It’s no secret that in the wide world of whiskey, bourbon reigns supreme for me. Scotch has it’s time and place and other variations of whiskey are all imminently drinkable without issue, but rye whiskey is something that has taken time to grow on me. Maybe it’s because I generally associate it with Canadian whiskey which is often far too sweet and bitter for me, much like most rum’s.
Over the past couple years I’ve noticed more and more bourbon companies begin to release rye variations of their products and these I find tremendously more palatable, they’re much more mellow, still maintain the spice and savor profile I enjoy, and aren’t overpoweringly sweet.
This brings me to Defiance Whiskey, who kindly sent along a couple bottles for me to review for you. This high rye bourbon took me entirely by surprise and I’m pleased to say that I have a new number one rye whiskey, it even beats out Bulleit Rye which to date has been my go to.
Defiance is craft produced in Lawrenceburg, Indiana and aged for 18 months in new charred American oak barrels. They’re already starting to make waves too for such a small company winning a bronze medal in the San Francisco World Spirits Competition and a silver one at the American Craft Spirits Association event in Austin, Texas.
On the nose it smells like a traditional rye, sweet, with some citrus, much like fruitcake [which seems to be my go to description of how a rye smells.] Coming in at 90 proof Defiance, served neat, almost tastes like an Old Fashioned straight out of the bottle. The sweetness is the first thing that hits you, it’s not overpowering in the least it’s almost got a butterscotch effect for me, light and earthy without being too rich. Then follows my favourite part, the spice and the burn which to me has almost the same profile as my beloved Knob Creek, it’s got a fantastically long finish that leaves my tongue tingling.
I cannot wait to use this in my next Old Fashioned Friday, and as soon as I track down some worthwhile vermouth maybe it’ll be my first Manhattan Monday post. I’d like to thank Dan, one of the founders of Defiance for sending along his whiskey for me to try. It’s truly a passion project for him, keeping his day job, starting a craft whiskey company with his father, and releasing an top notch product in a booming market that stands out against it’s contemporaries at an extremely affordable price point.
If you live in the states and would like to get yourself a bottle, you can order it online by CLICKING HERE, and for less than $30 you pretty much can’t afford not to stock your home bar with it.