Whiskey Review: Stoll & Wolfe Straight Keystone Rosen Rye Whiskey

, | March 31, 2022

Editor’s Note: This whiskey was provided to us as a review sample by Stoll & Wolfe. 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 Stoll & Wolfe Straight Keystone Rosen Rye Whiskey is a two-fold tribute to heritage. First, this initial offering was released in memoriam of long time Pennsylvania Master Distiller, Dick Stoll. Second, the Keystone Rosen Rye is a heritage grain that was almost lost to history. According to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Greg Roth, a “… now-retired professor of agronomy at Penn State, was able to acquire 24 seeds of Rosen from the USDA seed bank in 2014.” United by the common goal of reintroducing heritage grains, Laura Fields, founder of the Delaware Valley Fields Foundation’s SeedSpark Project works with the stated purpose to “bring back heritage grains… to benefit the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s local agriculture communities and its producers.” If the Rosen Rye whiskey is any indication, the efforts of all involved have been rewarded.

Pennsylvania can lay claim to one of the nation’s oldest distilleries, with the Bomberger Distillery’s origin dating back to 1753. The now-closed distillery was added to National Register of Historic Places in 1975 and declared a National Historic Landmark in 1980. Aside from the Pennsylvania history, the reason this fact relates to this review, is that Stoll & Wolfe’s co-founder, Dick Stoll, was a master distiller at the historic distillery (of the Michter’s and A. H. Hirsch brands). Although that distillery closed in 1989, Mr. Stoll came out of retirement in 2014 and would go on to partner with Erik Wolfe in the founding of Stoll & Wolfe Distillery.

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During the years between 2014 and this whiskey’s release, those 24 seeds of Rosen Rye were planted and grown, yielding enough grain for Stoll & Wolfe to distill. According to the distillery’s press release, “On September 7, 2019, Dick Stoll & Erik Wolfe ran the first batch of Keystone Rosen rye whiskey to be made in the United States in nearly half a century. That distillate filled a 30 gallon, 8-year-seasoned white oak barrel and went into the warehouse at Stoll & Wolfe Distillery the following day.”

Stoll & Wolfe Straight Keystone Rosen Rye review

Stoll & Wolfe Straight Keystone Rosen Rye Whiskey (image via Stoll & Wolfe)

Tasting Notes: Stoll & Wolfe Straight Keystone Rosen Rye Whiskey

Vital Stats: Aged two years in a single eight-year-seasoned white oak barrel. 102 Proof (51% ABV). Mash Bill: Keystone Rosen Rye. 375ml.

Appearance: A pleasant golden brown, reminiscent of a beautiful, hazy summer sunset.

Nose: A touch warm on the nose, but the ethanol vapors are mellow. A friendly combination of brown sugar and candied almond. And as I’m prone to do, I let the nose evoke scent memories— and some people may not understand this (but to me it’s very pleasant)—a whiff of lemon Pledge as I walk by a table that grandma had just wiped clean.

Palate: A rich spirit that punches above its age-weight. Spicy and hot on the back of the throat. Pepper lingers on the tongue with a woody aftertaste. This rye whiskey will stand up and be noticed in cocktails.

3.5

Summary

This first release was made available through Stoll & Wolfe’s website via a very limited quantity lottery. According Laura Fields, founder of the Delaware Valley Fields Foundation, an agricultural PA non-profit, “[p]roduction of this core product will begin to ramp up this year, making this heritage rye whiskey a core product at Stoll & Wolfe Distillery.” The upside for those interested in tasting this heritage grain whiskey? While you will have to wait, you won’t be left wanting for too long.

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Devon Lyon

Devon Lyon has spent the past two decades producing video content as well as writing copy and scripts for clients around the globe. But no matter how strong his natural wanderlust, it’s the Pacific Northwest he calls home. Whether it’s the growing local craft spirit scene, world-class wines, or a...