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.
“There is no one article made in Baltimore that has done more to spread the fame of the city as a commercial centre than has… Baltimore Rye.” – From Baltimore: Its History and Its People 1912.
Maryland has a proud history of distilling rye whiskey. There were many old brands once distilled in the state, including Pikesville Rye and Mount Vernon Rye.
Continuing that historic legacy, Sagamore Spirit Distillery was founded by the billionaire owner of Under Armor, Kevin Plank in 2016, and is located in Baltimore. The facility has been mostly known for the products they have sourced from MGP in Indiana and then watered down with Maryland sourced water. They have also recently gained some notoriety for doing some very popular cask finishes, including a Mezcal Cask Finish.
In 2019 Sagamore Spirit Distillery followed Maryland distilling heritage and released a whiskey they call Penny’s Proof which they make themselves using “Penny,” the 40 foot tall still located at the distillery. Brian Treacy, who is the Co-Founder of Sagamore Spirit Distillery as well as being the President of Distillery Operations, has stated that Penny’s Proof Whiskey will continue to age. In 2019 the release was two and a half years old and each yearly edition of the whiskey has been one year older since then.
That changed in 2022 with the release of Penny’s Proof Maryland Straight Rye Whiskey, which is part of their Maryland Grown Series. This rye is proudly 100% homegrown; the grains come from Maryland farms, it is distilled in Maryland and the whiskey is aged in Maryland. Even the barrels are made from Maryland white oak.
For those looking to procure a bottle of Penny’s Proof Maryland Straight Rye Whiskey 2022 release you have already missed your chance. Each yearly release of Penny’s Proof happens in November at the distillery itself and is limited to members of the Whiskey Thieves, which is Sagamore Spirits’ group of brand ambassadors. It is free to join the Whiskey Thieves and it is your ticket to purchasing Penny’s Proof.
If you do get a chance to get your hands on a pack of Penny’s Proof they are a great deal. They come in packs of three and are sold for only one penny, making them one of the best deals in the modern whiskey world. If you do happen to make it to the release, get there early as they only ever release around 600 Penny’s Proof each year.
Tasting Notes: Sagamore Spirit Penny’s Proof Maryland Straight Rye 2022 Release
Vital Stats: 83 proof (41.5% ABV). Aged in Maryland grown white oak barrels for 2.5 years. $0.01 per three pack of 200ml bottles. Released only once a year in November to members of the Sagamore Spirit Distillery Whiskey Thieves. Usually only around 600 three packs released each year.
Appearance: light amber and rich gold
Nose: Notes of maple and evergreen mingle with aromas of dried citrus rind, brown sugar, and pecans.
Palate: Warm flavors of vanilla and sassafras with hints of honey, wintergreen, and malted milk balls. Finish is a mix of smooth malt and rye spice that linger on the back of the tongue leaving a hint of caramel and cooking spices.