For this special Spirits Edition of Tasting Notes, we find a little escape from all the worries floating around the world these days by getting momentarily lost in a dram of Porter’s Small Batch Rye from Ogden’s Own Distillery (Ogden, Utah).
Developed to be the first non-flavored whiskey to join the Porter’s portfolio, Porter’s Small Batch Rye is a Straight Rye Whiskey that is comprised of a “95/5 blend of rye and barley . . . to deliver well-balanced flavor.” Aged for over three years in heavy charred, new oak barrels . . . at 111 proof,” Porter’s Small Batch Rye is finished by being “blended down to 90 proof with Ogden’s Own Distillery’s signature water blend.”
Produced as a limited run of just 1,000 cases, Porter’s Small Batch Rye is available now in 750ml bottles adorned with “labels made from a real wood veneer.” You can expect to find this Limited Release offering at fine liquor retailers located in Utah, Idaho, Nevada and Michigan. Bottles of Porter’s Small Batch Rye can also be ordered online through Hi-Time Wine Cellars (shipping available to CA, AZ, CO, FL, HI, ID, MO, ME, NE, NM, OH and WA).
Now that we are all caught up on how Porter’s Small Batch Rye was made and how we can get it, let’s pour a little into a fancy glass and see how it all comes together over some Tasting Notes!
Tasting Notes for Porter’s Small Batch Rye from Ogden’s Own Distillery
Appearance: Served neat and at room temperature into a shaped whiskey glass, Porter’s Small Batch Rye pours a honey gold in color. When held to direct light, that honey-like hue brightens and glows softly. This whiskey is absolutely pristine in clarity. When jostled about in the glass, the liquid leaves a slick, wide-sweeping arc that drops thin, quick-moving tears back down into the pour.
Aroma: Rye immediately hits the nose with an array of spicy, peppery notes that are complemented by toasted, bready grains. Sweeter tones of caramel and tropical/citrus fruit then bloom a bit. The wood character then surfaces with light notes of vanilla and fresh oak. Straight booze and a touch of dill spice round out the profile.
Taste: Spicy rye takes lead here as well by supplying big notes of black pepper, clove, cinnamon and baking spice. The barrel then smooths out those spicier/sharper edges with vanilla, caramel, toffee and oak. A dollop of honey adds a bit more sweetness while a twist of lemon brightens things up a bit. The dill character that surfaced in the nose is light, but it does hide in the background at times. The experience closes with some bready grains and a touch of herbal black tea.
Mouthfeel: Medium in weight, this whiskey softly coats the palate for a moment, but it dries out nicely. Heavy on the spice at times, it does eventually find a nice balance thanks to the sweeter notes coming off the barrel and grains. Although the nose was filled with booze, the 45% ABV is actually pretty tame on the palate and only offers a gentle warmth in the throat and belly. Black pepper and caramelized grains are left to linger in the aftertaste.
Final Thoughts: Despite having only aged in barrels for three years, Porter’s Small Batch Rye surprisingly drinks with a balance that you would expect from an offering that has spent a little more time on oak. Sure . . . the nose comes across a little hot and boozy and the overall experience is filled with plenty of punchy, spicy rye character, but this younger Straight Rye Whiskey is mellowed out nicely with a hefty infusion of barrel-sourced notes of vanilla, caramel, toffee and oak. This creates an enticing sip that can easily appeal to lovers of Rye Whiskey and also Bourbon fans who are looking to branch out into rye. Add in the fact that this is an incredibly reasonably priced Straight Rye Whiskey (currently going for only $18.99 a bottle over at Hi-Time Wine Cellars), and it suddenly becomes really difficult to find a reason to not give this limited-edition offering a shot at making your home bar’s roster. Seriously, make sure to keep Porter’s Small Batch Rye in mind the next time you are on the hunt for a Straight Rye Whiskey. Prost!