Whiskey Review: Cadée Rye - The Whiskey Wash

Whiskey Review: Cadée Rye

Cadée RyeIf you don’t live in the Pacific Northwest, you’ve probably never heard of Whidbey Island. But Whidbey, like the rest of Washington State, is slowly making a name for itself in the spirits world. Alongside Whidbey Island Distillery, which opened its doors in 2009, the island is also home to relative newcomer Cadée Distillery.

As discussed in a recent review, Cadée Distillery is a small operation in tiny Clinton, Washington, a community on the southern end of Whidbey Island (or as they call it, “The Isle of Whidbey”). It bills itself as a “Scottish-style” distillery (despite not making any Scottish-style whiskey, although a single-malt is reportedly in the works) and sells a handful of whiskeys and clear spirits.

For the time being, all their whiskeys are “quasi-sourced,” meaning they’re distilled in Indiana before being aged on Whidbey Island. Owner Colin Campbell is currently building a distilling-ready facility so the company can start turning out spirits made on-site from start to finish.

Cadée Rye is one of two rye whiskies Cadée offers. This release  is aged “a minimum of eight months” in new American oak barrels and bottled at 84 proof.

Tasting Notes: Cadée Rye

Color: Burnished copper

Nose: Cinnamon and spicy black pepper predominate, along with dark fruit like currant and blackberry. A faint chemical sharpness is also present, but not overwhelming. I also get some mild vanilla, especially after a few minutes in the glass.

Palate: Warm spice, black cherry, and some along with a substantial amount of raw oak. The texture is surprisingly soft given the woodiness of the flavor profile. I notice a little chocolate on the finish.


Overall, this is a pretty well-executed—if not particularly unique—rye whiskey. I’d prefer a little less woody bitterness on the palate, but I’d still be happy to sip this neat or mixed into a Manhattan. As with Cadée’s bourbon, this rye shows that there’s a good reason small distilleries often turn to industrially-sourced distillate in their early years.