Price Point: $40 – $50 for 750 ML
Distiller: Finger Lakes Distilling
In the past year, a good friend of mine moved from Southeastern Pennsylvania to the Finger Lakes region of New York State. Him and I have been known to share our whiskey discoveries with each other, but have not recently due to the geographic separation. He came to visit me not long ago, and brought along a bottle of McKenzie Rye, a whiskey from deep in the heart of New York’s wine country. Their website describes it as the following:
“McKenzie Rye Whiskey is made from local rye grain and is distilled using old-time techniques. We age this whiskey in new charred oak casks and finish in sherry barrels from local wineries. The sherry balances the spiciness of the rye and also gives a nod to the wine region where this whiskey is produced.”
The nose is heavy on raisins. It’s very youthful, with oak (not mature oak, but oak). McKenzie has aromas of sweet rye and corn.
On the palate McKenzie Rye is minty, fresh, and youthful. It has an interesting rye flavor but is relatively simple because of its youth. There’s also something I can’t quite put my finger on (soy sauce?).
The finish has sweet pine, followed by rye (sweet not spicy). I get more oak on the finish after a few moments.
Rating & Recommendations
I rate McKenzie Rye a 79 out of 100.
It’s really cool to taste a whiskey from the predominantly wine-focused Finger Lakes region. With a little more time in the barrel, this could be a winner as it already possesses some unique characteristics.