Sonoma County Rye

ABV: 48%
Cask: Charred New American Oak
More Info: WhiskyBase

Time for something a little different tonight!

After the wildly wonderful Balcones tasting earlier this month (after which I was, admittedly, grinning and stumbling about the house*) it occurred that great American whiskey needn’t be Bourbon and it needn’t be from Kentucky.

With that in mind, I was recommended Sonoma County whiskey (from California, dontchaknow) and I grabbed a sample of their rye bottling. I haven’t tasted a whole lot of rye but I do enjoy the spicy and savoury flavours that typify the genre.

Nose: Grape skin, planed wood, dry grass, and white pepper. Tinned peaches and salty sour dough.

Palate: Sweet, sour and spicy. Cloves, menthol, cinnamon, burnt sugar, ginger cake and liquorice root.

Finish: Long with lingering liquorice, dry tobacco, and blackcurrant throat sweets.

Oooh, interesting. I feel like this is a pretty young expression but it’s definitely got a lot going for it. Since I mostly drink Scotch, the nose felt a little shallow but the palate and finish are excellent. Smooth, spicy and lip smacking with a great long finish.

It’s always nice to drink an unfiltered, low-tech, traditional whiskey. With direct fired pot stills and no filtration, Sonoma County Distillery have done very well here.

Here’s to Californian whiskey!

You can pick up a bottle for £55.95 on The Whisky Exchange.

* Give me a break – most of the samples were above 60%ABV!