Kentucky Owl Straight Rye Whiskey, Batch 2, Drops In Volume, Rises In Price - The Whiskey Wash

Kentucky Owl Straight Rye Whiskey, Batch 2, Drops In Volume, Rises In Price

By Nino Marchetti / June 13, 2018

The Kentucky Owl sourced whiskey label, as we’ve talked about before, started out as a bourbon which gained a cult like status in its namesake state, with each batch release being snatched up quickly for collectors and consumption alike. The brand was acquired by Stoli Group and its parent company S.P.I. Group early last year, bringing with it greater distribution for the bourbon and the eventual introduction of a rye whiskey. This latter item apparently proved successful enough that it is being brought back in a second batch, albeit with a few caveats.

Kentucky Owl Straight Rye Whiskey, Batch 2, according to those behind it, is a 11 year old sourced rye whiskey that’s set to have a limited release in select U.S. markets “due to high demand.” Here’s where the caveats now come into play. Batch 1 was bottled at 110.6 proof, while Batch 2 clocks in at 101.8 proof. Batch 2 is said to have a “smaller batch volume” than the previously released Batch 1. And, perhaps most notably, whereas Batch 1 priced at around $130 a bottle, Batch 2 bumps things up to nearly $200 a bottle.

Kentucky Owl Straight Rye Whiskey, Batch 2

Kentucky Owl Straight Rye Whiskey, Batch 2 (image via Kentucky Owl)

Now I don’t want to come out and say those behind this brand are going a bit over the top with this, but to be fair consumer demand does in some cases drive the powers that be to see how far they can stretch your dollar as you stare at the bottle on a retail shelf. Is it worth it? We can’t really say until we try it (we did give Batch 1 a very respectable score when we reviewed it, and Whisky Advocate awarded it high marks as well), but a nearly $70 price jump will be something we consider should we get a sample to taste.

“We crafted this straight rye whiskey to be more approachable to the casual drinker while containing all the good parts of whiskey without any of the bad,” said Dixon Dedman, Kentucky Owl Master Blender, in a prepared statement. “It’s like you melted a cinnamon roll and gave it a little kick at the end to remind you it was whiskey. I was so proud of the product we put out with Rye Batch #1 last year, and what we were able to do with Batch #2, I think is really something special.”

Plans call for this whiskey to be available this month in the following markets: Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Colombia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. Limited official tasting notes suggest “honey, cinnamon and strawberry jam undertones. The combination of rich sweetness and baking spices coat the entire palate, while hints of honey and red pepper linger, giving a long-lasting finish.”