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Recently I've been able to get a couple bottles of American whiskeys down from Japan. One of them was KC Rye, which I've wanted to try for a long time. It’s generally considered a standard-issue rye, a good introduction to the style. A solid introductory rye was just what was missing in my cabinet. Before I venture too far into the world of rare, crafted, cask strength, connoisseur-type ryes, I might as well start off with the basics.
Nose: Grassy rye spice, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, sweet citrus, wet cedar, faint ginseng, and more rye. The herbal character keeps the nose from being too sweet. There’s a bit of a sting here, hinting at the respectable 50% abv.
Palate: Very smooth arrival. Creamy texture. Very solid rye flavours. Rye, grass, pine, earth, and damp wood, with cinnamon rounding it out. At no point does this become harsh, but it does have the quintessentially rye spicy tingle. Smooth.
Finish: Lingering rye spice, burnt caramel, mushrooms and charcoal, with wisps of spearmint just below the surface. Short to medium finish, but very pleasant.
I realize that this is very much a standard, mass produced, accessible rye whiskey in the States, but its exotic here in Taiwan. With so many rye whiskies out of reach, I’m not really in a position to compare and contrast them. However I can attest to the fact that this is good. For me; this is vastly superior to the standard KC. I find the standard KC decent and enjoyable, but it’s a bit syrupy for me. Apparently the Single Barrel is a strong presentation as well. Either way, the rye doesn't disappoint. I doubt it’s pushing any envelopes or adding anything new to the world of rye, but it comes off as an accessible, solid, rounded, and enjoyable whiskey.