Name: Booker’s Rye “Big Time Batch”
Age: 13 Years, 1 Month, 12 Days
Nose: Caramel, Toffee, Bananas, Deep Wood Notes
Palate: Toffee, Rich Caramel, Molasses, Oak, Cloves
Finish: Long and spicy but smooth with deep and rich flavors of oak, molasses, and maple syrup.
Overall: On the nose I was greeted with the aroma of rich caramel and toffee, like a fine piece of old fashioned candy. There were also some notes of sweet bananas and deep underlying wood notes a definite sign of it’s long years in a barrel. The nose was quite enjoyable and I spent several minutes admiring the characteristics prior to taking my first sip. On the palate there was a toffee flavor up front with some additional notes of rich caramel reminiscent of the nose and some molasses which provided a sweeter taste. On the backend the spice pushed through and there were noticeable flavors of oak and cloves. The finish was long and spicy but surprisingly smooth with delicious, complex flavors of oak, molasses, and maple syrup with a strong burn that hit hard on the throat. This was truly a remarkable whiskey and provided an experience unlike any I’ve had with a rye before. From the nose to the finish I was impressed with the quality and depth of this whiskey and savored the time I spent during the tasting. With the higher proof of this whiskey I was expecting much more heat and burn but it was surprisingly smooth and approachable. I enjoyed this neat and allowed the whiskey a great deal of time to open up prior to my first sip. Booker’s Rye “Big Time Batch” is available in a very small quantity and carries a price tag of $300. Rye whiskey is increasing in popularity, it’s a delicious, often spicier alternative to bourbon that most bourbon lovers will appreciate. I thoroughly enjoyed this Rye and would put it up there in top expressions I’ve tasted. If you are looking to try a complex rye with a great deal of spice and burn, then this is one that should make your list. The limited quantity puts a slight difficulty on finding a bottle and the price tag could also be a deterrent for some but you have the opportunity to find a bottle or to take a sample, I highly recommend giving this one a go. I think you’ll be glad you did.
From the Master Distiller,
Made from some of the last barrels Booker Noe ever laid down, Booker’s Rye is the first rye whiskey from the brand. Like all batches of Booker’s, it was selected by Fred Noe to ensure it upholds the qualities and standards that Booker Noe envisioned for this very special release, and it was selected with the following characteristics: Booker’s Rye is culled from barrels aged in one of Booker Noe’s favorite rack house. Booker’s Rye has an intense flavor profile with pronounced, well-balanced notes of wood and oak from the longer aging process. The deep amber liquid offers a complex aroma with spicy notes from the rye in the mash bill. This uncut rye has a big bold flavor, but is not overpowering. It can be enjoyed neat or on the rocks.
From the label,
“My dad, Booker Noe, always said “if you ain’t thinking big, you ain’t thinking.” He put this big thinking to use in all kinds of ways, but above all, when it came to flavor. He would spend days experimenting at the distillery, tinkering with the distilling process and different grain mixtures. In particular, Dad saw the difficult, temperamental rye grain as a challenge – small, but tricky to work with – and he never backed down from a challenge. So, in 2003, he went big and laid down barrels of a rye whiskey in his favorite rack house – creating the first ever Booker’s Rye Whiskey. When you take one sip of Booker’s Rye, you’ll agree that it is Big Time all the way – the first of its kind, uncut, unfiltered, and big in flavor, just how Dad liked it. Barreled as a small batch late in Dad’s life, Booker’s Big Time Rye is a rare, limited-edition rye whiskey that won’t come around again any time soon. With an intense flavor profile and pronounced, well-balanced notes of wood and oak, it’s more than worthy of being called “Booker’s,” and I’m proud to release it in his honor this May.” –Fred Noe, Beam Family’s 7th Generation Master Distiller