Yellow Rose Rye Whiskey, 45%

I’ve only had one earlier sip of a Yellow Rose whisky from Texas, and that one I didn’t like. However, that was a bourbon and this is a rye whisky, so things might be different.

Yellow Rose is the first distillery to open in recent years in Houston. There might be others now, and we do know there are other distilleries in Texas, just none in Houston. They claim to make hand-crafted whisky, but it’s always a bit unclear what that actually means.

In this case, my guess would be that they’re not heavily industrialized and of small scale. Which I think is a good thing. There’s nothing wrong with being big and industrialized, although small batch products tend to be more unique and interesting. Not necessarily good, but interesting.

Image from Yellow Rose Distilling

It has that typical ‘young craft whisky’ nose. It’s not something everyone likes, but I generally see it as an indicator for interesting things to happen. It’s slightly rough around the edges, and the typical off-note I also found in their bourbon is here. Rotting vegetables, some rye bread, a metallic note.

The palate is dry with hints of wood, old apples and cork. Some peppery heat (black pepper) and rye spiciness. The off-note, the rotting vegetables, is till here, but slightly camouflaged by the black pepper and rye notes.

Again, it’s a bit harsh and rough around the edges. That’s not bad, it gives it a bit of bite. Rye spices, metallic notes. Not overly long.

Well, this whisky has several problems, I think.

First there’s that off-note. There’s just no way around it, and it doesn’t make for a good drinking experience. Secondly, apart from that off-note, there’s just not much interesting happening.

It’s a rye whisky but not one with a memorable way of presenting itself. Well, except the note of cucumber left too long at the back of your fridge and gone all soggy.

The bourbon had an off-note too, but a better one than this one does, strangely.

Could it be that this is just too young? It doesn’t say ‘straight’, so it is very likely to be under four years old. Maybe some more wood interaction can take some of the weirdness off of it?


Sample from Norbert, thanks!


About Sjoerd de Haan-Kramer

I'm very interested in booze, with a focus on whisky. I like to listen to loads of music and play lots of Magic: the Gathering, and board games too. I'm married to Anneke, have two daughters Ot and Cato, a son Moos and a cat called Kikker (which means Frog, in Dutch). I live in Krommenie, The Netherlands.
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