From the luxurious to the obscure. Old Potrero is a product from Anchor Brewing in San Francisco, where they occasionally distill some ‘old style’ spirits and whiskey. What they mostly product is Single Malt, Rye Whiskey and 18th Century Style Whiskey.
This one is neither of those and called an 18th Century Spirit. I’m not sure why it is different and there’s barely any information to be found on this release, apart from it being distilled from 100% rye malt.
This bottling was done some years ago and only available in California. Luckily our hotel was just a block from a rather sizeable liquor store.
Really, really strong rye scents. And it’s spirity. Not surprising at only 2 years and 1 month in cask. Very, very spicy but not too much heat (more on that later). Lots of baking spices. Very young, some oak but not much.
It’s got some spicy heat to it. And again, the herbs and spices in general are the biggest component of its flavour. Some Indian curry with a definit flavour or distilled rye, with a touch of oak.
The finish isn’t very special. The flavours are very similar but it dies down really soon.
The ‘not too much heat’ comment above is a tad unexpected, for something at over 62% abv. This mostly has to do with it being open for 4 years already. In the meantime it has mellowed out a bit, some oxidation most likely. But, where some whiskies really suffer because of that, in this case it helped.
When I first opened the bottle I was very surprised by scents and flavours, but not in a good way. Nowadays my palate probably has changed a bit, but it’s also a lot more approachable and quaffable.
The drink itself is rather simple, with not much development or depth, but it is something I’ve never tasted before. Also, it is proof to a distillery in the French Alps that a 100% malted rye drink can be quite interesting!
Old Potrero 18th Century Style Spirit, 62.3%, California Only, Batch 10-RW-ARM-3-1