Thoughts on Rye….

Rye…….When I was a boy I spent summers at Mamaw and Papaw’s house. The lived 45 mins north of Louisville, Kentuckiana they called it. They were simple people, and even in 1985 they did not have indoor plumbing. Mamaw cooked on the same woodburning stove that heated their little house. Summers were hot. Unless it rained there was no way to shower. Papaw had a rolling cart in his bedroom with lots of colognes and deoderants on it. One time in particular I wanted to be a man, and I slapped on some Brut from a dusty green bottle. The cap fell off and I was drenched, head to toe in pungent, nostril burning, gag inducing stink. It was in my eyes and mouth. Its a flavor I will never forget. Its what Rye tastes like to me.

I tried Mid Winter Nights Dram tonight. Its good Brut.

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Eagle Rare 10yr “Hsiao” pick

Some things were created for a specific special moment. A wedding ring. A birthday cake. A snow shovel. Other things arrive at the right time and place so perfectly you’d believe their destiny was pre-determined. Such is the case with the Eagle Rare 10yr picked by Eric Hsiao. After a number of delays they finally became available. But instead of getting them in the summer, mine arrived in the middle of the first cold rainy snap we’ve had since last winter. And its perfect for this kind of weather. This is an easy drink, relaxing, and its absolutely made for fall/winter. The nose is a polite old friend. Effervescence of harvest corn, ever mild rye and a dancing aroma of sugary burnt oak. There is quick punch of vanilla and a nice oral fragrance of roasted chestnuts (bringing to mind a stroll through an Italian Christmas bazaar in Piazza Navona). The flavor is sweeter than any Eagle Rare I’ve had, in fact sweeter than anything I’ve had from this mashbill. There is a nice element of dessert sugar and spice, and hints of licorice that pop in to say hello for a moment. The flavor arc descends with a little more oak and a splash of minty goodness. Its got all the redolence of a holiday candle. The finish was a slow, pleasant, mellow burn thats hits in the center of my chest. This bottle would be great to take on a trip in the mountains when the night time temperatures dip down in the 30’s; I believe the flavors would sing like a church choir if this bourbon was chilled to freezing, which would also make the finish burst. I recommend pairing this one with a perfectly grilled dry aged ribeye. However the sweetness would also be right at home as a dessert option, especially if you had something with toasted or candied pecans. In musical terms, this bourbon is the equivalent to Jimi Hendrix “May This Be Love (aka Waterfall). Its easy, and perfect for it’s moment in time.

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