Craft Distilleries | Finished | Review | Rye Whiskey

Broad Branch Rye Whiskeys Reviewed [2021]

Jun 5, 2021

Glencairn Whiskey Glass

Disclaimer: The whiskey reviewed was furnished for free courtesy of the spirit distiller. The distillery did not pay us for this review. This review is our honest and unbiased opinion based soley on how the spirit tasted.

Broad Branch Distiller finds its home on the historic Trade Street in the Art District of Winston-Salem, NC. They are the second distillery in Forsyth County and have embraced the old-time Blue Ridge Mountain distilling traditions — which you see in their Supercollider Blueberry Rye Whiskey below.

Broad Branch is owned by John Fragakis, who worked with wine for 30 years, and Nick Duomas, who is also an owner of a local restaurant. Neither had whiskey-making experience but they were passionate about making “traditional Western North Carolina spirit[s]” so they dedicated themselves to learning the craft and also enlisted experts for their journey — Brian Morton, distilling expert, Sherman Owen, consultant for over 50 distilleries, and Nancy “the nose” Fraley, well-known for her Nosing Services. Nancy also partnered with another craft distillery I love — Still Austin Whiskey Co.

Their Supercollider and Rye Fidelity use an heirloom Washington Praire Rye. Both are distilled in Washington but aged and bottled in North Carolina. They use “artesian well water from Stokes County” in their spirits.

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Broad Branch Rye Fidelity Review

Broad Branch Rye Fidelity

Rye Fidelity, or Rye-Fi as I’ve seen it called, is a 6-year-old, double-distilled rye whiskey. The mashbill is 100% heirloom Washington Prairie Rye and it’s expertly crafted by Brian Morton.

Nose – 90 out of 100 Points

This is not your typical 95/5 rye. I do get just a hint of floral and spice but their mellow and rounded within a bouquet of flavors. I get hazelnut, vanilla, and caramel. There’s also a toasted oak and tart, fresh summer fruit.

Taste – 87 out of 100 Points

The mouthfeel is unctuous and full. The palate loses some of those sweet, proto-bourbon flavor notes from the nose. The palate offers toasted oak and charred nutmeg. There’s a subtle vanilla cream and walnut breading pudding vibe.

Finish – 88 out of 100 Points

The finish is medium and hits more on the top of the throat with peppercorn spice. More of the toasted oak and charred nutmeg show up and just a hint of tart, fresh fruit.

Complexity – 88 out of 100 Points

The nose offered the most complexity and balance. I was surprised how much in terms of flavor this whiskey offered with a 100% rye mashbill but I do feel like the heirloom variety grain boosted the flavor profile overall.

Value – 89 out of 100 Points

Who doesn’t love an expertly crafted, heirloom whiskey made by a distinguished distiller? This guy does. Rye Fidelity retails for $64.95.

Verdict – Silver 88.4 out of 100 Points

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Broad Branch Supercollider Review

Broad Branch Supercollider blueberry rye whiskey

Supercollider Blueberry Rye Whiskey is 7-years-old and 118 proof single barrel. It’s also double distilled with heirloom Washington Prairie Rye but adds North Carolina blueberries to the mashbill. As a single barrel, every barrel must be on-point and this rye whiskey has several variables from the blueberries in the mash to brandy barrel finish. But overall it’s a success in my book.

If you’re first thought was, “Just another flavored whiskey.” Think again — no artificial colors or tastes added. Plus one taste and your expectations will be turned on their head. I had a Ratatouille moment — where I was transported to picking blueberries with my parents as a kid. It truly tastes like fresh, summer ripe blueberries.

Nose – 86 out of 100 Points

The color in my Glencairn whiskey glass is amazing. As far as aromas, imagine picking blueberries and tasting them right off the bush that’s what this nose smells like. There’s also a sharp oak flavor and baking spice. If you’re thinking sweet fruit, adjust for a more savory nosing experience.

Taste – 88 out of 100 Points

The blueberry flavors shine even more so on the palate. The front of the palate is tart blueberries contrasted with sweet and spicy oak. Those blueberries pop mid-palate with momentary sweetness that balances the entire profile. That sweetness carries through the back of the palate with just a hint of sweet pepper.

Finish – 89 out of 100 Points

A solid finish with tart blueberries and sweet peppercorns with a hint of toasted oak.

Complexity – 87 out of 100 Points

The drinking experience crescendoed with the finish. That pop of sweet just balances everything out.

Value – 88 out of 100 Points

I’m in. The combination of blueberry in the mash and a brandy barrel finish brought out an organic, natural fruit profile that’s unique. Outside of being a solid drink, my mind is racing with all the cocktail and cooking applications. I can almost taste my wife’s summer berry pie with fruit glazed and flambéed with this rye whiskey. Broad Branch Supercollider retails for $107.95.

Verdict – Silver 87.6 out of 100 Points

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About Matty Sims

Written by Matty Sims

Matty Sims is a storyteller who loves bourbon. He has been drinking and studying whiskey for over 10 years. He has also been featured on sites like Bourbon Sippers, Explore Whiskey, Thrive Global and Inside Hook, partnered with dozens of distilleries, and reviewed hundreds of whiskeys. He has also created single barrel stickers for Bourbon Pursuit and Total Wine.
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