Pikesville Rye

My Favorite Whiskies of 2015

Spirits-based websites and blogs generally post a Top 10 list or Holiday Gift Guide at the end of the year.   I did the same in 2014, but this year I’m changing things up a bit.  Reflecting back on the past year, I came up with a listing of whiskies that I not only thoroughly enjoyed, but ones that I found were memorable.  These cover both American and Scotch whiskies, regular offerings and limited editions.

Except for the top spot, these are listed in no particular order.

The year is not over yet.  I’ve got some potentially incredible whiskies waiting to be tasted.  Who knows if they’ll make this humble blogger’s list of favorite whiskies of 2016.  Until then, Sláinte!

What’s the best whiskey you’ve tasted this year?



Pikesville Rye Whiskey Review

Pikesville Rye

Pikesville Rye Whiskey is one of Heaven Hill Brands’ latest additions to their whiskey portfolio.  The name Pikesville Rye dates back to the late 1800s.  It survived several ownerships, finally landing under Heaven Hill in the early 1980s.  Pikesville Rye was and still is produced as an 80 proof, 3-year-old rye whiskey distributed in Maryland, where the brand originated.  With rye whiskey’s ever-growing popularity, Heaven Hill decided to expand into the super-premium rye whiskey category.  Using the history and heritage of the Pikesville Rye brand, Heaven Hill reimagined the whiskey as a six year, 110 proof rye whiskey.  It joins Rittenhouse Rye as their other rye whiskey.  It’s two years older and 10 proof points higher than Rittenhouse.

The nose here is sweet and spicy, with brown sugar, caramel, and rye spice.  There’s a nice undercurrent of mild banana and fresh mint.  Full bodied, Pikesville Rye has a spicy entry.  Sweet rye, cinnamon and caramel dominate the palate.  Just past orange honey and oak notes linger.  The finish is warm and long, bittersweet and spicy.

All in all, Pikesville Rye is a nice step-up from the younger Rittenhouse.  If forced to choose a sipper between the two, I would go with Pikesville over Rittenhouse nine times out of ten.  It’s got more body and a bigger bite.  Best of all, it’s reasonably priced at $49.99 for a 750ml bottle.

(Note: A review sample was provided by Heaven Hill Brands.)