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American

Town Branch Rye

$44.00

OVERALL
RATING

Whiskey Review: Town Branch Rye

Tasting Notes:

About:
Appearance:
Deep, golden, apple juice color. Light, short legs.
Nose:
, even to seasoned whiskey lovers. That spice and heat is in large part due to the larger percentage of…you guessed it: rye! Whereas bourbon must contain at least 51% corn in its mash bill — which is what lends it some sweetness — rye (in America, at least) must have 51% rye. Once the whiskey of choice — and by “once” we mean pre-Prohibition when America’s most popular type of whiskey was banned and replaced with softer, under-the-table, smuggled-across-the-border stuff — rye whiskey is making a serious comeback. And why not? If it was good enough for George Washington, who distilled his own at Mount Vernon, and Don Draper, it’s good enough for us! Besides, it makes a fantastic old fashioned. Traditionally, rye whiskeys had three primary iterations: Pennsylvania (or Monongahela), Kentucky, and Maryland — the latter reportedly a softer, rounder rye as opposed to the full-force rye of the former. Even granting that this is a Kentucky version, Town Branch Rye from Alltech Distillery is…well, not the rye to serve to someone if you’re trying to convince him that he should be drinking rye. It actually tastes over its 100 proof alcohol level and packs so much of a punch that flavors evaporate when compared to the full-on heat. To be clear, we love that rye whiskey is so warm. Its spiciness and oft-found hints of orange make us think of wintertime coziness and Christmas garlands made from cloves and dried orange slices. It’s just that Town Branch Rye is missing the coziness and instead has heat, unrelenting heat. Forget Christmas, we’re reminded of Death Valley. Tasting Notes: Town Branch Rye Vital Stats: 100 proof (50% ABV), no age statement, 55% rye, 30% corn, 15% malted barley mash bill, $44-$57 Appearance: Deep, golden, apple juice color. Light, short legs. Nose: Red Hots, metal, apple, pine, but mostly 91% isopropyl alcohol
Palate:
So fleetingly caramel and brown sugar, then straight to a very rough heat. Like you drank the isopropyl – or regurgitated stomach acid. Finish is long and, as mentioned, rough. Very late in the finish, briny mineral water. Conclusion: I wouldn’t drink it neat. I might not even drink it in a mixed drink. Why not drink something overproof rather than something that just tastes overproof but isn’t? You’re better off paying less for a bottle of Bulleit Rye. FINAL SCORE: 60/100
Finish:
Comments:

Town Branch RyeRye is usually a spicy kick in the mouth and nose, even to seasoned whiskey lovers. That spice and heat is in large part due to the larger percentage of…you guessed it: rye! Whereas bourbon must contain at least 51% corn in its mash bill — which is what lends it some sweetness — rye (in America, at least) must have 51% rye.

Once the whiskey of choice — and by “once” we mean pre-Prohibition when America’s most popular type of whiskey was banned and replaced with softer, under-the-table, smuggled-across-the-border stuff — rye whiskey is making a serious comeback.

And why not? If it was good enough for George Washington, who distilled his own at Mount Vernon, and Don Draper, it’s good enough for us! Besides, it makes a fantastic old fashioned. Traditionally, rye whiskeys had three primary iterations: Pennsylvania (or Monongahela), Kentucky, and Maryland — the latter reportedly a softer, rounder rye as opposed to the full-force rye of the former.

Even granting that this is a Kentucky version, Town Branch Rye from Alltech Distillery is…well, not the rye to serve to someone if you’re trying to convince him that he should be drinking rye. It actually tastes over its 100 proof alcohol level and packs so much of a punch that flavors evaporate when compared to the full-on heat.

To be clear, we love that rye whiskey is so warm. Its spiciness and oft-found hints of orange make us think of wintertime coziness and Christmas garlands made from cloves and dried orange slices. It’s just that Town Branch Rye is missing the coziness and instead has heat, unrelenting heat. Forget Christmas, we’re reminded of Death Valley.

Tasting Notes: Town Branch Rye

Vital Stats: 100 proof (50% ABV), no age statement, 55% rye, 30% corn, 15% malted barley mash bill, $44-$57

Appearance: Deep, golden, apple juice color. Light, short legs.

Nose: Red Hots, metal, apple, pine, but mostly 91% isopropyl alcohol

Palate: So fleetingly caramel and brown sugar, then straight to a very rough heat. Like you drank the isopropyl – or regurgitated stomach acid. Finish is long and, as mentioned, rough. Very late in the finish, briny mineral water.

Conclusion:

I wouldn’t drink it neat. I might not even drink it in a mixed drink. Why not drink something overproof rather than something that just tastes overproof but isn’t? You’re better off paying less for a bottle of Bulleit Rye.

FINAL SCORE: 60/100

Rachel Grozanick

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