One of the American entries earning serious accolades is Knob Creek Cask Strength Rye, from a company always worth following. Awarded Best Rye Whiskey at the 2018 San Francisco World Spirits Competition, this uncut, unfiltered straight whiskey is aged for nine years. Tipping the scales at a hair under 120 proof, it has flavours that touch on dill and clove with a slight hit of char and baking spice. It flexes a bit more muscle on a warming finish.
This is the distillery’s version of “19th-century-style” whiskey, as they endeavour to replicate the feisty spirit of that age. That means it’s pot-distilled in small batches and aged in new charred oak barrels. Expect spice and wood, along with maple and vanilla aromas that become much more pronounced in the mouth. That warming spice builds on the palate and then takes its foot off the pedal and glides into a sustained finish.
A Canadian whisky made from 100% rye grain, Pendleton 1910 12 YO Rye Whisky is distilled and aged in Canada before being bottled in Oregon. Made to mark a famed rodeo, it certainly delivers a full kick of flavour, with spicy ginger, lime, mint and charred wood offering some zing, while smoother shades of butterscotch and dark fruit round out the tastes. That heft of flavour gradually fades with a twinkling of citrus and pepper notes.