By Randall H. Borkus
The Cooper Spirits Co. resurrected the Hochstadter’s brand in 2013 with the introduction of Hochstadter’s Slow & Low Rock & Rye. Later came further brand extensions in the portfolio, such as the Hochstadter’s 8 Year Old Rock & Rye and the peculiar Hochstadter’s Vatted Straight Rye Whiskey. Now the company has released the first very aged Hochstadter’s offering, a 16 year, limited release, cask strength bottling.
This is a must have for the true rye whiskey lover. The 16 years in the wood creates a rye juice with a unique maple color like glow. The legs are long and heavy. This is a bold whiskey that jumps out from the glass from the start with heavy wood overtones and a nose holding an evenhanded burn on the nostrils with citrus, blackberries and hint of cinnamon and anise.
The whiskey starts hot on my palate and soothes out as it sits on my tongue. I recommend a few drops of water or an ice cube when drinking it neat to really open up the flavor experience. The flavor starts with an oaky spice bomb, opening into snappish cinnamon, ginger and fruit notes. The liquid is immense in my mouth and leaves an oily numbness long after the swallowing the juice. It’s delicious, sporting a finish that imparts a lingering oaky spice, fruit sweetness and herbal notes sip after sip.
If you can find it forget about the price tag. Just buy it, as it will disappear quickly and will be available in only very limited quantities at select retailers across the country at a suggested retail price of $199.99 per 750 ml bottle.