Last year the Usquebaugh Society, by far the coolest whisky club in The Netherlands, bottled this six and a half years old (to the day) Millstone Rye Whisky. In March 2014 a delegation of some sixty members made the trip to Baarle-Nassau to tour the distillery and select from eight cask samples.
The choices were varied between rye and single malt whiskies and we ended up picking one of each, with the single malt only being bought per bottle based on pre-orders. Of the rye whisky we bought the entire cask (‘we’ being the Usquebaugh Society).
Zuidam is quite the experimental distillery and the single malts we picked were aged in different casks, made with different barleys (one being a chocolate malt whisky which, to be honest, was NOT my favorite…), and casked at different strengths.
This rye whisky was put in the virgin American oak barrel at 46%, to see what that did to the aging process. Therefore the 43.3% ABV is cask strength. It was aged for exactly 6.5 years, from November 30th 2007 to May 30th 2014.
There’s a LOT of rye (it’s a 100% rye whisky), with a nice spiciness and bitter fruits. Orange and grapefruit. I also get baking spices, rye, oak, beurre noisette, cinnamon and clove.
The palate is a tad sweeter than the nose, and a bit lighter. A more crisp rye whisky with orange and rye flavors. Spices, oak, a light touch of peppery heat. Far from thin if ‘only’ 43.3%. Clove and a bit drying.
The finish is just a tad more spicy, but also more sweet. A bit more oak as well. Quite long.
I’ve had quite a couple of rye whiskies over the years, and also quite a few from Zuidam, but this might just be my favorite. A tad better than the Millstone 100 Rye I think. It’s an awesome drink with quite a lot of complexity to it.
Also, it differs enough from American rye whiskies since the maturation and distilling process is quite different (this comes from pot stills entirely).
I can’t say anything else than if you’re into rye whiskies, you should get this one. And it’s still available too! At a measly € 50!
Millstone Rye, 6.5 yeard old, 43.3%, bottled for the Usquebaugh Society, 2014. Available from the Usquebaugh Society for € 50
Disclaimer: I’m slightly biased since I helped pick this bottle and it was my favorite. I am also on the board of the Usquebaugh Society. Nevertheless, this whisky is awesome.