Review: Thirteenth Colony Rye Whiskey

“Rye whiskey, rye whiskey, rye whiskey I crave, if I don’t get rye whiskey I’ll go to my grave.”  I like whiskey, maybe you’ve figured that out by now. I’m starting to think I may be inclined to bourbons with a higher rye content.  Maybe I’m starting to realize I really like rye, but that could the rye speaking.  If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, and have been sober enough while reading to recall the previous articles, you’ll realize that I have already reviewed a product of the Thirteenth Colony Distillery—their corn whiskey.  Well the people at the distillery read that article, and seemingly they liked it, because when I mentioned I wish their rye made it up to good ol’ NH they said, and I don’t quote: for you it does.  Basically they sent me an awesome gift pack consisting of a bottle of rye, some cool cozies, and a bumper sticker.  I believe in the blogging world they now refer to this as “swag.” I like to swig my swag.  I am not a good dancer, and therefore not a man to dance, but I did a little goofy jig every time I thought about the wonders coming my way.

At this point you’re jealous and sick of my little story, so here it goes; let’s talk swag.  My cozies are awesome, and camo.  ‘Murica. Oh, right you care about the rye. Now what I’ve been doing is starting with a big whiff, which for a moment almost has a soft sweetness with a bit of clove and cinnamon, until you’re hit with some burning numbness and you think it’s possible you’re getting a buzz on the fumes.  That’s a good first sign in my book.  Now with a sip. I can only really describe what’s happening from front to back of the mouth, because there is so much going on here.  On the very tip of my tongue is a lovely cooling and numbing sensation, and, moving back around the middle of my tongue, I catch a beautiful brown sugar and vanilla sweetness which begins near that last hump of the tongue to show some more bite, hearty and spicy. The cinnamon and clove from the nose appear, plus tons of peppery goodness, and finally at the back of the throat is a most gloriously benevolent burn—47.5% alcohol goodness that doesn’t hurt or feel like it’s going to burn through.  Finally that beautiful warmth sinks down and you’ve got a happy belly and mind.  Oh those good ole boys were drinking whiskey and rye and singing this’ll be the day that I die, but I bet they didn’t have rye like this.

I know what you’re thinking. This guy is biased. He gets his first free bottle of booze and can’t help but love it.  That’s why I drank most of the bottle before I reviewed it, as they say a drunken mind writes a sober heart, or something like that, and I let the rye remove the bias. Since this bottle of rye arrived I haven’t found a way that I don’t want to drink it. I’ve drank it straight, chilled, with a little water, with an ice cube—all joyously.  It kills me that I can’t buy this at my New Hampshire state liquor store yet, because I can’t let the last of such a rare and lovely thing leave my bar. Thank you to the generous folks at Thirteenth Colony, you’ve crafted another great spirit.

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Earlier today I had a pour of this rye with a tiny pinch of sugar, a few drops of water and several healthy dashes of angostura bitters. I was sitting on a porch watching a pink sunset spill across the lake in good company. It was a perfect cocktail if I’ve ever had one.

13th Colony Southern Corn Whiskey

To answer your first question, the 13th Colony is Georgia.  For those who are either geographically illiterate, or from another country (I couldn’t expect you to know where our states are) Georgia is in the south.  This is a whiskey review.  So there you go, whiskey from Georgia, 13th Colony Southern Whiskey.  As these Georgians refer to it as corn whiskey, we are led to believe this is a relative of bourbon, whiskey that is primarily a corn mash bill—my skimming research indicates the difference comes in the aging process as this is aged in used barrels.  I think.  Anyways, what matters is what’s in the bottle.  Oh, and that fact that it’s an awesome bottle–it kind of looks like a pot still.  But right the liquor.  Them Georgia folk are bold, and they’ve bottled this stuff at a Georgia hot 95 proof that’ll have you doing the Atlanta Strut until you’re tripping over yourself.  Maybe I’m already drunk, or maybe I’ve had too much Old Grandad 100 in my day, but I’m sipping this stuff chilled neat and, praise the lord, I can taste it!  My throat isn’t burning like a plantation on Sherman’s march!  This is a very well balanced whiskey, and you get a ton of sweet buttery corn taste right out front—like it’s straight from the cob. There isn’t too much complexity to this whiskey, it’s soft, sweet and leaves a wonderful numb and greasy feeling on your tongue.  It’s clear this is a young whiskey, but it’s not immature in any way, it’s just a little lighter and sweet.  If you’re looking to taste the charred oak of bourbon, you’re in the wrong place.  I’m probably wrong, but this seems like it’s been in Chardonnay barrels or something.  In the end, this is an affordable, hand numbered, small batch whiskey that’s light on the palate and warm in the stomach—and I think it’s a fine beverage.  The bottle is also awesome.  When I finish this one I’ll have two for matching candle holders.005