Whiskey Review: Porter’s Small Batch Rye

, | March 23, 2020

Editor’s Note: This whiskey was provided to us as a review sample by Ogden’s Own Distillery. 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.

I’ll admit, I’ve heard of very few spirits coming out of Utah. The big, notable one being High West Distillery in Park City. I like High West and their innovative take on blending and was thus very curious as to what one may find in the bottle from Ogden, Utah.

Porter’s Small Batch Rye is the first of it’s kind from Ogden’s Own Distillery, as their current line up features a vodka, gin, and various flavored spirits and whiskeys. Ogden’s Own Distillery opened in 2009 in the historical city of the same name. The city is known for easy access to three ski resorts and other outdoors activities.

“Ogden’s Own Distillery announced the release of their new Porter’s Rye Whiskey. Porter’s Rye is a 95/5 blend of rye and barley. The straight rye whiskey has been aging in heavy charred, new oak barrels for over three years. At almost every event we are a part of we get questions asking, ‘When will you have an unflavored whiskey?,'” Steve Conlin, the CEO of Ogen’s Own, said at the time of its release. “Well, the answer is finally now!”

Porter’s Rye is sourced from MGP, using that familiar 95/5 mash bill blend. As the story goes, the whiskey begins with a year of aging in Indiana and then heads over to Ogden for further aging and blending. Depending on what time of year that the barrels make their voyage, I am curious as to what the change in climate may do to the contents inside. For the blending process, the water used for dilution is said to be sourced from a special spring hidden somewhere in Ogden Canyon and has to be hiked out five gallons at a time.

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One further note about Ogden’s Own. The distillery has recently been approved by the government for the production of hand sanitizer, given the increasing demand and necessity for such in the time of the coronavirus. Ogden’s Own isn’t alone, as distilleries large and small, throughout the nation are doing the same. “We are a member of the community. This is a need and it’s one we can help with because we have the manpower to do it,” Conlin said. “We have the financial resources at the moment to support it, so we’d be poor corporate community members if we didn’t.”

Porter's Small Batch Rye

Porter’s Small Batch Rye (image via Kenji Mizumori/The Whiskey Wash)

Tasting Notes: Porter’s Small Batch Rye

Vital Stats: 90 proof, 45% ABV, with a mash bill of 95% rye and 5% barley and then aged in a heavily charred new American oak barrels for over three years.The rye whiskey is aged at 111 proof and then blended down to 90 proof. ~ $20 per 750ml bottle.

Appearance: For color, the whiskey reminds me of a pale orange marmalade, perhaps even an orange gummy bear. Upon giving the glass a swirl, I noticed some sparse legs along the side of the glass.

In regards to the bottle design, on the back of the bottle is a clear sticker featuring the whiskey’s namesake, Orrin Porter Rockwell. Rockwell himself was known as a body guard to Joseph Smith and Brigham Young back in the early settling days in the state of Utah. The design for the rye is new, as the group at Ogden’s Own wish to delineate this whiskey from the flavored whiskeys in the Porter portfolio.

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Nose: Bright and citrus forward. Detected essences of lemon zest and a hint of bubble gum lingering in the background.

Palate: The first taste, found bold flavors of green apple mixed with a touch citrus. Upon further investigation, there’s a definite rye spice, followed by black pepper, and if I’m not mistaken, a whisper of smoke in the finish. This one comes off as straight forward at the start, but once the senses settle in, the other nuances emerge.

The Takeaway


I liked this one, especially for the price point. However, being familiar with other MGP ryes and recipes, I found it difficult to note any particular differences. Did the Utah climate for aging, or the locally sourced water for finishing impact anything of note? It’s a tough call.

Given the age of three to four years, it tastes as such. I would like to give this one a try further down the line and see what sort of changes a little extra age may impart.

In any case, this is a solid rye whiskey. It’s an easy sipper and would certainly play well in a cocktail.

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Kenji Mizumori

Kenji is a bartender in Portland, Oregon at the Pope House Bourbon Lounge. A bourbon enthusiast for decades. He likes big whiskeys, pretty much anything over 100 proof.