Review: Kentucky Owl Rye 11 Year (Batch 1)

The Kentucky Owl brand truly fascinates me. Like Whistle Pig, Kentucky Owl is quite the dark horse candidate to receive the universal high demand and praise that it does in such a short amount of time. This is in part due to being in the right place (the bourbon/rye scene) at the right time (at the height of the biggest whisk(e)y boom in history).

With that said, the bourbon that Kentucky Owl sources is highly regarded and for good reason. Each batch continues to impress both critics and consumers alike. 2017 saw the release of their first rye. This 11 year bottling is sourced from unknown distilleries in Kentucky. 11 years is well-aged for a rye and this batch is bottled at 110.6 proof. Things are sounding good already.

However, I’m a little concerned that this first batch of Rye is riding high on the coattails of some very good bourbon releases. Can it stand up on its own merit? Let’s find out.

Kentucky Owl Rye Batch 1

Review: Kentucky Owl Rye 11 Year (Batch 1) - 55.3% ABV
Category Notes
Appearance Caramel
Nose Quite spicy, cinnamon, clove, some white pepper, vanilla, Mandarin orange, pencil shavings, fresh mint.
Taste Toffee, minerally, more baking spice and oak, salty, hint of dill and herbs, lemon zest, some cherry.
Finish More vanilla and oak, quite straightforward really. Medium length with just a bit of citrus at the end.
Overall Thoughts This is the style of rye I prefer. Save your pickle juice for the next guy. This stuff doesn't claim to be anything it's not. It's a straightforward rye whiskey that's heavy on the spice and herb garden. This 1st release is already priced high for both the age and the unknown sources yet I hear that the next batch is going to be almost twice the price. I don't see myself picking that one up unless I find a great deal. This, however, is worth seeking out.
Total Score 90/100