Cream of Kentucky is bottled for J.W. Rutledge. If you are a bourbon connoisseur it is a name you should know as Jim Rutledge is the former Master Distiller of Four Roses bourbon. He earned the title of Master Distiller in 1994. Today, Jim along with friends Stephen Camisa and Jon Mowry are collaborating to build a modern, energy efficient and sustainable, mid-size distillery. Their goal is to remain free of corporate structuring, so they can, and will, listen to their friends and consumers regarding Bourbon and Rye Whiskey mashbills, whiskey ages, bottle strengths, single barrel and small batch renderings.
From the bottle, “Cream of Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey Bottled in Bond is a select 16 barrels aged 7.5 to 8 years and released as a single barrel rye whiskey. The Ryman rye grain is estate grown, and the whiskey is distilled, aged, and bottled by Kentucky Artisan Distillery in Crestwood Kentucky. Barrels range from a nose of red fruit/orange to orange/oak vanilla, a mid-palate ranging from vanilla and tropical fruit to crème brûlée with a spice note, a finishes from a lingering creamy mouth feel to lingering rye with hints of spearmint. Explore for yourself and enjoy the journey.”
Rye Review: Cream of Kentucky Single Barrel Bottled in Bond
ABV: 50% (100 Proof)
Age: 7.5 Years
Mash Bill: 100% Ryman Rye
Distillery: Kentucky Artisan Distillery
Location: Crestwood KY (USA)
The Nose: Heavy on rye spice the Cream of Kentucky subsequents pulls from the glass reveals caramel, nuts, oak and slight hint of vanilla.
The Taste: There is some sweetness once you get past the rye heavy flavor profile. There is a subtle brown sugar, oranges and a hint of plums on the initial sip. Subsequent sips brings the addition of earth, oak, and leather. Occasionally the rye sees some mint develop on the finish.
Conclusion: The high retail of $100 makes this one a difficult bottle to review. It brings into play the age old question, should price play a factor in a score. If I had bought this bottle I would think it was over-priced, but that doesn’t change the fact that the juice was enjoyable. Despite the high price tag I am eagerly looking forward to Jim Rutledge and friends open their own distillery. Having spent his career in the corporate world it seems that he is a bid jaded with the number crunchers and will be embracing traditional methods. Since this bottle was gifted to me at a Labor Day BBQ I hosted, the score does not reflect the price.