Whiskey Review: Sagamore Spirit Rye Ale Finish - The Whiskey Wash

Whiskey Review: Sagamore Spirit Rye Ale Finish

Editor’s Note: This whiskey was provided to us as a review sample by Sagamore Spirit. 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.

Sagamore Spirit started by the sea in Baltimore, Maryland in 2017. While their own in-house made whiskey ages until the distillery team feels it is ready to bottle, they started their Maryland-style rye by sourcing rye whiskeys from MGP out of Indiana. The whiskey barrels are shipped to the distillery in Baltimore to be cut with Sagamore Farm spring water to proof and bottled.

The Sagamore Spirit Brewer’s Select Rye Ale Barrel Finish, which is the focus of this review, is a special one because it started with a legal trademark conversation that ended in a barrel partnership. Sierra Nevada now has a rye ale that uses Maryland rye malt and Sagamore Spirit whiskey casks.

Then, after the beer was finished the same barrels were used for this rye ale barrel finish whisky. It’s a win-win for beer and whiskey lovers. If you like both you might want to get the whiskey and the beer while it’s available. One can only hope that this partnership continues for years to come.

Sagamore Spirit also has a number of other rye bottles including Cognac, Calvados, and Port-red wine finishes.

Sagamore Spirit Brewer's Select Rye

Sagamore Spirit Brewer’s Select Rye (image via Melissa Jones/The Whiskey Wash)

Tasting Notes: Sagamore Spirit Brewer’s Select Rye

Vital Stats: Straight Rye Whiskey finished in rye ale barrels in partnership with Sierra Nevada Brewing Co; 90 proof; Distilled in Indiana; Bottled in Baltimore Maryland at Sagamore Spirit; Aged 4-5 years; Small batch, Limited availability; Priced around $69.

Color: Chestnut sherry

Nose: Instantly when I opened the bottle I got dill and herbs. When I poured it into my Glencairn glass it really opened up more floral notes. It has a very pleasant and sweet smell.

Palate: Despite the herb and dill smell when I opened the bottle the palate is smooth, sweet, and fruity. It’s a bit tangy with tropical citrus notes and a touch of passion fruit. The taste is unusual but very pleasant.

The Takeaway


Sagamore Spirit Brewers's Select Rye has a strong start and a mild finish. It's smooth and fruity with a subtly ale finish. It actually reminds me of a fruity cocktail in a glass rather than just sipping straight rye whiskey in a glass. It was quite an enjoyable sipper.

I would recommend this special rye ale if you can get your hands on it. It's a great partnership with Sierra Nevada Brewing Co that makes for a unique, very drinkable rye. Now, I'm curious about their other rye offerings since Forbes also likes them.

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