Pikesville Rye

                                                             Today Talking Bourbon is tasting Pikesville Rye, we know, it’s a tough job but somebody has to do it. Pikesville is made by Heaven Hill and according to their web site was first made in Maryland in the 1890s. The site also states that Maryland had a booming Rye industry until prohibition ended it. News to us.

Pikesville Rye is available in most liquor stores, sells for around $50 for the 750 ml and comes in a nondescript corked bottle. It is aged for 6 years and bottled at 110 proof.

On a side note, if you like Rittenhouse Rye, which we do, Pikesville Rye is the same mash bill aged 2 more years and bottled at a higher proof.

NOSE

Ron:   A sweet and spicy peppery aroma upfront along with some grain and citrus. Also catch lesser scents of Rye and anise, and even less of caramel, cedar and cinnamon. Hope it taste as good as it smells,

Todd:   Sometimes we are just in sync my brother from another mother. I too get the sweet pepper and citrus upfront. I also get the lesser scents of caramel, cedar and even the cinnamon. The only thing I can add is a little bit of leather.

Ron:   Remember readers, we don’t talk until we have both wrote everything down.

TASTE

Ron:  Pretty hot neat but to be expected at 110 proof. I get the same sweet, spicy pepper, and citrus that I got on the nose.The grain morphed into Rye. Not a lot of secondary flavors, a little clove and a bitter sweetness that reminds me of dark chocolate.

Todd:   I feel if I am not needed, I also get the sweet, spice and citrus upfront. I also taste the hint of chocolate but not the bitterness. Thankfully I do get a bit of caramel so I can feel like I contributed.

FINISH

Medium long with more of the dark chocolate coming through.

Todd:   Nice medium long finish with a touch of the bitterness than Ron got on the taste.

OVERALL

Ron:  I really enjoyed drinking Pikesville, though I am not sure it is worth being double in price compared to Rittenhouse.

Todd:  Count me in as a fan of Pikesville Rye. While I somewhat agree with Ron on the price issue regarding Rittenhouse, this is good stuff and worth the bump up in cost.

Nose   4.25 out of 5

Taste    8.75 out of 10

Finish    4 out of 5

Total score      17 out of 20 barrels.

Talking bourbon has spoken and we like Pikesville Rye. We understand that the price can be somewhat prohibitive for some. Even if you have to save up, buy a bottle, you will thank us later.

And as we have stated before, you can always just pull out the bottle every other month or so for just a small pour. We both own bottles that we have had for over 5 years.

Now, back to enjoying some Pikesville Rye.

Michter’s American Whiskey

                                                             As readers of this blog know, we here at Talking Bourbon love us some Michter’s. Whether it is their Bourbon, Rye or Toasted barrel, we love them all. Somehow though, we have never tried their American Whiskey. Both of us are familiar with it and have seen it for sale but for some reason never pulled the trigger when it came to buying a bottle. Well that has changed.

Michter’s Small Batch Unblended American Whiskey comes in the standard Michter’s corked bottle. It is bottled at 83.4 proof, sells for around $40 and while fairly available, it is not sold everywhere. Try as we might, we could not find an age statement, clarification of the mash bill or just what this stuff exactly is. Their website states that it is aged in Bourbon soaked barrels, thus the reason it can’t be called Bourbon. But is that the only dis-qualifier?

Also, we couldn’t get a clear definition of the term Unblended. Since it is not a single barrel product, one would think it is a blend of barrels. Maybe someone reading this has a little insight. Hopefully these discrepancies won’t take from our enjoyment.

NOSE

Todd:   Very nice sweet aromas of caramel and a grain that reminded me of whole wheat products. Not quite as upfront are scents of dark chocolate, raspberries and toast.

Ron:   Lovely aromas of cake bread, brown sugar, caramel, honey, leather and toffee. Also pick up slight scents of cinnamon and oak and some sweet scent that I can’t quite pinpoint, maybe maple.

TASTE

Todd:    Very smooth neat with an oily texture on the tongue and a strong flavor of caramel upfront. Lots of lesser taste come behind, including cocoa, cedar, oak, and toffee. I taste the whole wheat that I got on the nose as well as the maple that Ron maybe got on the nose. Also pick up a slight hint of sherry. Very good!

Ron:    Sweet tastes of caramel, honey and maple dominate. I also get strong flavors of toast and vanilla. Lingering slightly behind is wood and leather. Definitely enjoyed.

FINISH

Todd:   Medium long with more sweetness and a slight bit of spice.

Ron:  Medium long sweet finish.

OVERALL

Todd:    This stuff is damn good! I don’t care what it is called or what they mean by unblended.

Ron:   This is not your typical Michter’s. It goes down almost like a dessert drink or aperitif, think Angel’s Envy Rye. Very good!

Nose       4.5 out of 5

Taste       9.25 out of 10

Finish       4 out of 5

Total score      17.75 out of 20 barrels

Well it seems Michter’s has another hit, at least with Talking Bourbon. From the great nose to the sweet but yet still complex taste, this has it all. Really the only thing that held back the score a little was the finish, and that was still 4 out of 5.

At under $40, Michter’s American Whiskey should be part of your collection. It will definitely always be part of ours.