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Pikesville 6 Year Old 110 Proof Straight Rye

Last Train to Pikesville

4 695

@talexanderReview by @talexander

4th Jan 2017


  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

Recently resurrected by Heaven Hill, Pikesville is a brand of of straight rye that was first distilled in the 1890s. The style is of the "Maryland" style, which is softer than the more ubiquitous "Pennsylvania" style of American rye on the shelves today. This bottle has been open for some months, and this is the very last dram left.

The colour is a dark reddish copper. On the nose I get freshly ground coffee, dark caramel, candy floss, bubble gum, cumin, dark chocolate and date squares. Extremely complex. Lots of rye spice, but not overpowering at all. Doesn't need water, but if you add it you will get sawdust and black liquorice. Old-fashioned in the best way possible.

On the palate the spice is much hotter, with charred oak, thick honey and cloves. Mouth-coating. All is balanced by a candied sweetness on the back palate. A bit spicier with water. Brilliant.

The finish is dry and dusty with buttered rye toast, baking spices and a gentle sweetness right at the end. This is the very last drop of the second bottle I have owned; I am only getting to reviewing it now because I loved drinking it so much (and they seem to be fading from LCBO shelves now - don't worry, I have another bottle on the way!) This is as great an American rye whiskey as you can imagine - it not only ticks off all the right boxes, it flies right off the page. It has had nothing but accolades, winning World's Best Rye at the 2016 World Whiskies Awards, and winning Rye of the Year and #2 World Whisky of the Year from Jim Murray (who scores it a 97.5) - and this liquid deserves it all.

Related Pikesville reviews


Victor commented

@talexander, while the 6 yo 55% Pikesville has been resurrected, the 3 yo 40% Pikesville which we in Maryland have been drinking for 50+ years is now being discontinued. When current stocks are sold, that is all she wrote. Lots of locals around this region miss their reliable very inexpensive rye. Current price for it in my county is $ 14.16, including the tax. Five years ago it cost $ 9.17 here. But those are good prices compared to everywhere else.

It was really late in the game, 1974 I believe, when Heaven Hill bought out the Pikesville brand and moved its distillation to Kentucky. Pikesville had limped along after Prohibition ended despite big declines in the US in the popularity of spirits that had any flavour in them.

Nice review, and I am happy that you enjoy the Pikesville.

5 years ago 0

jeanluc commented

I love the 6 Year Old 110 Proof and always pick up a bottle when it's available here in the UK. Super whiskey exclamation

5 years ago 0

paddockjudge commented

@talexander, butter, honey, and rye toast. This whiskey is magical. Nice review

5 years ago 0

MuddyFunster commented

Wow. going to have to try this. It's about £70 in the UK though.

5 years ago 0

Victor commented

@MuddyFunster, since you are one who acknowledges a close rapport with Jim Murray's taste, I am astounded that you have not tried Pikesville 6 yo Rye already. He doesn't give out many 97.5 scores, which is the highest score he has ever awarded.

Pikesville 55% 6 yo goes a rather different direction from every other rye I know. It is buttery, thick, CANDIED, like American candied sweet potatoes, and has a different sort of spicing from other rye whiskeys.

Taste is so individual here. It is extremely interesting to me to see who likes Pikesville 6 yo best. My own taste differs strongly from you folks, many of you who are good friends of mine. I like the Pikesville 6 yo, but I would always prefer to drink Thomas Handy or a Willett Family Estate Rye of any age.

5 years ago 1Who liked this?

paddockjudge commented


After completing my first dram of Pikesville 6 YO Rye, I wanted another and then a third. That is the telltale sign for me. This one is thick with buttery goodness.

5 years ago 0

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