20070614

There's always another contender

Right after I had submitted a story on the rye whisky rebound to the English magazine Whisky, something happened that totally changed my mind on which was the best. I had a birthday.

Not a remarkable occurrence in itself, since it seems to happen about once a year or so. The difference this year was that my wife surprised me with a bottle of an elusive distillation, Black Maple Hill 23-year-old Straight Rye Whiskey.

It is, without doubt, the finest rye I've ever experienced. From a Bardstown, KY, distiller, owned by CVI Brands of San Rafael, CA, this hand-barreled gem comes in at 95 proof. It is like the perfect woman: stunning at first, then surprising in depth and allure. My gift-giving wife didn't even object to this sexist description, that's how good the rye is.

I immediately dashed off a "Stop the presses!" e-mail to the magazine editor, along with an insert for the story and an addition for the tasting notes accompanying it. For an advance look at those tastings notes, go here.

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1 comment:

Paul said...

I couldn't agree more. Last fall a panel and I tasted our way through 18 ryes for a story I was writing for Imbibe magazine, and the BMH 23 year was one of the last ones we tried. It immediately blew everything else away -- even the Thomas Handy that some of us were still swooning over. (Longer notes on each of the ryes start over here.)

My favorite aspect of the BMH23 (and the 18 year, for that matter) is the finish -- lasts for miles, and that lingering touch of fruit and brown sugar almost makes you weep.

Which reminds me, I've got a birthday coming up...