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Hochstadter’s Family Reserve Rye is a limited release of sourced rye whiskey, bottled by The Cooper Spirits Company in Philadelphia, PN. The Cooper Spirits Company has been around since 2006, and also owns the Hochstadter’s Vatted Rye, Slow & Low Rock and Rye, and Lock Stock & Barrel Rye brands. For Hochstadter’s Family Reserve and Lock Stock & Barrel, Cooper hand picks casks of aged stock from Alberta Distillers Limited, which is essentially Canada’s version of MGP in terms of production scale and notoriety as a bulk supplier for non-distilling producers. For Hochstadter’s Family Reserve, the casks chosen contain whiskey distilled from 100% rye grain and aged at least 16 years. The casks were all new charred oak (as opposed to refill casks), which allow the whiskey to be labeled as a “Straight Rye” according to U.S. regulations.
- Nose: Baked goods, toffee, cherries and pine play together with toasted oak and buttery caramel. There is a nice raisin note that fades to a faint herbal tea with cloves and a bit of boozy heat.
- Palate: Sweet pine verging on juniper attacks your palate with toasted vanilla and fresh oak behind it. The spice follows with notes of cloves, tobacco, and a nice pepper rye kick that forms a creamy triangle of flavor before giving way to barrel spice with raisins and cherries popping up. Some mild, earthy leather notes round things out.
- Finish: Sweetness transitions to a slightly more tart and spicy finish. Oak, vanilla, and faint caramel bring up the rear with a touch of what seems like roasted corn similar to what you’d find in a young bourbon. Nice charred barrel spices and leather leave behind a rich array of fruity flavors before the final wave of heat hits and mellows nearly at the same time.