Stolen X Rock & Rye

I’d like to thank Ro-Bro Marketing & PR, Inc. for providing this review sample to me with no strings attached.

I knew next to nothing about Stolen Spirits when I accepted the request to send me a sample of their new Stolen X brand of rock and rye. I love rock and rye. It is one of those things that I love to have around for when I want a cocktail, but I’m feeling too lazy to make myself one. Unfortunately, if I have it around, I’m always too lazy to make a cocktail and just end up drinking the bottled stuff instead. One of these days I’m just going to have to make my own. I already make my own boozy cherries and my own orange bitters, why not a bottled cocktail too?

So even though, I knew next to nothing about the brand that was putting out this particular rock and rye, I did know enough about rock and rye to take a flier on it. I mean, I’ve had plenty of bad liquor that is marketed for consumption as a shot (most of it, I’ve poured straight down the drain), but I’ve seldom had a bad rock and rye. So after I said yes to the sample, I got down to Googling.

That’s one of the services we at BourbonGuy.com provide to our readers, we Google so you don’t have to. Here is what they have to say about themselves on their Facebook page:

“Our history is simple and grounded in one fact: We like to party. Our brand was born from two Kiwis sick of their day jobs, a need to escape and the love of a good time.”

And in the press release for the Rock and rye they say:

“Humans have been drinking horrible shots since the discovery of fermentation,” said Marc Bushala, CEO of Spirits Investment Partnership. “There has not been much evolution from the swill that we hoisted in college to what people are shooting today. I don’t really recall why we did shots of a certain herbaceous concoction that looks and tastes like shoe polish, but I remember that we drank a lot of it. The main difference with the popular shot brands today is the use of artificial flavors and sweeteners to make bad booze more palatable - we think that people will love great rye whiskey blended with all natural ingredients that actually tastes good.”

I don’t know about you, but I can get behind all of that. So now that we know just a little about the product, we should probably focus on the most important thing: how does it taste?

Stolen X Rock & Rye

Purchase Info: This review sample was graciously provided to me by Ro-Bro Marketing & PR, Inc. for review purposes. Suggested retail price is $24.99 for a 750 mL bottle with plans to release a liter bottle for $29.99 and 100 mL cans for $2.99 this summer.

Details: Rock and rye bottled cocktail, 40% ABV.

Nose: A lot of orange on the nose plus cinnamon.

Month: Orange oil, cinnamon and honey.

Finish: Lingering orange

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Thoughts: You can tell this was intended to be served over ice. I tasted it neat in a Glencairn first just so that there would be a baseline between this and other reviews. On its own it is very sweet and orange forward. But, when you serve it over ice as they recommend, the rye notes move more to the forefront and the finish is more enjoyable as the dilution allows a bit more spice to show. This is a pretty delicious orange cocktail. I'm a fan.


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Bulleit Rye 12-Year-Old

In light of recent allegations made by the daughter of Tom Bulleit of his homophobia and mental and physical abuse toward her, I have made the decision that BourbonGuy.com can no longer endorse products bearing the Bulleit name. The review below has been revised from the original version to reflect this new policy. New commentary has also been added.

I’d like to thank Taylor Strategy for providing this sample to me with no strings attached. All notes and thoughts are my own.

I am a big fan of the MGP 95% rye style of Rye Whiskey. I’ve been a fan since I first tasted Bulleit Rye shortly after it was released. In fact, it was the first rye that I ever really paid attention to. Other ryes just sorta tasted like bourbon but this one tasted different. And over the years, the MGP 95% rye style (of which Bulleit is but one of a number) is easily the most common rye to sit on my shelves. And now that I’ve found that it plays amazingly nice with Amaro Montenegro, I’m guessing it will be on my shelf even more often in the future.

So like I said, I’m a fan of the MGP 95% Rye style of rye whiskey. Some of my favorite aged rye whiskeys have been sourced from MGP. Willett used to put out beautiful 5-12 year old ryes that were the prize of my whiskey shelf (while they lasted). These days, even if they put one out, you couldn’t afford one without a trust fund.

