I state in my Statement of Ethics that if I accept a review sample, I will disclose it at the beginning of the article. Please consider it disclosed. I’d like to thank Common Ground PR for providing this sample to me with no strings attached.
The Beam brothers of Limestone Branch are acquaintances of the "friends of a friend" variety. They seem like good people, and they tell some good stories. And ever since I spent an "off-the-record" evening discussing the state of the Kentucky bourbon industry with one of them, I've been keeping half an eye on the things they are producing, both with their own distillate and with that available through their partnership with Luxco.
One of their more recent releases is Minor Case Straight Rye whiskey. Named after Steve and Paul Beam's great-grandfather (and distiller in his own right until Prohibition), this two-year-old Indiana Rye is bottled at 45% ABV after having been finished in Sherry Casks.
The first thing you'll notice about this is the very lovely bottle it comes in. This is certainly one that I will probably see in an antique store when I am older. It is very reminiscent of the ones I find now from 100 years ago.
The juice inside the bottle might be more interesting, though. At least to me. Finishing a whiskey is nothing new. Scotland has been doing it practically forever. In bourbon, it has been going on for years as well. I bought my first finished bourbon well before I started this site. I've seen a lot fewer barrel finished ryes, though. And when I saw the announcement come past, my curiosity got the better of me and I knew I needed to request a sample.
Minor Case Straight Rye
Purchase info: This sample was provided by Common Ground PR. Suggested retail price is $49.99.
Details: 45% ABV. Sherry cask finished. Distilled in Indiana. Two years old.
Nose: This is a nose that takes some time to develop fully. I'd say this took about 20 minutes or more to open up. Mint, cedar, brown sugar, ripe fruit, and baking spices.
Mouth: Peppery but not overly hot. Ripe fruit, hints of citrus, mint and baking spices.
Finish: Spicy and warm with lingering cedar, rye spices, mint and hints of citrus.
Thoughts: I've been really impressed with the products coming out of Limestone Branch and Luxco lately. This is no exception. If I had to describe it in one word, that word would be "elegant." It is young but interesting. It has the same "ginger beer" quality that Ezra Brooks rye has, and the sherry finish plays with that very nicely. I'm not completely convinced that I'm ready to pay $50 for a two-year-old whiskey, but if I were going to, this would be the one that would convince me to.
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