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Let's compare two proper ryes - an American (95% rye, 5% malted barley) and a Canadian (100% rye). Why? Well...why not? Let's start with the US: Bulleit Rye.
The colour is a medium, reddish gold. On the nose you immediately get honey, vanilla and rye spice (caraway). Very fruity with green apple and pear, but also quite floral. The peppery oak is bracing. Herbal with mint and sage. Buttered rye toast. A drop of water brightens everything up - more floral now. Very complex and alluring!
Mouthwatering on the palate - dark caramel, soft vanilla and hard spice. A terrific combination of fruit and spice. Baked apples, raspberries and lightly burnt toast with honey. As with the nose, the flavours are brighter with some water. Very well structured.
The finish features even deeper apples and pears, black pepper and oak. This is truly spectacular, there is no comparison between this and their bourbon. In fact, the branding is the only thing they have in common, as this rye is distilled in Lawrenceburg, Indiana (whereas I believe the bourbon is distilled at Four Roses). Bursting with character and complexity, this is a must have, and an excellent example of American rye whiskey at its finest. It will take a lot for the Canadian to beat this...