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Journeyman Ravenswood Rye

Young Wheat-Damaged Rye

0 084

@VictorReview by @Victor

20th Jan 2016

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  • Nose
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  • Taste
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  • Finish
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  • Balance
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  • Overall
    84

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Journeyman Distillery is located in Three Oaks, Michigan. Ravenswood Rye is a no age statement whiskey which uses only rye and wheat grains in its mashbill, in undisclosed percentages. It is aged in 15 gallon barrels. The reviewed bottle has been open for 6 months, is 3/4 full, and is from Barrel # 110, barreled on 2-7-2014

Nose: a lot of plum and currant fruitiness presents from the rye grain; ample spice is present from both rye and wood. Yes, I can also smell that cross-current which is wheat whenever you add it to a rye spirit. In the case of this nose the wheat does not generate a serious clash with rye, but it does cancel out some of the better flavours from the rye grain, while adding something pleasant enough, but less interesting than the pure rye would have been by itself. A decent nose. Water added emphasises the fruit and de-emphasises the wood flavours. Score: 21/25

Taste: very strong, vivid, and rather delicious flavours in the mouth which echo all of the comments about the nose. This is decent with wheat in the mashbill but it would have been even better without it. Water added emphasises the clash between wheat and rye flavours. Score: 21.5/25

Finish: medium length, with a slow uniform fade. With water the grain clash continues. The flavours become sharp and citrusy. Forget the water with this barrel. Score: 21/25

Balance: wheat and rye CAN sometimes work very well together, but they usually don't. Score: 21/25

Total Sequential Score: 84.5 points

Strength: ok strength on the nose; very good strength thereafter. Score: 22/25

Quality: taken alone, the quality of all of the flavours is very good. Score: 22/25

Variety: very good range of flavours throughout. Score: 22/25

Harmony: wheat ruins the rye flavours in Barrel # 110. Score: 18/25

Total Non-Sequential Score: 84 points

Comment: this is young whiskey, aged probably somewhere between 12 and 18 months. The young age does not prevent this from having a lot of appeal and an adequate contribution from wood. I just don't like the usual effects of mixing wheat and rye grains together. Those effects are exhibited in Barrel # 110 and detract from what this very nice whiskey could be. This is why 99% of bourbon is made with either rye grain or wheat grain, but not with both of these grains together. Wheat makes great whiskey alone. Rye makes great whiskey alone. Corn and barley can't compete or interfere with either of them when combined with either wheat or rye. The big bourbon makers know that wheat and rye clash with each other. Experimental and new start-up distilleries seem to have to learn this lesson over and over again for themselves

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