Full Review

Great Northern Distilling

Great Northern Distilling
Rye Whiskey

Category: Rye Whiskey

Date Tasted:
Country: USA
Alcohol: 48%
93 Points
Gold Medal
Exceptional
$42

Great Northern Distilling
Rye Whiskey

Category: Rye Whiskey

Date Tasted:
Country: USA
Alcohol: 48%
Brilliant amber color. Complex, grainy aromas and flavors of saddle leather and soap, buttered toasted dark rye bread, dark roasted chestnuts, and bbq spices with a silky, bright, dryish medium-to-full body and a silky, intricate, long rye flour, raisin bran, dulce de leche, and sweet and peppery spices finish. A complex and pure rye that captures the essence of the grain in a beautiful oak frame.

Tasting Info

Spirits Glass Style: Complex, Spicy & Rich
Aroma Aroma: saddle leather and soap, buttered toasted dark rye bread, dark roasted chestnuts, and bbq spices
Taste Flavor: rye flour, raisin bran, dulce de leche, and sweet and peppery spices
Smoothness Smoothness: Smooth
Enjoy Enjoy: neat, on the rocks, with cigars and in cocktails
Cocktail Cocktails: Sazerac, Vieux Carré, Manhattan
Bottom Line Bottom Line: A complex and pure rye that captures the essence of the grain in a beautiful oak frame.

The Producer

Great Northern Distilling

The Producer
1740 Park Avenue
Plover, WI 54467
USA
1 715-544-6551

Rye Whiskey

Spirits Glass Glencairn Canadian Amber.jpg
Serve in a Glencairn Ganadian Whisky Glass
Rye Whisky must contain a minimum of 51% rye grain, be distilled at less than 80% ABV (160 proof) and be aged for a minimum of two years in new charred barrels. A small amount of straight Rye whiskey is bottled and marketed, but most of the industry production is blended into other whiskies to give them additional character and structure. Canadians frequently refer to their whisky as "Rye," though it is in fact made primarily from corn or wheat.

The Taste: While the best Bourbon is known for a creamy, caramel-like palate, the best Rye whiskey makes its presence known with a spicy, grainy, hard-edged firmness that is distinctive and unique. Usually very dry, with notes of walnut, toasted grain, and black pepper, straight rye has a bold assertive character that has earned it a small but dedicated following among discerning whiskey fans.

The Scotch-Irish immigrant distillers had some exposure to using rye in whiskey production, but for their German immigrant neighbors rye had been the primary grain used in the production of Schnapps and Vodka back in northern Europe. They continued this distilling practice, particularly in Pennsylvania and Maryland, where Rye whiskey, with its distinctive hard-edged, grainy palate, remained the dominant whiskey type well into the 20th century.

Rye whiskey was even more adversely effected by National Prohibition than Bourbon. A generation of consumers weaned on light-bodied and relatively delicate white spirits turned away from the uncompromising, pungent, full-bodied straight Rye whiskies. Production of Rye whiskies had vanished altogether from its Mid-Atlantic homeland by the 1980s. A handful of modern Rye whiskies are currently being made by Bourbon distilleries in Kentucky and Indiana. America’s first indigenous whiskey style is today only barely surviving in the marketplace. Its primary use is for blending to give other whiskies more character and backbone, although a small but vocal group of Rye whisky enthusiasts continue to champion it.