but was to take inspiration from Canadian Rye and make something distinct. Bottled at 46.6% ABV, aged in #4 char new American white oak, 61% flaked rye (think steel cut oats, but rye) and 39% rye malt. You know this dram won’t be that classic Canadian Rye Whisky by any means. Oh, there are only 554 bottles available.
Well, how is it?
I wasn’t sure what to expect when this bottle arrived. Even better, it arrived just as a snowstorm was hitting us. This would allow me and a couple others to dive in and see what Arrowwood was all about.
Nose: beautiful spicy rye notes come through quickly without any burn. You can bury your nose in your glass on this. As I dive deeper, wonderful sweet scents begin to show: caramel; vanilla; brown butter, blending in with cinnamon and baking spice.
Palate: with a creamy mouthful, the palate matches the nose. Delicious rye spice (no offensive menthol or mint), moving into caramel, vanilla, double bubble (come on, we all know that gum from our childhood) and some candied fruit. It makes my mouth water for more.
Finish: after the sip, I’m left with rye spice, a hint of oak and lots of candied fruits that continue to linger before taking my next sip. Even with the 46.6% ABV it gives a gentle rye hug inside.
Wrapping it all up
Garret has achieved what he set out to do, create whisky from rye. The flaked rye in the mashbill gives this rye whisky a flavour that is deliciously different from using unmalted rye. It hits all the right notes for me, and I want to dive in to the next sweet candy sip.
It’s not often that a new distiller and distillery release can continue to follow up an initial release with not one, but 3 more whiskies that people want to drink. Some how GrainHenge is managing to do this and I’m glad I have all four releases on my shelf to enjoy and share.
This bottle was generously provided to me from GrainHenge. Thank you for allowing me to enjoy, share and review it with no strings attached.