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Sagamore "B&B Barrel Select" 6 Year Rye Whiskey

5 reviews
Since 2013, Sagamore Spirits has been hard at work restoring Maryland’s whiskey distilling tradition, crafting spicy rye cushioned with sweet corn; delicate and bold, spicy and fruity, all separately and at the same time. The Signature and Cask Strength expressions have become B&B mainstays, and their series of limited edition cask Finish releases have been consistently impressive. One particularly exciting part of their production has been tantalizingly out of reach however - their Barrel Select program. And while California’s current allocation included only a handful of barrels, we’re extremely proud to have nabbed one (the very best of course!)

Barrel #69 is a blend of two mash bills, both distilled by the rye whiskey maestro’s of MGP, one with a mash bill of 95% rye, the other containing 51% rye, blended by Sagamore to create their own proprietary recipe - for our barrel that final rye percentage comes out to a lovely 80%. This recipe yields whiskey with hefty spice, rich herbal notes, and dense dark cocoa flavors, with just enough of that bourbon softness to produce a whiskey simultaneously bold and refined, full of character and also eminently sippable. The whiskey was aged for 6 years and bottled at 110 proof, with just a touch of Sagamore Farm spring water.

You’ll find this rye whiskey delightfully warm and welcoming in the glass. The nose greets you with wisps of caramel and maple syrup, laced with a touch of bready spice and fruit, like a freshly toasted cinnamon raisin bagel. Though bottled at 110 proof, on the palate this whiskey comes off mellow with gentle heat. The body is bolstered by a distinct honey and candied nut profile, reminiscent of roasted walnuts tossed in brown sugar and baking spices, baklava and pralines. Throughout the sip there is a long-lasting backbone of earthy tobacco flavors and hints of dark chocolate, tannins, and molasses cinnamon swirls that carry through the finish. The drink feels harmoniously well rounded, with no single flavor fighting for dominance. And if you’re the type, like us, to spare a few ounces of your fine whiskey for a cocktail or two, it makes for one of the finest Manhattan’s we’ve ever come across.

It has been said that rye whiskey came into its own only once bourbon was invented - a quip about the supposed superiority of rye. We don’t know if that’s true, but we do know that rye whiskey producers have yielded some of the most exciting barrels we’ve tried recently. The slow and steady catching up of the rye industry is giving other whiskeys a run for their money - and in that kind of race we all get to be winners.