So I was initially pretty excited when I got the press release stating that Bulleit would be releasing a limited edition 12-year-old version of their rye. Especially when I noticed that it was only going to be about $50. I was less excited to learn of the allegations of abuse and homophobia by the face of the brand. Previous to learning of these allegations, I had requested a sample of it and get a taste.

Bulleit Rye 12-Year-Old

Purchase info: This sample was graciously provided by Taylor Strategy for review purposes. It is available in Colorado, Illinois, New York, Ohio, Oregon, California, Kentucky, Texas, Georgia, New Jersey, Arizona, Massachusetts, Maryland and Washington D.C. Suggested retail price is $49.99.

Details: 95% rye mashbill. 12 year old age statement. 46% ABV

Nose: Mint, pipe tobacco, cinnamon, dill, caramel

Mouth: Spearmint, dill, tobacco, black pepper, anise

Finish: Of medium length. Lingering mint, black pepper and anise

Thoughts: MGP makes a fantastic whiskey. Luckily for me, there are options for the MGP 95% rye on the market that don’t involve the moral balancing act required by the Bulleit brand. On one hand, MGP rye is delicious, on the other I’d rather not continue to enrich a man alleged to have abused his own daughter over her sexuality. So, I will be seeking out this juice from other brands, you however are free to make your own choice in the matter.


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Just a Couple of Cocktails

In light of recent allegations made by the daughter of Tom Bulleit of his homophobia and mental and physical abuse toward her, I have made the decision that BourbonGuy.com can no longer endorse products bearing the Bulleit name. The article below has been revised from the original version to reflect this new policy.

I have spent most of the past five days on my hands and knees. After scraping off the glue from 30 year old linoleum and removing two rooms worth of carpet, even with a respirator, my nasal cavities were in no shape to be doing any tastings. But after a hard day of scraping, what I was in shape to do was drink the cocktails that my wife made for me. And they were delicious.

When I was in Las Vegas a couple weeks ago, I drank at a bar called Bound in the Cromwell Hotel. They did craft cocktails and they did them well. One of my favorites was an original that they called The Frontiersman. It had an MGP 95% Rye Whiskey, Drambuie, an amaro and Angostura bitters. I didn’t ask for the recipe but did try to recreate it when I got home. I think I got pretty close.

The Frontiersman

Adapted from Bound Bar Las Vegas

1.5 oz MGP 95% Rye Whiskey
0.5 oz Amaro Montenegro
0.5 oz Drambuie
3 dash Angostura Bitters
Orange Peal and Mint for garnish

Stir with ice and serve in a rocks glass with a large piece of ice. Express the orange peal and garnish with orange peal and mint. Do not skip the mint, the scent of the mint really helps this one.

Of course, Drambuie is sweet and I’m really more fond of bitter flavors. So I took this the other way. I really liked how the MGP 95% Rye Whiskey and the Amaro Montenegro played together so I kept them and did a riff on a Black Manhattan. I like things pretty bitter though so I also added Campari to the mix.

Arok’s Black Manhattan Riff

2 oz MGP 95% Rye Whiskey
0.5 oz Amaro Montenegro
0.5 oz Campari
3 dashes Orange bitters
Orange Peal for Garnish

Stir with ice and serve in a rocks glass with a large piece of ice. Express the orange peal and drop it in.

I think this last one is my favorite cocktail right now. I’ve started keeping An MGP 95% rye whiskey on my cocktail station just because it is really the only cocktail I make for myself anymore. Enjoy!


BourbonGuy.com accepts no advertising. It is solely supported by the sale of the hand-made products I sell at the BourbonGuy Gifts store. If you'd like to support BourbonGuy.com, visit BourbonGuyGifts.com. And if you are an iOS user, look for Bourbon Guy in Apple News. Thanks!