Old Potrero Single Malt Rye 45% abv
Essay 10-SRW-ARM1 No Age Statement
Color: rich amber
Nose: warm sweet malt with a prickly herbal note that smells a lot like hops. The initial impression is warm buttered honeyed beer. Maybe Anchor Steam Ale in particular, or is that just my imagination?
There's a richness to the nose that is seductive. It smells like buttered hot corn in toffee caramel with some nice hopsy ale.
Entry is smooth and dazzlingly sweet. There is an immediate peppery explosion that dazzles the tongue like a densely carbonated beverage. Then a ton of herbal flavors: cilantro, caraway, and hops absolutely dominate the palate. The transition to the finish is marked by deep toffee sweetness and a dank quality like humid paper, parchment... old skins. Fade out is long and slow with a bitter herbal note (I swear it is hops) hanging on for minutes... just like Anchor Porter. Did they seek to make a whiskey that tastes like high end beer? Am I just making it up - suggested by the "Anchor"name in the middle of the label? Repeated drinking sessions show that this herbal hops note is really, honestly there.
So is this good? It's certainly different. Rye is usually a minority player because of it's spicy herbal nature. That nature is on full display here. Rich and sweet with a powerful and aggressive spicy aspect and tons of pungent bitter herbs. I say it again: cilantro, caraway, and hops. It's strong meat.
**** (** if it's not your thing, ***** if it is. I give it four because each time I drink it I'm impressed. However, I often find myself choosing not to drink it.)