By Debbie Shocair
When I am asked, as frequently I am, what is my favorite whiskey, I usually look away for a moment to contemplate before answering simply, “I am very excited about the American Craft Whiskey movement.” Oh, sure, I have a few concrete and sentimental faves, but little xcites me as much as the craft whiskeys coming out of these days. One such examples is the bonded Rye from A.D. Laws in Denver, Colorado.
The distillery was founded by Al Laws, and developed with help from ex-Stranahan’s distiller Jake Norris and retired Barton distiller Bill Friel. Laws proudly states, “We have never sourced one drop of whiskey and we never will,” this new expression is one every rye whiskey fan should be seeking this year.
A.D. Laws Bottled in Bond Secale Rye is made from 96% rye (50% of which is malted) and 4% malted barley, open-air fermented and then aged over 4 years before being bottled at the requisite 100 proof. The term “Secale Rye” is a direct reference to the Latin name for rye grain: “secale cereale.”
On the nose, this bonded rye was markedly unusual, with aromas of a sweet, freshly mown lawn just under delicate notes of cotton candy and light caramel. Breaking it with a ½ teaspoon of water released the grassiness, causing it to deepen, more like hay along with notes of ripe pears.
The mouthfeel was strong at the tip of the tongue, as well as the front of the gums, but not unpleasant and certainly not a burn.
The finish was lovely and long, beginning with toasted grain, tobacco and leather before evolving to espresso and very dark chocolate. The dark coffee lingered and faded to a pleasant nuttiness. Notably, there was very little sweetness to the finish, but instead a lovely cascading array of flavors, each a pure as the last.
Did I mention it’s a very long finish? Very. Perfect for sipping with good company, or as a treat on a quiet night.
This stands with the best bonded Ryes I’ve had, and if you are a fan of rye whiskey, it’s well worth the search.
This is a limited craft release, so it bears an $74 price tag.