Sagamore Spirit Brings Back Double Oak Rye, Debuts Port Finish Rye - The Whiskey Wash

Sagamore Spirit Brings Back Double Oak Rye, Debuts Port Finish Rye

By Katelyn Best / December 19, 2018
Following the release of their Vintner’s Finish rye back in May, Maryland’s Sagamore Spirit has debuted two more limited-edition rye expressions, Sagamore Spirit Port Finish and Sagamore Spirit Double Oak Straight Rye.
As the name implies, Port Finish is finished for six months in 59-gallon port barrels from Portugal and from Baltimore’s own Boordy Vineyards, resulting in “a rich and spicy taste with notes of dark dried cherries—a true sweater-weather whiskey for the fall,” according to the distillery. It’s bottled at 101 proof.
Sagamore Spirit Port Finish

Sagamore Spirit Port Finish (image via Sagamore)

The Double Oak is Sagamore’s standard straight rye, a four-year-old oak-aged expression, finished for an additional six months in so-called wave stave barrels. These barrels are made from staves with grooves milled into the interior; obviously, that increases the surface area of the inside of the barrel, but it also theoretically means that a combination of charred and more lightly-toasted wood comes into contact with the whiskey. This is the second year for the double-oaked expression, which sold out after its debut last fall.

“Our talented distillers’ expertise, curiosity and passion for whiskey craft comes through in every new batch they create, and our new Port Finish is case in point,” said Sagamore Spirit President Brian Treacy in a prepared statement. “Our growing library of limited time offerings consistently raises the bar when it comes to innovation, creativity and flavor. Sometimes, they’re received so well we just have to bring them back for round two, like with Double Oak, which sold out everywhere last year.”

Sagamore draws on the Old Line State’s tradition of sweeter, more approachable rye whiskeys, in contrast with the spicy Pennsylvania style modern drinkers are more familiar with. For the time being, though, the distillery—founded by Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank less than two years ago—is, like so many craft startups, sourcing its ryes from MGP. They blend two of the Indiana distillery’s expressions, one higher-rye and one lower, to emulate the traditional Maryland style. All of Sagamore’s whiskeys are proofed with local limestone-rich spring water.

About the author

Katelyn Best

Katelyn is a freelance writer in Portland, Oregon. She's a regular contributor to the Whiskey Wash with an affinity for the unique and weird side of whiskey.