2023 SFWSC Best Of Class Rye Whiskey Finalists

by The Tasting Alliance Team  |  05.24.2023

Bottles of the Rye Whiskey finalists of The Tasting Alliance San Francisco World Spirits Competition 2023

Best Rye Whiskey Finalist: Lock Stock & Barrel Vatted Straight Rye Whiskey

Lock Stock & Barrel’s rye whiskey is an exceptional amalgamation of meticulously chosen straight rye whiskies hailing from Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Indiana, and Alberta, matured for a span of 4-18 years, encapsulating a 9-year-old centerpiece. Crafted through an eloquent vatting process, it harmoniously marries these disparate spirits, yielding a rye whiskey of unparalleled depth and full-bodied complexity, eclipsing its singularly dimensional counterparts. Its luxurious flavor profile is adorned with notes of maple and toffee, a bold splash of mace and clove, undercurrents of tobacco, and the elusive aroma of dried fruits and rye spice. An elegant elixir for discerning palates, it is perfect to sip in solitude, or employed to enrich classic rye cocktails.

Best Rye Whiskey Finalist: WhistlePig The Boss Hog

The Boss Hog from WhistlePig signifies a vibrant chapter in whiskey lore, presenting a single-barrel, proof-bottled rhapsody of profound complexity. Its foundation is set upon their farm’s oldest Rye, further enhanced by a double sojourn in vessels erstwhile housing Greek fig nectar and homemade Tentura. This distinctive whiskey, christened ‘Siren’s Song,’ captivates the senses with mellifluous sweetness intertwined with exotic spice, akin to an enrapturing, mythological ballad. The nostrils are greeted by a symphony of orange blossom and dried fruit, gracefully surrendering to a palate defined by cinnamon and clove, segueing into a black cherry echo. Its outcome, a harmonious blend of fig jam and the quintessential rye spice leaves an unforgettable impression.

Best Rye Whiskey Finalist: Uncle Nearest Barrel Rye Whiskey – Batch 002

Uncle Nearest’s Straight Rye Whiskey serves an exquisite earthy bouquet, accented by tobacco, dried fruits, maple, and a whisper of cinnamon. This illustrious spirit, borne of Nathan “Nearest” Green’s storied legacy, takes root in a 100% rye mash bill, refined in Uncle Nearest casks and presented at 100 proof. The palate brims with spice balanced against dry fruit, culminating in a luxuriously peppery, enduring finish. This composition, guided by the fifth-generation Master Blender Victoria Eady Butler, exemplifies a harmonious marriage of depth and smoothness, forging an unforgettable libation experience.

An elegant bottle of Buzzard's Roost Straight Rye Whiskey in front of a plain white background

Best Rye Whiskey Finalist: Buzzard’s Roost Straight Rye Whiskey

Emerging from Indiana, Buzzard’s Roost Straight Rye Whiskey is the epitome of superior craftsmanship, composed of only the choicest ingredients. This remarkable libation, chosen for its unique flavor character, is subjected to a meticulous distillation process, resulting in a robust yet smooth taste. Its rich personality resonates with a boldness that is subtly nuanced, comparable to an elegantly interwoven fusion of distinctive whiskies, echoing an experience that is unforgettable in its elegance.

An elegant bottle of ANNX Spirits Co. Collection Rye Whiskey in front of a plain white background

Best Rye Whiskey Finalist: ANNX Spirits Co. Collection Rye Whiskey

Curated by the discerning palate of James Beard award-winning Chef Celina Tio, the ANNX Spirits Co. Collection Rye Whiskey is an extraordinary fusion of 5 and 6-year-old whiskeys. It presents an intricate tapestry of flavors, with vanilla, earth, and sarsaparilla notes underpinned by cinnamon, nutmeg, and sweet baking spices. This unique assemblage of single barrels manifests a cornucopia of flavorful possibilities, comparable to a masterful blend of distinctive whiskies, yielding an unforgettably sublime experience.

An elegant of Stellum Fibonacci Rye #1 in front of a plain white background

Best Rye Whiskey Finalist: Stellum Fibonacci Rye #1

Stellum’s Fibonacci Rye #1, a masterstroke in the world of whiskey, harmoniously melds six distinctive rye whiskeys, each escalating upon its predecessor, echoing the rhythm of the Fibonacci sequence. Bottled at 115.12 proof, this convoluted straight rye marries whiskeys aged over 4 years, engendering a riveting spice medley of peppercorn, earthy rye, and sweet cinnamon. These play out against a backdrop of leather, oak, baked fruits, and the distinctive warmth of rye, rendering an inimitably complex and unforgettably suave libation.

An elegant bottle of Lost Lantern 2023 Single Cask 4 Corbin Cash California Straight Rye Whiskey in front of a plain white background

Best Rye Whiskey Finalist: Lost Lantern 2023 Single Cask #4: Corbin Cash California

With over a century of agrarian expertise, the Souza family presents Corbin Cash Distillery’s rye whiskey, a testament to the bountiful Central Valley. Distilled from 100% estate-grown Merced rye and aged in deeply charred new oak for 7 years under the valley’s blazing sun, it yields an exceptional libation. It unfolds with minty freshness, accented by sweet chocolate and delicate oak nuances, culminating in a reminiscence of mint chocolate chip ice cream—a vivacious and robust whiskey of extraordinary pedigree.

