Whiskey Review: Feisty Spirits Rye Whiskey - The Whiskey Wash

Whiskey Review: Feisty Spirits Rye Whiskey

In the restaurant biz there’s an adage about diners first tasting with their eyes. So, when I saw the bottle of Feisty Spirits Rye Whiskey, well, let’s say my hunger diminished some.

They’d distinctly gone for a much less traditional look and color scheme—a tall, intimidating bottle with a white label emblazoned with bright blue lettering—which, perhaps explains their motto, “Non-conformist Whiskey for Feisty Souls.”

Feisty Spirits Rye Whiskey

image via Feisty Spirits

Feisty opened in 2012 in Fort Collins, Colorado, using a small Canadian copper still. They have, it seems,  a total of at least 25 spirits, ranging from blue corn bourbon, unaged whiskeys derived from millet, kamut, and quinoa, to apple and pear brandies. That, as they say, is a lot of pots boiling on the stove.

Let’s hope their rye pot—the bottle in front of me—was one they were paying attention to.

I poured and sniffed.


Unfortunately, the nose was like a child’s cold, prodding finger just cleansed with Bactine. Granted it’s a clean finger with short nails, but, nonetheless, it’s a finger prodding and poking and… no, thank you.

Maybe the nose was an overly aggressive alarm? And the morning would be bright, subtle, inviting, birds chirping across a dew dappled meadow. I sipped.


It seemed the same finger had lodged in my throat—harsh, medicinal. The meadow was not dappled in dew but more Bactine. Again, no thank you.

The label states the liquor has been “Barrel aged at least one month.” I don’t know about you, but I’ve had vegetables aged longer in the refrigerator than that, so… this may be a good point to consider tradition and aging, for years rather than a month. Mellow that fire water, please and thank you.

This is, distinctly, a fighting whiskey—you’ll fight to drink it, and you’ll fight yourself for having purchased it, for having wasted good coin on poor liquor.

Tasting Notes

Proof: 88

Color: A soft gold.

Nose: Harsh, acidic, medicinal, almost “formaldehyde-ic.”

Taste: Pecan shells. Tart caramel apple and old balsa wood and Lincoln logs. An almost peaty, earthy aftertaste, not necessarily unpleasant, though does linger on the back of the tongue a bit longer than necessary.


This is distinctly not for me. And, considering the price point, I would imagine, given the many other subtle, sophisticated, and far tastier options, regardless them being “conforming,” Feisty Rye would be for very few.



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