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.
In an exciting collaboration between famed sommelier and founder of Maison Noir Wines André Hueston Mack and Pinhook Bourbon, Rye & Sons 2022 Straight Rye Whiskey was born of a creative itch brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic. Mack worked closely with Pinhook Master Blender Sean Josephs, a close friend for over a decade, to develop an approachable rye whiskey, the 2022 rendition being the first release in the line.
Mack made his mark in the wine world but appreciates the complexity of whiskey. His reasoning behind choosing rye as his introduction to the creation of the spirit due to its similarities to wine within the flavor profile. “I wanted to make a great rye that really over-delivers on flavor, but most importantly, I wanted to bring a personality to the category,” Mack says in a prepared statement. “Rye is about the human connection with friends, with family, with whoever you are sipping with.”
This isn’t the first time Mack has worked with Pinhook Bourbon, as a previous release of Pinhook’s Collaboration Series enjoyed great success with a straight bourbon edition. In that series, however, Mack was a guest star, whereas Rye & Sons shows him center stage in the creation and release. Pinhook Bourbon specializes in small batch blending and scrupulous barrel selection, and while the company is best known for their bourbons, the development of Rye & Sons as a brand under the Pinhook umbrella has brought a new audience, possibly encouraging wine enthusiasts who trust Mack’s discerning palate and wish to branch into the vast world of whiskey.
My own palate has greatly benefited from studying and broadening my wine knowledge, as I’ve found many similarities when practicing intentional tasting. The more one engages with spirits and wine beyond pure enjoyment, the greater the world of flavor opens to them. With this in mind, I feel like Mack was the perfect collaborator on this project, as the whiskey is completely enjoyable and wholly accessible to those drinkers who might not initially be drawn to rye.
We review Rye & Sons 2022 Straight Rye Whiskey, a collaboration between sommelier and founder of Maison Noir Wines André Hueston Mack and Pinhook Bourbon. (image via Jerry Sampson/The Whiskey Wash)
Vital Stats: 97.5 Proof (48.75% ABV). Distilled in Danville and Frankfort, Kentucky. SRP $28.99.
Appearance: Fire yellow with medium viscosity.
Nose: Much to enjoy on the nose, with strong, zesty notes of cereal, vanilla, toasted grains, and blackberry.
Palate: Light and warming, the whiskey has slight honey notes, with strong spice, fresh cut grass, dark chocolate orange, and nettle tea.
Whiskey Review: Rye & Sons 2022 Straight Rye Whiskey
This is a rye whiskey that is priced to appeal to all and developed to impress. I don’t always expect much from whiskeys at this price point, and so I was happy to be proved wrong here. There is an obvious flavor master at the helm of this creation, and I will enjoy sharing this with friends who might not expect to so enjoy rye whiskey.
Jerry Sampson is a freelance writer, editor and screenwriter. Her creative work is ever improved by her love of whiskey and craft cocktails. She enjoys taking cool fall days to explore the great distilleries around Portland to get a closer look at the inner workings of her favorite spirits.