Okay, curiosity got me and I bought a bottle.I like it. Old Potrero is made from a mashbill of 100% malted rye, and it is the only whiskey (that you can buy) like that. It is really in its own category among whiskies; it is not really comparable to traditional straight rye or malt whiskey made from malted barley. It might well benefit from more time in the barrel, but I find it surprisingly good for its youth, which is a testiment to the strength of the style. Don't forget, it's bottled at about 120 proof, so if it's a little harsh, some water or ice won't hurt it. (I think I read somewhere that they are bottling a lower-proof version now, but I don't know that for sure.)
Perhaps they bottle it young because they can. Why keep in in a warehouse for six or eight or whatever years, if people will pay a good price for it at one to three years? I would be curious to know how their sales are, and whether people would pay more for an older version.
<font color="blue">Name:</font> Old Potrero Straight Rye
<font color="blue">Proof:</font> 90
<font color="blue">Mashbill:</font> 100% malted rye
<font color="blue">Style:</font> Pot Still
<font color="blue">Age:</font> 3 years in charred oak (I expected to want it to be older, I don't)
<font color="blue">Cost:</font> $54
<font color="blue">Distillery:</font> Anchor Distilling
<font color="blue">Bottle:</font> Short, thick, round, clear. Very stylish label. Nice to handle
<font color="blue">Nose:</font> Baking bread, some vanilla
<font color="blue">Appearance:</font> Medium amber
<font color="blue">Taste:</font> Comments earlier were right on the money. This is not like anything I've ever had before. It is very smooth. For me, that usually means less flavor than I'd like but not here. This is bold. You know the difference between white bread from the store and that perfect loaf of bread coming out of your oven??? Old Potrero is the latter. That is (I assume) due to the 100% malted rye.
It isn't sweet like most Bourbons. It has almost no edge from the alchohol. It does have some of the mouth feel of, say, a Bushmills 16 (but tastes completely different). It is unique to my experience.
<font color="blue">Finish:</font> The finish is just a continuation of the taste. It doesn't change. It does linger quite a while making each sip deeply satisfying.
<font color="blue"> Conclusions:</font> This is a kind of a one dimensional pour. It does one thing and it does it very, very well. Don't carry preconceptions into this, just try it like you have no idea what is coming. I sure didn't.
Anchor says this is to be in the style of an American 19th century whisky. I doubt you would find anything in the 19th century as smooth and good as this (but maybe?).
Interesting aside, some pours (anyone try Laphroaig 10?) leave what I can only call a taste memory. For hours the following day your mind has this perfect recall of the pour you had last night. Old Potrero did this. I can still taste last night's pour in my mind....
Highly recommended but I doubt it will become anyones goto drink. I want another bottle.