...where distraction is the main attraction.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Whiskey #200: The Rye Storm (Part 2)

(Click here for Part One)

Here it is, The Rye Storm:

Distillery: Corsair
Independent Bottler: D4P Whiskies
Type: Barrel-aged rye spirit
Age: January 31 to July 13, 2013
Maturation: 2 liter new American Oak barrel
Limited bottling: 1
Distillery Region: Tennesee and Kentucky, USA
Maturation Region: Long Beach, California, USA
Alcohol by Volume: North of 50%, South of 70%
Chillfiltered: No
Colored: No

What's in a name?  A number of things.  The "The" is in honor of the other "The"s: The Macallan, The Glenrothes, The Glenlivet, The Glenmorangie, etc.  The "Storm" is partially a tweak on the whisky industry for their inability to come up with original names, see: Islay Storm, Cutty Stark Storm, Talisker Storm, and Talisker Dark Storm (three of which came into the market within a year of each other).  It's a storm of whiskey, busy, loud, and potentially destructive in its alcoholic intensity.  But mostly I named it The Storm after the events in my life that took place while the whiskey was aging.  Rather than rehashing it, I'll just leave the link here.

I learned a lot from "making" The Rye Storm.  If I had another first-fill barrel, I'd try to figure out how to char it further.  I'd also measure the humidity and temperature around my home to find the coolest, driest spot.  Perhaps using a quieter spirit, one with less muscle than Wry Moon, would suit home booze such as this.  Plus the $100 initial investment in three bottles of spirit won't be a surprise.

For those planning on doing some barrel-aging at home, please make sure you follow any directions provided regarding curing and cleaning the barrel.  Also be very aware that most of the barrels being sold for home maturation are not as impeccably coopered as the ones used by the larger booze industry.  Even with a cool dry basement, you'll still need to anticipate a considerable Angel's Share.  If you have any questions or thoughts on this drop me a line here or send me an email.

Now, back to The Rye Storm.  Unlike certain craft whiskey bottlers, I will not call this California Rye.  The spirit was made by Corsair in either their Kentucky or Tennessee distillery.  Nor can I call it Straight Rye Whiskey due to its youth.

Here are my specific notes on how the nose and palate developed:

Day 0
Wry Moon is loaded with cracked white pepper and cinnamon Red Hots candies on both the nose and palate.  There's also a distant vegetal grain quality that lingers in the background.  Its highlight is the cocoa powder in the finish.

Day 36
Nose - Not much change. A little calmer. Less of the white pepper.
Palate - The spices have become more varied, sharper. Vanilla and chocolate notes have come into focus. Easier to drink.

Day 91
Nose - Softer spices up front, harsher ones in the back. Hints of vanilla and honey from the oak. Pepper and Red Hots have receded slightly. Maybe floral and anise notes?
Palate - ABV feels stronger as there's a big ethyl buzz. More sugars. Texture starting to thicken.
Finish - Hot chocolate.

Day 122
Nose - Still very spirity, but a little floral.  Honey, brown sugar, and baking spices.
Palate - Same as Day 91.
Finish - Lots of milky hot chocolate.
Not much changes when water is added. Maybe the nose is a little fruitier, perhaps the cocoa moves forward in the palate.

Day 164...

Color - Dark gold
Nose - Right up front: Cinnamon, maple syrup, cocoa powder, and something between coriander and cardamom. Lightly floral, but a lot of those Red Hots candies.  A tiny bit of vanilla.
Palate - Still very new makey. Cocoa, white pepper, Red Hots, cinnamon schnapps, and ethyl.  Actually, a little malty too.
Finish - Milk chocolatey rum. Some malt and chlorine.  Very lengthy, due to a likely high ABV

Nose - Cinnamon bread and kirsch
Palate - No change.
Finish - Dark chocolate with cayenne pepper

Following the nose's development over time was my favorite part and it sniffs better than it sips.  The palate is still very spirit heavy, think: Goldschlager Whiskey.  But once the rough palate passes, the chocolate finale is lively and enjoyable.

Availability - A single bottle
Pricing - One's liver cells?
Rating - 72


In yesterday's post, I mentioned there would be two uses for this barrel.  The Rye Storm was the first fill, after which I discovered the cask had soaked up 64mL of rye.  What sort of second fill use would follow???  Stay tuned.  Two months from now D4P Whiskies may have something else in store...


  1. You might get a few more uses out of the barrel in the future. If you break it down into individual staves, scrap off the char, and toast the oak on the barbeque, you can then soak the wood in mason jars filled with whisky (or other liquor). It's a variation of Ralfy's method for improving shit whisky (Ralfy specifically used that word which is notable since he doesn't normally swear).

    1. I love that improving shit whisky video! We have an extended family member who loves making beer. He's currently using some whiskey-soaked oak to get a little barrel-aged character into one of his current batches.

      I'd consider breaking the barrel down because, as you'd mentioned, I could get more use out of the oak. I'm keeping that fun barrelhead though.

  2. Hey, Ralfy is catching up with you, see his review #386 1/2. You, trendsetter, you!

    1. I'm so 2014!

      Per Ralfy, "I love blowtorches almost as much as I love chainsaws." If I could mimic a decent Scottish accent I'd do a homage to that man.