Whiskey Review: Blue Run Golden Rye

Editor’s Note: This whiskey was provided to us as a review sample by Blue Run Spirits. 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 towards the bottom of this review our site receives a small referral payment which helps to support, but not influence, our editorial and other costs.

When you picture the history of an aged spirit, you probably picture tradition, lore, and generations of farmers and distillers. Lots of brands wear their heritage on their sleeve, and remind you how old they are at every opportunity. While indeed these things are important, you don’t need to be a ninth generation Kentuckian to make your brand stand out in a crowd. In the case of Blue Run, it’s marketing savvy, mining the top resources, and being in touch with the shifting society that’s been key to their success.

As a bartender who loves to talk about spirits professionally and recreationally, I find joy in learning the backstory of the drink. Being at a tasting and learning about yeast strains, barrel positions and the pH levels of the water (and how it’s been done this way for 50 or more years) are almost as exciting as actually sipping the finished product. It makes you sound good. It makes the whiskey sound good. Without all these factors to talk up, Blue Run might just seem like yet another celebrity tequila, something mass produced with a famous face attached of varying quality. 

But this rye is something a little different. While it’s true that the team behind the brand aren’t steeped in rich tradition, their vision is still to bring you an extraordinary product. Using the skills and resources from their chosen fields, one might assume they sense the shift in America’s youth to semi-sobriety, or at least to the appreciation of quality over quantity. 

Their mission statement makes it clear; They’re shooting to bring you an ultra-luxury drink. The concept of luxury is ephemeral, you don’t truly know it until you’ve worn it, sat in it, or experienced it for yourself. So since we can’t drive a bottle or charter it to take us to the Maldives, let’s recall our tradition and just taste it.

Blue Run Kentucky Straight Golden Rye Whiskey

Blue Run Kentucky Straight Golden Rye Whiskey (image via Blue Run Spirits)

Tasting Notes: Blue Run Golden Rye

Vital Stats: 95 Proof, 47.5% ABV. Undisclosed Kentucky distillery, mash bill, and yeast. 92 barrels produced. $99.99 MSRP for 750ML

Appearance: Light, clear and bright. Tangerine peel going towards a golden honey with no turbidity. Small rivulets form on the side of the tasting glass.

Nose: Black pepper and licorice on first approach, limonene oil with baked bread on a second inspection.

Palate: Nutmeg and baking spice, with a touch of fresh cut grass on the exhale. Notable viscosity in this compared to other ryes. Long, warm, black pepper finish.


The Takeaway

Summary

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Even with all the hype and the very decorative and perfectly proportioned bottle, I think this rye is distinctive. Aside from the spice, which seems to be the most common association of rye and in some instances a hurdle to overcome, the large mouthfeel sets it apart from comparable ryes. I look forward to more releases from Blue Run.

3.5
User Rating 3.18 (11 votes)
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