View Full Version : Old Potrero
Have any of you guys consumed any of this stuff? I just can't bring myself to pop off $80 on a gamble, though I've been told it's quite excellent.
I had a sample about four years ago, when it first came out. It was extremely aromatic, a nose that just went on and one, though at 124 proof you had to be careful whiffing the stuff. It's very light in color, being young and all, and it has some of the whambangslash of new make about it, but it's quite an experience. If there's any way at all to try it before you buy it, do so, and remember, you're paying for the experience, not merely water/alcohol/flavor.
Hirsch Reserve 16 YO: Real Pennsylvania Bourbon
Thanks to the generosity of Eugene resident Ryan Stoltz, I have tasted it. He brought along a sample to a beer tasting and took me aside to pour a generous slug.
The whiskey is extremely alcoholic, and to my taste, suffers considerably from its youth.
What was intriguing, however, was how obvious the rye was. In other whiskeys, rye can be recognized by its, what, spiciness? But this whiskey *TASTED* like rye. I mean, I could taste the grain as though someone had passed the whiskey through a loaf of pumpernickel.
I am under the impression that OP is made from 100% malted rye, yes? and that most distillers use unmalted rye. Could very well be that the malting process has made a significant contribution to flavor, if this is true. Certainly, the difference in flavor between malted and unmalted wheat is very obvious in certain beers -- I would expect a similar difference even after distillation.
Here's my notes from the master tasting log spreadsheet I keep. Because of space limitations, the notes are quite brief.
Old Potrero 1YO Anchor Distilling United States NOTES: Very spicy and slightly bitter some sweetness and malty / grassy, very pronounced rye brittleness like chewing on the grain. Medium to long finish sweet and dry like spiced white wine; OTHER: Rye whiskey (62«v) Essay 4-RW-ARM-1-A.
It's my understanding that there have been several "Essays" of this now out in the marketplace, but I believe that they are all 13 months of age. Rumor has it that Fritz has some of the original casks from each run stashed away and will release various ages in forthcoming years.
Although strictly verboten to discuss in this forum, IMHO the Junipero also produced by Anchor Distilling is one of the best examples of its ilk in the world.
My recollection also is that it is 100% rye, though not necessarily 100% malted rye. It may be, I just don't recall. If it is, it is not only the sole all-rye whiskey made in America, it is also the sole all-malt whiskey made here.
That's not exactly true. The Clear Creek distillery in Oregon makes "McCarthy's" modestly named for the owner, Steve McCarthy. It is a three-year old single malt whiskey made in the peated scotch style. I have heard of at least one other single malt produced in the Pacific Northwest, but have no details.
WRT Old Potrero, it is indeed 100% Malted Rye. The only other 100% rye whisky of which I am aware is a product of the Alberta Distillery in Canada. I've still not tracked that down yet. This is supposedly a true 100% rye Canadian Whisky, not just the generic use of the term rye = Canadian.
I stand corrected and do recall the existence of Clear Creek now that you mention it. Does anyone know if it's available in Chicago? My focus is primarily on Kentucky and Tennessee so I forget that some of the brandy distillers in the west have started to experiment with whiskey.
As for the Canadian Rye, I haven't seen it before, but such a product is long overdue. The Canadians distill a lot of rye for their blends, but rarely sell straight whiskey of any kind and, in that, they probably are missing an opportunity.
You are correct sir! Here's the entire universe of Canadian Straight Whisky of which I am aware. Bush Pilot's Private Reserve 13YO, Hirsch Canadian 12YO. Both are outstanding examples of a light, but characterful whisky. Neither have much rye character though. At this age, you get much more of the vanilla from the cask than you normally get in a CW. I saw an unaged whisky the other day called Wiser's, which proclaims it to be a "Canadian Rye Whisky" on the label. It's very cheap, $7.99, so I passed on it. Does anyone know anything about this whisky from the Walkerville, Ontario (Canadian Club in Windsor, Ont.) distillery? I've thought that this may be the export version of the "Walkerville Special Old" that Jim Murray goes on about.
WRT McCarthy's, I've not seen it locally, I got mine from W&L Depot in California.
If someone is desperate for a bottle of McCarthy's and can't get it in their area, I could probably find a bottle here in Oregon. I think.
Keep in mind that it will be expensive, but if someone wants some, they should get in touch with me by e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Incidentally, I remember mentioning somewhere back awhile that I couldn't get Jim Beam Black here in Portland. Just shows how much attention I was paying. "Yessir, right here." Uh, duh, shelf below the white label. Woulda been a snake...
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