Barrel Proof | Craft Distilleries | Review

Riptide Cask Strength Rye Whiskey Review [2021]

Last updated Jan 18, 2021 | Published on Jan 2, 2021

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by Matty Sims

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.

“We have reimagined whiskey as a California spirit,” says CALI Distillery. Riptide Cask Strength Rye Whiskey is a 118 Proof Rye Whiskey from CALI Distillery. They are an up and coming craft distillery focusing on California-style whiskeys based in Los Angeles. It’s a 93% rye mashbill with 7% malted barley.

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Riptide Cask Strength Rye Whiskey Review

Riptide Cask Strength Rye Whiskey

Riptide Cask Strength Rye Whiskey
Riptide RyeDetails
In the Bottle118 Proof
ABV59%
Mashbill93% rye and 7% Malted Barley
DistilledContract Distilled in Kentucky
Age14 to 18 Months
StyleSmall Batch
California Style Whiskey
Size750 mL
Suggested MSRP$30
DistilleryCALI Distillery
8950 W. Olympic Blvd.
Suite 179
Beverly Hills, CA 90211
ProsGreat Value for Cask Strength Rye Whiskey, Pairs Wonderfully with a Cigar
ConSome Rough Edges
AvailabilityLimited Distribution
RatingVerdict - Bronze 83.4 out of 100 Points
InventoryDaily Drinker
Where to BuyFind CALI

Riptide offers little in the way of glass coverage, but it has a solid floral honey color.

Nose – 83 out of 100 Points

Riptide offers a surprisingly earthy nose. It’s weird to say but it reminds me of fresh mushrooms out of the ground, a deep, rich bitter chocolate mole, and Chinese five-spice. I also pick up just the slightest caramel and floral notes. I tried this the next day. I’ve never had a whiskey open up like this one. It still has the earthy notes but it’s rounded out by creamy vanilla and a more pronounced floral honey. This improved my final score.

Taste – 84 out of 100 Points

The palate offers more of the earthy, savory notes mentioned above, but the sweet floral notes bloom mid-palate. The caramel pops on the tip of the tongue. I also get youthful oak and rye spice which carries through the back of the palate along with some red peppercorn. Like the nose, the sweet notes opened up beautifully after breathing for 24 hours.

Finish – 81 out of 100 Points

The finish is medium with more floral sweetness paired with rye spice, oak, and burnt sugars.

Complexity – 83 out of 100 Points

Riptide offers some bold flavors, but it just feels like it’s missing some balance that would enhance the flavor complexity and balance. Letting this breath did improve the overall complexity and balance.

Value – 86 out of 100 Points

$30 for a cask strength rye whiskey is a no brainer. It’s a buy and try.

Verdict – Bronze 83.4 out of 100 Points

Riptide has the rough edges you expect from a whiskey aged for only 14 to 18 Months but also has a slight creaminess following bold savory and earthy notes. I’d move this into the daily drinker category based on the blooming sweet notes after 24 hours. I also paired this with an Alec Bradley Kintsugi. Perfect match. Those bold flavors balanced out the cigar and stood up to it wonderfully.

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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.
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