An elegant bottle of Invergordon 18 Year Highland Single Grain Whisky in front of a plain white background

Best Distillers’ Single Malt Scotch Up to 12 Years Finalist: Balblair 12-Year-Old Single Malt Scotch

Behold, the Invergordon 18-Year Highland Single Grain Whisky, a mesmerizing spectacle of mature refinement. Distilled in the lush spring of 1997 and gracefully aged in a refill barrel, it was eventually uncasked in the vibrant month of May 2016. Courtesy of the revered Douglas Laing, it’s an integral part of the distinguished Old Particular series. The tasting experience? A lavish dance of sweet crunched sugar, subtly interwoven with the most delicate wisp of spices—a truly exquisite libation.

An elegant bottle of Sagamore Spirit 8 Year Rye in front of a plain white background

Best Rye Whiskey Finalist: Sagamore Spirit 8-Year-Old Rye Whiskey

Sagamore Spirit unveils its Spring 2023 Reserve Series: an extraordinary 8-Year-Old Straight Rye Whiskey, eloquently matured in charred American white oak casks. This singular blend entwines a symphony of sophisticated notes: dried cherries, clove, and smoked vanilla hint at a profound sensory journey. A palate steeped in audacious charm unveils candied ginger and sweet orange, harmoniously dovetailing with molasses and nut brittle. This rye whiskey embodies a flawless interplay of sweetness and spice, an unforgettable libation.

Best Rye Whiskey Finalist: Barber Lee Batch 35 Single Malt

Behold a uniquely American whiskey, luxuriously rich and tantalizingly spicy. It teases the senses with rye bread and baking spice, embellished with a sweet overture of maple and faint vanilla. Matured in heavily-charred American oak casks, it’s a sensorial delight. This distiller dares to craft ‘single malt rye whiskey’ – a painstaking venture seldom seen. A compelling distillation of malted rye, it weaves together a bold and distinctive symphony, celebrating the unity of grain, place, and masterful craft. An audacious and singular whiskey experience.

An elegant bottle of Ron Colón Salvadoreño 100 Proof Rye Whiskey in front of a plain white background

Best Rye Whiskey Finalist: Ron Colón Salvadoreño 100 Proof Rye Whiskey

Colón Salvadoreño, renowned for rum, presents the Rye 100, a captivating rye whiskey sourced from esteemed MGP producers. This expression, a triune blend of three unique mash bills, whispers enticing notes of chocolate, apple, fruit, sweetness, mint, spice, and florals, reflecting its diversified lineage: high-malt, 51% rye, and 100% rye. Each component whiskey, maturing for five years in charred oak casks, contributes to this harmonious fusion, bottled at 100 proof. Truly a symphony of rye, it’s an exquisitely crafted libation.

An elegant bottle of Templeton 10 Year Rye Whiskey in front of a plain white background

Best Rye Whiskey Finalist: Templeton 10-year-old Rye Whiskey

Matured for an entire decade in new American oak charred to perfection, Templeton unveils a single barrel 10-Year Rye. Each bottle encapsulates a finely curated selection, limited in production, yet boundless in richness. A whisky of distinguished refinement, Templeton 10-Year Rye is the exclusive choice for connoisseurs yearning for supreme quality, a resplendent offering for life’s remarkable celebrations.

An elegant bottle of Bronze Bull Spirit Rye Whiskey in front of a plain white background

Best Rye Whiskey Finalist: Liberty & Plenty Distillery Bronze Bull Spirit Rye Whiskey

Bronze Bull unveils their pioneering Rye Whiskey, an exclusive release of 1100 bottles, meticulously sourced from a 4 and 5-year-old aged Indiana Rye Whiskey mash bill. Masterfully blended by hand in North Carolina, these selected barrels undergo slow proofing, further maturing for five months in Spanish Pedro Ximénez casks. This finishing touch amplifies deep spice, chocolate, and dark fruit notes, creating a libation of compelling character and elevated palate experience.

An elegant bottle of Rare Character Single Barrel Jaqueira Cask Finished Rye in front of a plain white background

Best Rye Whiskey Finalist: Rare Character Whiskey Single Barrel Jaqueira Cask Finished Rye

Venturing into the exotic, Rare Character unveils its Native Wood Series, innovatively finished in Jaqueira, a Brazilian wood usually gracing cachaça. The Series enlivens the American whiskey realm with a dash of audacious novelty. Their inaugural Jaqueira Cask Finish, a potential first-of-its-kind rye whiskey, offers an odyssey of flavors. A subtle fruity aroma dances with a woody hint reminiscent of Bourbon, while vanilla, green fruit, and baking spices grace the palate, mellowing the rye’s intensity. An unusually refreshing finish completes this 113.3 proof libation