For today’s review I was preparing to snarkily opine about yet another US company (a Californian winery, in today’s case) sourcing a good whisky from somewhere else, bottling it themselves and slapping some historical figure’s name from the 1800’s on their label and charging a horse’s hind end load for it. It would be a bit too easy. However, as it turns out, today’s Masterson’s 10 Year Old Straight Rye is named after William “Bat” Masterson, and Bat was born in America’s Hat, otherwise known as Canada. I had no idea. I thought he was a bona fides American West hero, shooting outlaws with Wyatt Earp and hunting Buffalo. This changes everything. Everything.
While 35 Maple Street Spirits sources this 10 year old rye from Canada, the grain is grown in the Pacific Northwest, freighted to Alberta Distillers up in Calgary to be distilled and is then promptly aged for 10 Canadian winters in white oak. For good American measure it is then freighted back to be bottled here in the States. So there is that, which is nice. But it would be criminal for me to consider this anything other than a Canadian Rye whiskey, and that is how we will categorize it, caballero. Bottled at 45% ABV, this 100% rye will run you around $80, give or take. On to it….
Nose- Green apple with citrus. Flowery with rye everywhere, as you might have astutely guessed. Perfumed grass. Detergent. Fruity PineSol. Lemon with sweet pipe tobacco. Pie crust and grapefruit.
Taste- Rye forward. Grapefruit. Black pepper. Nice mouthfeel.
Finish- Black pepper with vegetal funk. Musty cinnamon with fruit burst. Mint. Old car interior.
Comment- Quite drinkable. Best enjoyed when you spend some time to tease out the complexities. Perhaps not worth the incredible price, but good enough. Recommended.
SWC Rating- 84/100
Agree? Disagree? Come at me, eh?