J. Rieger & Co. has released their 2023 Bottled-in-Bond straight rye whiskey, and for rye traditionalists, this rye will hit just right.
When I was given the opportunity to sample and review the newest bottled-in-bond rye from J. Reiger & Co. I jumped at the opportunity. Their whiskeys don’t really make it to my market, and I’ve heard a lot of good things about them.
Rieger is an old and established brand that has been through quite a bit in their history. Founded in 1887 in Kansas City, they once offered over 100 products but became a prohibition casualty like so many distilleries of that time.
The distillery was fired up once again in 2014 by Andy Rieger, great-grandson of founder Jacob, and partner Ryan Maybee, taking up residence in Kansas City’s East Bottoms neighborhood, just a few short miles from the original distillery’s location.
The 2023 bottled-in-bond rye is the result of a collaboration with Rieger master distiller Nathan Perry and the legendary Dave Pickerell, who was Perry’s mentor.
From the J. Rieger & Co. press release:
"Our Straight Rye Whiskey Bottled in Bond is held to rigorous standards. We use only the finest grains available to create the 96% rye, 4% barley mash bill. We then age it for six years in our historic Kansas City rickhouse, resulting in an exemplary whiskey with complex aromas and rich flavors. It’s a delicious rye for you to enjoy and a fitting tribute to our friend Dave."
Here are reviews and tasting notes for this offering
Rieger’s Bottled-in-Bond Straight Rye Whiskey Description
Mash bill: Rye 96%, Barley 4%
ABV: 50 %
Color: Deep chestnut
Age: 6 years
Bottle Size: 750 ml
Private Barrels Available: NA
Rieger’s Bottled in Bond Straight Rye Tasting Notes
Nose: The nose begins with a subtle sweetness leading right into some earthy notes of grass, pine sap, and rye spice. Taking a deeper sniff reveals a delightful citrus note similar to when you flash an orange rind. It’s not a particularly rye-forward nose, which may surprise some.
Palate: As you might expect with a straight rye of this mash bill, the rye spice jumps right to the front of the palate, something that true rye lovers will be happy with. Right after that, you begin to get some honey and cinnamon, and just a touch of toasted wood. Rieger’s tasting notes specified cedar, but it’s more just a woody flavor to me. Letting a sip sit on your tongue for a few moments will give you some fruits, mostly consisting of orange and cherry. Overall the mouthfeel could be considered silky, but not really oily.
Finish: The finish is slightly on the short side but does have some interesting notes, starting with some eucalyptus and green tea, with a touch of citrus zest.
Conclusions: This is a strong pour, with a lot to like, especially at a budget price. It’s perfectly good drinking it straight, and it’s hard to imagine this wouldn’t make a good cocktail as well. While the finish could be better, overall it would be easy to recommend this bottle to someone who leaned toward the rye side of whiskey.