Dec 12, 2014

Sonoma Cask Strength Rye Whiskey Review

This is simply Sonoma Distilling’s Sonoma Rye Whiskey released at...

Sonoma Cask Strength Rye Whiskey Review This is simply Sonoma Distilling’s Sonoma Rye Whiskey released at full cask strength. Though really, it’s anything but simple. While a mere 6.5% / 13 proof might not seem like much of a difference it really is. This is a bolder, oilier and somehow smoother version of it’s 90 proof brother. This and the cask strength bourbon Adam (Owner / Distiller) had with him at Whisky Live LA were among my favorite whiskies at the event.

The Cask Strength Sonoma Rye comes in at only $7 more than the regular rye which is low enough of a difference that I would have no problem choosing this one over the other. Like all cask strength whiskey you get more out of each bottle because you can add water yourself and dial in where you want it to be, which for me, was just a splash with this one. Too much water and the sweet notes disappeared, but just a splash opened everything up; smoothing out the minor rough edges.

Sonoma Cask Strength Rye Whiskey Review

Batch: 5
Bottle: 123

ABV: 54.5%
Age: NAS
Price: $60*
Distiller: Sonoma County Distilling
Mashbill: 100% Rye

EYE
Dark caramel

NOSE
Caramel and rye come out nice and thick followed by vanilla, dill, cinnamon and citrus. A nice light butterscotch note moves alongside everything else and helps balance out the heavy spice. A splash of water evens things out a bit more, but the butterscotch seems to almost completely disappear if it’s a big splash.

PALATE
Rye and dill lead the charge here with caramel and baking spices like clove and cinnamon coming in right behind. Citrus and a bit of leather and butterscotch add a nice dimension to the flavor. A splash of water opens up the sweet notes a bit more but does’t really seem to move the spice notes at all.

FINISH
A long rye fueled ride that’s mixed with dill, caramel, baking spices and some raw grains.

BALANCE, BODY & FEEL
A nice balance to the whole thing with a medium body and a nice oily texture that actually seems to have less heat in it than the regular offering.

OVERALL
This is a good rye that I enjoy neat, with a splash of water, on the rocks and in cocktails it’s just ridiculous. The amount of spice in here is wonderful, I just wish I had a bit more of a wood influence. There are already so many things to like about this whiskey that a little more maturity to bring out a bit more of the sweetness and add some nice woody notes could catapult this to the next level.

SCORE: 88/100

 

*Disclosure: This was graciously sent to me by the company for the purposes of this review. The views, opinions, and tasting notes are 100% my own.

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tagged rye, review, sonoma, sonoma distilling, whiskey