Seasonal Greetings

Grabbing yourself one of the many seasonal Fall release American whiskies has become an exercise in futility (or in overspending) for many people at this point. You can still find a bottle on the shelf from time to time, but it will cost you. It's not just the big metropolitan markets, either. When I was in Kentucky yesterday I saw bottles of Van Winkle 12 year Lot B selling for $600 a pop. Stagg was on one shelf for $1000. For many people it's no longer fun or interesting, it's just plain frustrating. If you're one of those whiskey fans who thinks all interesting American whiskies are impossible to get anymore, let me direct your attention to the 2016 Fall release of the Leopold Maryland-Style rye whiskey, a product that's become a must-buy for me each time it arrives. This seasonal whiskey is distiller Todd Leopold's homage to a lost style of American whiskey: Maryland rye. It's a mellow, yet flavorful and bready whiskey that has loads of baking spices and plenty of character without the intense peppery or dill-dominated notes we see from the MGP stuff. I love how creamy it is while maintaining a distinct rye-based core of flavor. There's nothing else like it on the market, which is exactly why Todd felt it needed to be made! Most importantly, you can actually get it! Here. Now. We've got plenty...for the moment. If you could get it year-round, however; it wouldn't be a seasonal release!

Leopold Bros. Maryland Style Rye Whiskey $46.99 - From the distillery: Pre-Prohibition American rye whiskey involved two different styles. The first, Pennslyvania rye (known sometimes as Monongahela-style) is generally spicy, dry, and heavily oaked. Maryland rye, by contrast, is fruity, floral, and less aggressive. Leopold Bros. Maryland-Style Rye Whiskey achieves this unique flavor profile by hand selecting a variety of yeast strains to use in our fermentation process, paying homage to a lost style of whiskey that hasn’t been distilled in the United States in decades. In keeping with tradition, the rye whiskey is barreled at 98 proof, enabling the flavors to develop in our charred American oak barrels. Very limited in quantities and released only seasonally at this point by the distillery.

-David Driscoll

David Driscoll