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Reservoir Rye

Impressive Craft Rye

3 789

@MuddyFunsterReview by @MuddyFunster

15th Dec 2017


  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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Distribution of ratings for this: user

  • Brand: Reservoir
  • ABV: 50%
  • Batch: 2016 Batch 7

So Reservoir is distilled in Virginia, by a guy called Dave Cuttino, using a pot still designed for Armagnac. Like many non-Kentucky craft whiskeys it's aged in smaller barrels. In this case with a heavy alligator char.

This is 100% rye.

Colour on this rye is very dark. Deep rusty red.

Nose is probably the most enjoyable aspect of this whiskey. Candy sugar, black pepper, deep rich caramels, toffee, red fruits, little herbal, spice, oak, cinnamon, five spice. The candy sugar sweetness reminds me of the current Bulleit, which I love. Nose has deeper caramel elements I would associate with a rye bourbon.

However, on the taste it's big spicy, peppery rye, with herbal, oak, and astringent wood notes, and red fruits. Fruit, spice and oak wood, barrel char, with the caramels and sugars taking a bit more of a back seat, but slowly seeping through. Big and flavourful and nicely balanced.

Finish is peppery spice.

This is a really nicely distinctive rye, with a unique flavour profile. Definitely one of the better non-Kentucky ryes I've had.


Victor commented

@MuddyFunster, I am delighted to see you reviewing Reservoir Rye.

I had my first samples of Reservoir Rye about 3 years ago and was crazy about it. Like 94 points crazy. I never bought a bottle because it is relatively expensive where I live, about $ 103 including the tax. I had another sample about 9 months ago which did not impress me at all favourably. A different batch I assume. I am delighted that you've had a very good experience with it.

The Reservoir Distillery is located in Richmond, Virginia, 100 miles south of Washington, D.C. and which had been the capital of the Confederacy during the American Civil War. Reservoir also makes a 100% Wheat Whiskey and a 100% Corn Whiskey, the latter of which they insist on calling and labeling a "bourbon". My understanding of US Federal liquor laws is that the laws require that any whiskey with 80% or more corn content, other than a "Tennessee whiskey", be called a corn whiskey.

4 years ago 1Who liked this?

MuddyFunster commented

I've had the 100% corn and wheat too. Think the rye is my favourite. I'm still sipping this and wondering if if underscored it by a few points!

Interesting on the bourbon issue. I suppose 'Corn Whiskey' maybe has cheaper connotations although Balcones changing that. I like the fact Reservoir do these 100% whiskies as it's interesting to explore the grains individually.

4 years ago 0

Victor commented

You can revise your score if you want to.

When I tasted the rye I also tasted the other two as well. The rye was by far my favourite.

For sure studying the grain flavours is a very educational endeavor. There is a great range of flavours available there. @MuddyFunster you would probably enjoy some of Darek Bell's creations over there at Corsair. Stuff like Buck Yeah! and their awesome Quinoa Whiskey which the world has still not discovered 4 years later (after I discovered it for myself). Koval in Chicago does a lot with Spelt, Millet, and Oats. I love Oat whiskeys. Even the new-make oat spirit is sweet, for some reason, probably unfermented residual sugars.

4 years ago 0

Robert99 commented

@Victor I have a bottle of Koval Oat and I find it too young with a big plastic taste. I would not recommand it although it is true that it has a unique sweetness to it.

4 years ago 0

Victor commented

@Robert99, did I try your Koval Oat whiskey? That was the lightly aged Koval Lion's Pride Oat whiskey, wasn't it? @Maddie had a bottle of the unaged Koval Oat whiskey which tasted great at first but which went terribly off when it took a year's worth of air. My favourite Oat Whiskey is the High West Silver Whiskey Western Oat. Their standarad is sold at 40% and because of its dilution is mostly cocktail fare. I was given a large sample once of the unaged High West Western Oat at its undiluted 62.5% ABV. Wow! Just loved it. Huge Oaty flavours.

4 years ago 0

Robert99 commented

@Victor No you didn't. This Koval Oat is a recent acquisition. I still find that there is some lovely oat flavors to it but the plastic flavor ruins everything. You wrote before about the sample from High West and that was one of the reasons why I was curious totaste the Koval Oat. Another reason was that I liked the Koval Spelt that I tasted with you.

You are also talking about the Corsair Buck Yeah, we didn't have the Buck Yeah at our last Epic tasting in Toronto, but we had the Eddu Silver Broceliande also made of Buckwheat and it was a hit. This one is a single grain, is the Buck Yeah a single grain to?

4 years ago 0

Victor commented

@Robert99, single grain? Made at only one distillery and entirely composed of grains other than malted barley? No, Buck Yeah! is 1/3 buckwheat and 2.3rds malted barley. But if you describe yours as "single grain" that tells me only that it was made at one distillery and has no malted barley in it. It tells me nothing at all about which grains are in it, or in what amounts.

4 years ago 0

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