Latest Sagamore Rye Whiskey Finish Inspired By Classic Manhattan Cocktail

Maryland-based Sagamore Spirit continues to make a name for itself with its rye whiskeys that it puts forth from its distillery in Baltimore. This is particularly true of those that are finished in various casks, and now joining them is yet another such offering that’s designed to deconstruct the flavors of a Manhattan cocktail in the bottle.

The new Sagamore Spirit Distiller’s Select Manhattan Finish, according to those behind it, takes your regular Sagamore rye and blends finishes that came from separate 53-gallon cherry brandy, vermouth, and bitters barrels. It is the first in the distillery’s “Distiller’s Select” line, an ongoing collection of Maryland-style rye whiskies aged in barrels formerly used to age other spirits. “Distiller’s Select” also complements Sagamore Spirit’s “Brewer’s Select” line, a newly launched collection of barrel-aged, beer-finished whiskies.

Sagamore Spirit Distiller’s Select Manhattan Finish

Sagamore Spirit Distiller’s Select Manhattan Finish (image via Sagamore Spirit)

“Whiskey enthusiasts want to be challenged,” said Brian Treacy, Sagamore Spirit’s president, in a prepared statement, “and we’re always up for a good challenge too. It led us to try something that’s never been done before, which ultimately became Manhattan Finish. The process started with breaking down the flavors of a Manhattan cocktail and then building them back up again. Our distilling team spent weeks testing different combinations of our straight rye whiskey aged separately in cherry brandy, vermouth and bitters barrels to find just the right blend.

“The result turned out to be exactly what we wanted: a full-proof whiskey with character – not a cocktail – and one that was well worth the risk.”

As it stands now plans call for this whiskey, bottled at 103 proof, to price around $70 per 750 ml bottle. It will come available this fall, and serving suggestions indicate it is “equally enjoyable mixed in its namesake cocktail or savored on its own.” What there is of official tasting notes speak of hints of “fresh cherry sweetness, herbaceous vermouth and botanical spice of the classic cocktail, while preserving the gentle yet full-bodied character of Sagamore Spirit’s Maryland-style rye.”


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