Wednesday, 19 May 2021 04:44

MB Roland Kentucky Straight Rye American Whiskey Featured

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If you haven’t tried a Rye Whiskey yet, here’s what to expect from this bold spirit from MB Roland Distillery Taken from the official website:

Let’s start off with the basics of Rye Whiskey. Much like our bourbon, Rye Whiskey has to adhere to some legal guidelines:

  • The “Mash” has to be made up of at least 51% rye grain
  • The initial content can’t be any higher than 160 proof (roughly 80 percent alcohol)
  • Must be aged in a new charred barrel

Rye is known for its peppery bite and spicy flavor. In contrast to bourbon, you could say the difference is like having a slice of rye bread or a piece of cornbread.

At MB Roland, our rye whiskey is created in the style of the Pre-Prohibition era spirit; uncut, unfiltered and bottled at distillation and barrel proof.

It’s a full-bodied and barrel proof spirit, with notes of mint, pepper, spices, and brown sugar. Each batch is a combination of 5-10 barrels, hand-labeled and numbered, and individually proofed.

Review 129 20th May 2021

This review comes thanks to Brian of @MaltMusings if you haven't checked out his whisky blog, please do so by following this link.

Brian and I did a dram swap, he was kind enough to have sent two American whiskies, the Wilderness Trail that we reviewed recently and this the MB Roland Kentucky Straight Rye.
Distribution in the UK is limited to a couple of retailers, you can find it available on MoM for £69.95 or The Little Whisky Shop a little cheaper for £68.50.

It is a batch bottled whisky, usually as the distillery point out on the provided lin k, from 5-10 barrels at a time, it is cask strength which can vary from this edition of 52% up to 57.5% ABV. No mention on the MB Roland website about the age of this whisky, however, various retailers state it is 2 year old.

Being a Kentucky Straight Rye, it is natural colour and non chill filtered. It achieves a value score of 88.69 out of 100, given this quite a recent distillery (founded in 2009) and with limited availability in the UK, the value score is pretty good, it is helped by its natural presentation.

This has quite a decent Rye content in the mash bill which suggests it is going to be quite spicy and peppery with some liquorice and cardamon notes. The mash bill can be found below in the additional information. Onto the tasting.

On the nose, it oaky with some nutty notes and predictably Maple, which we always seem to pick up in American Whiskey. There is some notes of cardamon and brown sugars appearing with a spice kick hanging around. The alcohol doesn't seem to hot even at this strength and youthfulness.

On the palate, the spice is there and slapping you around a bit, however, not as spicy as a Talisker or the James Eadie Caol Ila we reviewed not long ago. It is also sweet, coming from the corn content. There are traditional bourbon notes here with vanilla, caramel and oak. 

With water, more oak appears on the nose and on the palate there are more green notes and the mint or menthol notes start to pop out giving a refreshment to the mouth.

This rye doesn't seem to have the aggressive liquorice or cardamon notes that you would typically experience with a high rye content whiskey, they are there, but do not dominate. This is a decent example of a craft rye whiskey. For our mind it sits halfway between a Bourbon and Rye whiskey. If you are looking to try a American Rye whisky after trying Bourbon, you can't go too wrong with this one.

For an overall score we give MB Roland Kentucky Straight Rye 86 out of 100.






Additional Info

  • Country: USA
  • Region: Kentucky
  • Age Statement: 2 Year Old
  • Chill Filtered: Non Chill Filtered (NCF)
  • Colour Status: Natural Colour
  • ABV: 52%
  • Cask Strength: Yes
  • Peated / Smoke: Unpeated
  • Cask Finish / Maturation: American Oak
  • Single Cask: No
  • Mash Bill: Rye, Corn, Barley
  • Bottle Sizes: 750ml
  • Bottler: Distillery Bottling
  • Whisky Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Average Price (or RRP): £69.25
  • Value Score: 88.69
  • Our Score: 86
  • Ownership: Independent
  • Bottle Stopper: Natural Cork
  • Brand: MB Roland
  • Packaging: No Packaging
  • Category: Rye
  • Corn: 27%
  • Rye: 68%
  • Barley: 5%
Read 283 times Last modified on Thursday, 20 May 2021 15:50

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