Four Gate Whiskey’s Latest Release A Rye Finished In Port Rum Casks

By Hannah Kanik / February 25, 2021

Four Gate Whiskey out of Kentucky recently released its 11th batch of whiskey: a seven-year-old Indiana straight rye whiskey. Called “Ruby Rye Springs,” it is finished for forty-two days in some rather unique “Ruby Port-Rum” casks. This is the third release of this underlying whiskey, coming after the River Kelvin Rye and the Split Salve by Kelvin.

These Ruby Port-Rum casks were first used to mature ruby port, a fortified wine from Portugal. Since the wine is removed from barrels and stored in tanks to prevent further aging in those cases, the casks are said to have a sweeter, brighter effect on the palate than other styles of port wine. 

Four Gate Whiskey Ruby Rye Springs (Batch 11)

Four Gate Whiskey Ruby Rye Springs (Batch 11) (image via Four Gate Whiskey)

Those casks, once emptied, were then used to age a blend of rums at Virago Spirits in Richmond, VA. This second round of aging on the casks reportedly gave a molasses sweetness. 

“The moment we found these barrels, we knew what we were doing with them,” Chief Blending Officer Bill Straub said in a prepared statement. “They were crying out for rye whiskey, and I really think this is one of the best products we’ve bottled.”

Just 1,444 bottles were produced from the distillery, all at 113.4 proof. They will be sold at a suggested retail price of $185 per bottle in Kentucky, Tennessee and Georgia, as well as being available online through Seelbachs.com and BourbonOutfitter.com

Official tasting notes for this whiskey are below.

  • Nose: Fruit cake, tart gum drops, lemon and orange zest, and spicy rye.
  • Taste: A sweet-tart red berry note greets the tip of the tongue with a spicy black pepper flowing down the center palate. Raspberries and blueberries surround the periphery with a hint of citrus rounding out the taste.
  • Finish: Medium-to-long, the black pepper and sweet red fruits dominate the start, with sweet molasses rounding out the viscous mouthfeel.