View Full Version : Pikesville rye history
I have recently acquired a 1983-era, strip-sealed Pikesville rye. The back label states that the whiskey was distilled in Pennsylvania. Anyone know the origins? I'm tasting it tonight with my normal group.
Jake, it may have been distilled by Michter's. By 1983 distillation of rye by Standard Distillers of Baltimore had ceased. The deal with Heaven Hill was probably still being done and in the hiatus they used Pennsylvania whiskey to fill the bottles. If you have any Michter's Original Sour Mash, i.e., original Michter's distillate, that would be an interesting comparison. Even Hirsch 16 would be since it is appears to be a version of Michter's original sour mash. You should also if you have it check the '83 Pikesville against the current one by HH. I'm not quite a fan of the latter but it would be an interesting comparison. The best Pikevilles I had were the ones Dave Gonano brought to the last Gazebos, wow were they good. They had a soft toasty taste with subtle rye edges. These were Standard Distillers products from circa-1960's.
Michter's? Wow, that'd be quite a find. That would also mean that the whiskey's a fair bit older than the 4 years stated on the bottle, no? Not that label copy's ever been all that useful :).
Never mind on the "older" bit. I had it in my head that Michter's closed in 1974. Duh.
Michter's was distilling into the 80's. There are still I am told decanters in dusty corners of some liquor stores or in their basements. Through your contacts in VA maybe you can find some (other store owners, distributors). If not, use Hirsch 16 as a comparison. Yes, it's much older than what likely went into those '83 Pikesville bottles but if the whiskey is essentially the same, you should still be able to notice stylistic similarities.
Well, I didn't break out any Hirsch tonight, but we did taste it against a 1992-bottled Pikesville, HH-distilled. And the 1992 was the clear winner, more complex, richer, fruitier, an all around better whiskey. Will revision the 1983-bottled with a few weeks' air, of course.
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