Booker's Rye Whiskey Arrives With A Big Proof, Bigger Price Tag - The Whiskey Wash

Booker’s Rye Whiskey Arrives With A Big Proof, Bigger Price Tag

I imagine you probably have a whiskey shopping budget you spend each month on certain bottles which you either drink or put into your collection. I’m not sure what that amount is, but whatever it might be I would suggest you add at least a few hundred to it as you’ll likely want to get your hands on what will be one very highly coveted bottle starting this month – the new Booker’s Rye.

Booker’s Rye heralds from the same higher premium expression line for Beam Suntory as Booker’s Bourbon, which is just now seeing the second 2016 batch roll out to market. The rye bottling, however, is being called “an extremely rare, limited edition offering, about half the size of Booker’s 25th Anniversary Bourbon.” We first brought you word of it back in March when the label was approved by the TTB. Here is the backstory of the whiskey from information Beam Suntory provided to us on request:

Booker Noe was known for his innovative thinking, big personality and, most of all, his big-flavored bourbon. He spent his days experimenting at the distillery, tinkering with different grain mixtures, and was always intrigued by the challenge that the temperamental rye grain posed. Never one to back down from a challenge, he went big in 2003 and laid down a limited number of barrels of a rye whiskey, creating the first ever Booker’s Rye. When you take one sip of this whiskey, you’ll agree that it is “Big Time” all the way.

Being as Booker’s Rye is uncut, it has a monster alcohol footprint just like Booker’s Bourbon. It has been bottled at a very strong 68.1% ABV, or around 136.2 proof! Age as mentioned on the label, again based upon Beam Suntory information, pegs this rye at 13 years, 1 month, 12 days old.

Booker's Rye

Booker’s Rye (image via Beam Suntory)

As for price and availability, expect to drop around $300 a bottle when it starts appearing at retail later this month. Yup, that’s right – $300. It does seem a steep price to pay, there is no doubt, especially when you realize Booker’s 25th Anniversary Bourbon launched back in 2014 at around $100. Two years has seen the economics of bourbon change a lot though, so this isn’t all that surprising.

Official, limited tasting notes are below for your consideration. Good luck getting a bottle – if we score one for a review we will share our thoughts on it in the coming weeks.

It has an intense flavor profile with pronounced, well-balanced notes of wood and oak from the longer aging process. The deep amber liquid offers a complex aroma with spicy notes from the rye in the mash bill.

This uncut rye has a spicy and robust flavor, but is not overpowering. It can be enjoyed neat or on the rocks.