A word of advice. Do not try to visit the Old Pogue distillery if you are running late. Maysville is farther away from anywhere than a map would lead you to believe. And once you get there, you realize that the your GPS has taken you to the exit, not the entrance. (The entrance is around back, turn on the road just before you get there.) But if you plan a little extra time, you will be rewarded with a pleasant drive through the country, an historic small town and a beautiful distillery on a hill. A very steep hill. With switchbacks.
I on the other hand did not plan enough extra time. I had set up my tour at 10 am and parked the car at 9:59 am. I was almost late, or as I like to call it: on-time. All of the tour takers met in the gift shop. We signed in and the tour started.
The first stop was the house. This is a lovely old home that used to house the Pogue family. Now, according to our tour guide/distiller, it gets rented out for weddings and events. We wandered around inside, listening to our host tell the family history and looking at the old bottles and ads that line the mantle and walls. I love old ads, so it was a real treat for me.
After the house, it was back across the driveway and into the distillery. The distillery is the back room of what I had originally thought was the gift shop. I see why you need to sign up for a tour. It gets a little cramped as everyone tries to get a look. The space is little, but seems to do the job.
After everyone cycles through the distillery it is time for the tasting. We tasted Old Pogue Bourbon and Five Fathers Pure Malt Rye Whisky. I’ve already stated that I like the Old Pogue bourbon. I wasn’t quite expecting what I got with the Five Fathers though. It was interesting enough that I needed to pick up a bottle and spend a little more time with it.
All in all, I highly recommend setting up a tour and stopping off. It’s a short tour. But the guide was nice, the history is very interesting, and the drive was pretty. What more can you ask for, really?
Five Fathers Pure Malt Rye Whisky
Nose: Grain/silage on top. Some black pepper lives under that.
Mouth: At 110° proof (55% ABV) it's understandable that this leads with a tingle. This is followed closely by a big sweet grain flavor. Bringing back the black pepper as it moves back. Mouthfeel is thick and almost velvety.
Finish: Long and a little bitter with some black pepper spice, but not too hot.
Thoughts: This was unlike any whiskey I've ever had before. It had elements of your typical rye, but also had similarities to malts that I've had. It was certainly young, but that didn't seem hurt it. It was very interesting and I'm very glad I bought it, but I'm pretty sure I won't find myself reaching for it very often. It's just not to my tastes.