Best Ryes | Review | Rye Whiskey | Small Batch

Castle & Key Restoration Rye Whiskey Review (2021)

Mar 20, 2021

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by Matty Sims

Glencairn Whiskey Glass

Castle & Key Restoration Rye Whiskey Batch 1 is an important release. Not only because it’s Castle & Key’s first release. Not only because it was laid down by Kentucky’s first woman master distillery (the legendary Marianne Barnes, who is no longer with C&K and is independently consulting). But also because it’s the first rye whiskey ever distilled at the iconic Old Taylor Distillery and the first whiskey distilled on the property since 1972. All of that makes for an intriguing must-buy release.

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Restoration Rye Whiskey Batch 1 Review

Restoration Rye Batch 1 Review

Restoration Rye Whiskey Batch 1
Batch 1Details
In the Bottle103 Proof
ABV51.5%
Mashbill17% Yellow Corn
63% Rye
20% Malted Barley
Distilled and AgedFrankfort, KY
Age3YO
StyleSmall Batch Rye Whiskey
60 Barrels
Fair Price$45
Released2020
DistilleryCastle & Key Distillery
4445 McCracken Pike
Frankfort, KY 40601
ProsLuxurious Nose
ConsLacks Complexity on Finish
RatingGold 93 out of 100 Points
InventoryBuy It Now

What immediately stands out to me — how substantial the bottle feels in hand. Kudos to Castle & Key for creating a truly beautiful bottle design at a price point that’s approachable alongside some damn good rye whiskey. Castle & Key took over the Old Taylor distillery in 2014 and laid down this rye whiskey in 2016.

According to C&K,

Each batch of our Restoration Rye Whiskey is blended using a series of pods. Each pod is created by grouping barrels to create a specific sensory profile.

Nose – 94 out of 100 Points

I bought this Restoration Rye about 3 weeks before I officially reviewed it and didn’t take notes. I remember it was good but didn’t blow me away. Oh, how a few weeks can change a whiskey. Or maybe it was something I ate that night. The nose has completely bloomed with rich, crisp fruit — tart apples, crisp pears, & sweet cherries. There is also a vanilla yogurt sweetness as well. Overall think of a luxurious fruit parfait. The last flavor is a nice baking spice to counterbalance the sweetness.

Taste – 92 out of 100 Points

The fruit flavors from the nose carry through but are immediately balanced with pronounced black pepper and baking spice. I also get a habanero tingle on the tongue and some subtle blood orange.

Finish – 91 out of 100 Points

The fruit is still present but even more in the background. It’s all baking spice and pepper on the finish.

Complexity – 93 out of 100 Points

This three-year-old rye whiskey has more complexity than whiskeys twice its age. Don’t sleep.

Value – 95 out of 100 Points

The first thing I notice about this rye whiskey — the weight. It’s a substantial bottle. The design is top of the line. The fact that they were able to produce a delicious whiskey, a superbly designed bottled, and kept the price at $40 is to be commended.

Verdict – Gold 93 out of 100 Points

The Bourbon Bard Gold Medal

Restoration Rye Whiskey Batch 2 Review

Restoration Rye Batch 2

Restoration Rye Whiskey Batch 2
Batch 1Details
In the Bottle99 Proof
ABV49.5%
Mashbill17% Yellow Corn
63% Rye
20% Malted Barley
Distilled and AgedFrankfort, KY
Age3YO
StyleSmall Batch Rye Whiskey
57 Barrels
Fair Price$45
Released2020
DistilleryCastle & Key Distillery
4445 McCracken Pike
Frankfort, KY 40601
InventoryBuy It Now

Full Review Coming Soon. Notes Above Provided by Castle & Key.

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Why Trust The Bourbon Bard?

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.
By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: The Bourbon Bard, PO Box 1501, Taylors, SC 29687, https://www.thebourbonbard.com. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the unsubscribe link at the bottom of every email. Emails are sent by MailChimp.

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