Axis of Whiskey Review of Whiskey Acres Rye: This is the best rye I've had in 2016, it's one I'll stock with regularity,
One of the most interesting aspects of this whisk(e)y reviewing gig has been discovering the myriad ways in which distillers create their product. Whether it's Lost Spirits using technology to bring their spirits into the world, or the continued experimentation by giants like Ardbeg and Laphroaig, I've loved learning more about this fascinating creative process. So it was essentially guaranteed that I'd be enthralled by the story of DeKalb Illinois' Whiskey Acres. Jim and Jamie Walter, father and son farmers, teamed up with Nick Nagele (also a farmer) to create Illinois' first farm-to-bottle distillery. Using the grains they grow on the fully operational farm, these guys have created some exceptional spirits. They worked with industry legend Dave Pickerell to get the distillery going and rely on cutting-edge technology to help them track the lives of their seeds, resulting in a wonderful melding of old school know-how and advanced technology that results in some truly special spirits.
Today, I'm here to rave about the Whiskey Acres Rye (ABV 43.2, $44.99.) Its nose is pleasingly layered, with elements of spice, fresh maple syrup, loam, and honey-baked ham. The palate just sings for me. To begin with, it's a rye that sits pleasantly in the mouth, which allowed me to to truly savor the maple bacon, roasted honey, and chestnuts that rose to the fore. There's also a slight, but noticeable, medicinal note that brought to mind some of my favorite Islay malts. The finish was the only aspect I didn't fully love. While the spice returned as the best spiced apple cider I've had in quite some time and brought some slow cooked pork to the party as well, it actually lingered a bit too long for me and ended with more of a medicinal note than I wanted. But that's a tiny quibble. This is the best rye I've had in 2016, it's one I'll stock with regularity, and it's a damn knockout. Friends, excuse me while I tuck back into this gem. Cheers! - TM #cheers #slainte #hooch #booze #whisky #whiskey #ryewhiskey #whiskygram #whiskeygram #illinois #instawhisky #whiskycollection