Here today is a limited release from the folks over at Jim Beam. It is a no age statement version of their standard rye recipe (so at least four years old) that has been additionally aged in a second fresh charred oak barrel for an undisclosed amount of time. I've had moderate success with the Knob Creek Single Barrel ryes I've tried as they can be a decent value at ~ $45 when you factor in the 115 proof. Overall my biggest complaint with them is they could use more age since they still have quite a lot of grain forward notes. When I saw the announcement of this my hopes were the additional barrel aging would alleviate that issue. Over the holidays I happened to see a bottle of this on a shelf at a random local and though it was marked up I figured I would give it a shot.
Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey; No Age Statement; 50% ABV; $70 ($45 MSRP)
Nose: Lots of typical bourbon sweet notes with a bit of nutty pine spice. The nose is decent and has promise.
Taste: Corn/grain forward with vanilla cola sweetness. Towards the middle some rye spice shows up in the form of peppermint but it's muted. There is not a lot of wood influence and the profile is mostly dominated by younger grainy notes. The finish is short and what does linger is mostly sweet grains. I'm a little surprised it's not as peanut forward as Beam whiskeys tend to be.
Thoughts: Meh. I'd never guess this was aged in an additional fresh oak cask because the wood influence is just not there. What you end up with is something that tastes like a barely legal, no age statement rye of middling proof which as a whole is completely forgettable. Even at MSRP this is a hard pass for me as you can find single barrel rye picks that are much better.
Note that price is not considered when assigning a rating.