I am a terrible whisk(e)y blender. The blending failures not published to this site are vast, vast, vast in number. Vast. But even a poor blender is entitled to some half-assed success. Enter Michael's Solid Number Two. One year and one week ago, I wrote a post about three whiskey blends made from the cask strength version of Balcones's True Blue Corn Whiskey and Rittenhouse Bottled-in-Bond Rye. Out of the three blends the second one turned out to be very good, thus the subtle literary post title, Michael makes a solid number two.
It was an ultra high (is that name my invention too?) rye bourbon, with a mashbill of approximately 51/40/9 and an ABV of about 51.4%. For the experiment I made a 30mL sample and let it rest for 18 days. After discovering the resulting success, I scaled it up to 650mL in the bottle above. Would've done the full 750mL but I was out of ingredients. Anyway, I drank it all. Except for one sample...
Color -- Dark gold
Nose -- Big rye, just like the old label Ritt I had used (and used to love). Meaty/savory but also highlighted by flower blossoms. Lots of mint and caramel sauce. Some saline. A vanilla bean note grows with time. It sometimes seems like it's getting younger with time, too, picking up some yeast and new make notes.
Palate -- Hotter than the nose. And (woo!) really peppery too. Very thick texture. A medium sweetness level, mostly fueled by corn syrup. There's a nuttiness that leans towards roasted peanuts. A slight burnt note. Bitter coffee. Gets drier with time.
Finish -- Extensive and sweet. Brown sugar and cayenne. Lemon and lime candies. Black cherry soda and vanilla. The bitter note from the palate does an upswing into tangy.
Yep, hits the spots. Similar to the lower rye mashbill versions of rye (like Rittenhouse) with some more youth and sweets. It works very well on the rocks, keeping much of its flavor. Man, I miss this stuff. I can't tell you how many days this summer I sat praying for another number two.
Availability - All gone, unless you make your own
Pricing - You'd have to buy a bottle of a sold out cask strength corn whiskey and the old label version of Rittenhouse BIB
Rating - 85