Pinhook Rye Whiskey Lot 001 Review

Lately and increasingly, my whiskey buying experiences look like this:

Walk into store; stand in bourbon aisle with arms crossed; take about 20 iPhone photos of bottles I don't recognize until the manager starts giving me weird looks; select bottle; pay too much; get home; drink; be disappointed.

About 10% of the time, however, the sequence works in my favor. Every now and then, I pay a fair price for a bottle that surprises me with its sophistication, maturity, and yummyness. Pinhook Rye Lot 001, confusingly named "Bourbon N Rye" after a horse, was my find of the month. ("Bourbon N Rye" is not a bourbon and rye blend like Wild Turkey Forgiven or High West Bourye)...it's just rye.

A few important notes: 1) I found Pinhook Rye for $33 at Beach Liquors in Destin, FL. I saw it in DC for $45 and New York City for $58 and passed. Part of my positivity flows from the low price.

2) Pinhook Rye is 2-year-old MGP rye whiskey (the same 95% rye, 5% malted barley recipe that I wrote about here). The producers, who blended it at the Castle & Key distillery, are completely transparent about that fact, but a new whiskey drinker may not realize it while standing in the bourbon / rye aisle with his arms crossed. There are plenty of other young MGP ryes available in the $30-$40 range.

3) Finally, "pinhook" is the term used to describe the act of buying a yearling horse for a low price, breaking/training the horse, and re-selling it for a profit. What a great, ironic name for a whiskey in this era of whiskey flipping.

Here are some quick tasting notes for the 93.5 proof Pinhook Rye Lot 001, a.k.a "Bourbon N Rye!"  Cheers!

Color: Light, translucent honey.

Nose: Lemonheads! Sugary lemon gives way to toasted oak and subtle cereal grain. Gentle, but nice.

Tasting Notes: The flavors follow the aromas. I get a heap of the bright, citrusy note prevalent on the nose, a spoonful of sweet cream, a touch of dry tobacco leaf, and a pinch of barrel char.

Overall: A-. A very solid, young rye. I'll compare it to Willet's 2-year-old rye, but I think it's even better.

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