Whiskey Review Round Up: New Liberty Distillery Whiskeys

Editor’s Note: These whiskeys were provided to us as review samples by New Liberty. 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.

The New Liberty Distillery is a window into Pennsylvania’s distilling past. The distillery is inspired by the era when rye was the most popular whiskey in the United States and spirits were distilled with local grains. All of the whiskies in New Liberty’s core range include local grain from a farm located only 25 miles from the distillery.

I had the opportunity to visit the distillery when I was back east for a wedding. That trip was right in the middle of my 30 Days of Bourbon Challenge. The challenge is to drink a different bourbon every day during the entire month of September. After weeks of drinking only bourbon, I was craving something different. My palate was very pleased by the different flavor notes in  the New Liberty Bloody Butcher Bourbon made with heirloom bloody butcher corn. The taste stands out from traditional bourbon made with yellow corn.

If you’re ever in Philly, I definitely recommend a visit. You can take a fun tour of the distillery. Plus they have a sizable tasting room and bar upstairs to pass the time away in the cool historic building. They make many more whiskies than just the New Liberty brand, so there is a lot more to try.

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Anyway, back to the bottles at hand. There are three core whiskies in the New Liberty brand line; Dutch Malt Whiskey, Bloody Butcher Bourbon Whiskey, and Millstone Rye Whiskey. This review is for the core range, however two of the bottles here are single barrel.

New Liberty offers their core Bloody Butcher Bourbon aged nine months, however, the Singe Barrel in this review is aged two years. Both have the same 47.5% abv. Also note that this review is for a single barrel of the Dutch Malt, the core bottling may differ.

I do have to say a bit about the packaging. The square bottles work well on the shelf and I really like the hand drawn style labels. My only complaint is that I find the synthetic cork can make it difficult to open and close.

New Liberty Whiskeys

The whiskeys of New Liberty (image via Jeneen Bell/The Whiskey Wash)

Tasting Notes: Bloody Butcher Straight Bourbon Whiskey Single Barrel

Vital Stats:Aged two years in new charred oak barrels, 47.5% abv, 750 ml

Appearance: The new charred oak barrels and east coast weather have helped develop a dark amber color for all these whiskies

Nose: Fresh grains, hay, not sweet

Palate: This whiskey is a balanced mix of sweet and spice. The rye and malted barley influence the spice flavors. You can taste more of the earthy grain taste then soft corn. The finish lingers with notes of apricot and spice.

Score: 4/5

Tasting Notes: Millstone Rye Whiskey

Vital Stats: Aged one year in new charred oak barrels, 47.5% abv, 750 ml

Appearance: Dark amber color

Nose: Strong baking spice aroma

Palate: I found this rye to be sweet in the middle palate and peppery spice on the sides of your tongue. When you drink it straight. It is sweeter than the aroma. Swish it around a bit and you can really taste the pepper from the rye grain.

Score: 3.5/5

Tasting Notes: Single Barrel Straight Dutch Malt Whiskey

Vital Stats: Aged two years in new charred oak barrels, 47.5% abv, 750 ml

Appearance: Dark amber color

Nose: It has a soft nutty aroma with whole grain smells.

Palate: The grain and nutty aroma continues into the palate. The cocoa and toasted bread flavors are prominent. Coffee bean flavors linger as well as light leather notes.

Score: 4.5/5

Final Thoughts:

The bourbon and rye are a fun change from the major brands, the characteristics of the grain come through more. The Pennsylvania grain is what really helps set these whiskies apart from the standard. For me, the aroma and complexity of the Dutch Malt made it my favorite. Although the blend of malted rye and malted barley to the bloody butcher corn make it deliciously complex as well.


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