Jefferson’s Rye

Photo by Cordero Studios, www.corderostudios.com

McLain & Kyne is a small, well-respected bottler and distillery founded by Trey Zoeller and his father, Chet. Up until now it was primarily known for sourcing and blending excellent small-batch bourbons, but this is its first 100-percent North American straight rye whiskey. Aged for 10 years in Louisville, Kentucky, the spirit is rich, spicy, and exceptionally smooth, somewhat reminiscent of the Canadian-distilled Whistlepig Rye (not to be confused with the newer Vermont-made version just coming out at 100 proof). Nonetheless, Jefferson’s Rye comes in at a still-robust 94 proof, which packs a heavy punch considering its delicate undertones. It is sometimes difficult to find, but for those who favor rye-based cocktails or a sip on the lighter side, it is worth the search. ($40)

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