Whiskey Review: Blue Run Emerald Rye Whiskey

, | February 2, 2023

Editor’s Note: This whiskey was provided to us as a review sample by the party behind it. This in no way, per our editorial policies, influenced the final outcome of this review. It should also be noted that by clicking the buy link in this review our site receives a small referral payment which helps to support, but not influence, our editorial and other costs.

Blue Run Emerald Rye is the second rye whiskey launched by Blue Run Spirits located in Georgetown, Kentucky. Blue Run Emerald Rye marks the first time for Blue Run Spirits to release a rye that’s been bottled at barrel proof. This latest release also marks the expansion of the distillery’s rye whiskey portfolio.

Blue Run Emerald Rye follows the release of Blue Run Spirits’ award-winning and inaugural rye expression, Golden Rye, which won Gold at the 2021 San Francisco World Spirits Competition. 

Blue Run Emerald Rye is the first rye whiskey to be distilled by Blue Run Liquid Advisor Jim Rutledge at Castle & Key Distillery. Rutledge is a Bourbon Hall-of-Famer and Master Distiller who has over forty years of distilling experience and is considered a legend by many in the whiskey industry. In a 2021 interview with The Whiskey Wash, Rutledge had this to say about his decades long work in the whiskey industry, “You know what they say about if you love what you’re doing, you’ll never work a day in your life. I know it to be.”

While Rutledge oversaw the production of Blue Run Emerald Rye, it was crafted by Blue Run Spirit’s Whiskey Director, Shaylyn Gammon, with the goal of incorporating the brand’s favorite rye whiskey characteristics. “This was an incredibly fun project to work on as I asked the Blue Run team what aspects of Rye Whiskey they truly loved,” said Gammon in a prepared statement. “I then went about focusing my blend on those key attributes, zeroing in on fragrant herbs, fresh peppers, and robust spice. Those three prominent notes provide the foundation for a complex, deep flavor experience all the way through to the finish.”

Bottled at 116.7 proof (58.35% ABV) and aged in new, charred American Oak barrels, Blue Run Emerald Rye is a limited collection, small-batch rye. It was crafted from 189 barrels, several of which were aged in different locations such as Bardstown and Frankfurt. Incorporated in its mash bill is a blend of three high-rye whiskies, each with varying degrees of the core rye grain.

Blue Run Spirits was founded in 2020 and is named after Georgetown, Kentucky’s Royal Spring. The famous spring is alleged to be the first water source for distilling bourbon, which led to Kentucky becoming known as the birthplace of bourbon in 1789. 

Blue Run Emerald Rye Whiskey review

Blue Run Emerald Rye Whiskey (image via Blue Run)

Tasting Notes: Blue Run Emerald Rye Whiskey

Vital Stats: 116.7 proof (58.35% ABV), 750 ml MSRP $117.99. 

Appearance: Rich gold.

Nose: This rye has a bright combination of vanilla, fresh grass, spicy red apple skin, pepper-lime, and a subtle hint of sweet cinnamon. 

Palate: The palate offers a broad flavor profile that includes slightly toasted vanilla and oak, burnt orange citrus, cinnamon caramel red apple, and a curious hint of deep red rose petals. 

Whiskey Review: Blue Run Emerald Rye Whiskey


Delicate and alluring, this whiskey is more reminiscent of a bourbon than a rye, which might make it more approachable for those who are less inclined towards the typical rustic character notes of most rye whiskeys. It offers a moderate but pleasant nose burn despite its high proof. The broad flavor profile lingers delightfully in a long finish with an ever so slightly chewy, yet refined texture.

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Jennifer Williams

Jennifer Williams is a former Dallas, Texas bartender of 15 years where she developed an appreciation for patrons with a healthy respect for great whiskey. She moved to Portland, Oregon in 2019 where she graduated from Portland State University as an English Literature major with a minor in Writing. While...