Whiskey Review: Town Branch Rye Whiskey

, | September 19, 2021

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

Town Branch Rye is made by Lexington Distilling, or Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co., as some know it. The name “Town Branch” is named after the limestone waterway through Lexington. They are owned by Alltech, an agriculture, meat, and beverage megacorp. Lexington Distilling was established in 1999 and offers a full lineup of malt whiskey, rye, beer, canned cocktails, gin, bourbon, and other spirits.

The Town Branch Distillery in Lexington Kentucky opened in 2012, and they became part of the world renowned Kentucky Bourbon Trail. There are 17 other distilleries on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, including Rabbit Hole, which also opened in 2012. Town Branch has another location, Alltech Dueling Barrels Brewery and Distillery, in Pikeville, Kentucky. For even more fun and history they also have Pearse Lyon Distillery at St. James church in Dublin, Ireland.

Being the new “kid” on the block isn’t easy. The other distilleries on the Kentucky Bourbon trail are very well known and rich in history. It’s a lot of competition to start from scratch and compete on this level, but Town Branch is offering something for everyone–including a rye whiskey.

Let’s talk more about rye, shall we? Rye whiskey needs to be made with at least 51% rye grain. Town Branch uses 55 percent. Corn and malted barley make up the minority, with 30 percent and 15 percent, respectively. If you’re not familiar with rye whiskey, it tends to be on the spicier side, but still offers sweet notes like a bourbon.

Town Branch Straight Rye Whiskey (image via Melissa Jones)

Town Branch Straight Rye Whiskey (image via Melissa Jones)

Tasting Notes: Town Branch Straight Rye

Vital Stats:  Small batch. Straight rye whiskey. 100 proof. Mash bill: 55% rye, 30% corn, 15% malted barley. Lexington, Kentucky. $52.

Appearance: A beautiful auburn color. A great looking square bottle that is one to keep on the bar.

Nose: The nose is very earthy and floral. There are hints of the sea with brine. It’s spicy with jasmine and sage.

Palate: Much like the nose, the taste is also sweet and spicy. A medium mouthfeel and a dry finish. There’s warming spices of cinnamon and cardamom, hints of oak, and honey. Overall it tasted like a spicy orange dessert where I wanted seconds.

The Takeaway


The nose is very pleasant, and the palate is a great mix of sweet and spice. I would say this is a great fall to winter drink that can be enjoyed neat or on the rocks. It would go well beside a slice of apple pie. Town Branch’s pairing suggestion is “strong roasted meats or grilled steaks. Parmesan cheese and sweeter desserts to balance the spice of the rye.” This is my favorite Town Branch whiskey that I’ve tasted.

User Review
2.92 (12 votes)


Melissa Jones

Melissa D. Jones is a traveler, blogger, photographer, storyteller, foodie, whiskey lover and creative entrepreneur. Living for adventure and new experiences she's photographed her way around all 50 states and 47 countries (still counting!) and wrote her travel knowledge into a book. When she's not traveling you can find her...