Many smaller distilleries start out by sourcing whiskey and bottling it until their own in-house spirit is old enough to bottle. One of the latest brands to release an expression produced entirely on-site is Baltimore’s Sagamore Spirit, which recently launched the second iteration of its Bottled in Bond Straight Rye Whiskey.
For those that need a little refresher, the bottled-in-bond designation means that the whiskey meets a few specific requirements: It’s at least four years old; bottled at 100 proof; and comes from one distillery and one distilling season. Sagamore’s first BIB rye whiskey was bottled at just about four years old, the minimum age requirement. A year later the whiskey is, of course, a year older, and this five-year-old rye is proof that the distillery team is making a product that can compete with the flavor and quality of the whiskey sourced from MGP in Indiana for the brand’s core lineup.
“Our vision of a rye whiskey fully distilled, aged and bottled in our home state of Maryland finally became a reality in 2021, but we knew our work wasn’t done,” said Sagamore Spirit cofounder and president Brian Treacy in a statement. “Bottled in Bond is a true testament to–and expression of–the place we call home, and the perfect sip for today’s whiskey drinker. This 2022 release is aged one more year than last year’s award winner, revealing even more Maryland character with more time in the barrel. It’s another big win for our entire team.”
The whiskey is aged at a rickhouse not far from the distillery, which is located on the Baltimore waterfront in the Port Covington neighborhood. The mashbill is the same as the first release, which won a double gold medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition, and is identical to the one used for all of the whiskeys produced at Sagamore. It’s actually a blend of two mashbills—high rye and low rye—that bring a balance of flavors to the spirit ranging from spicy to sweet.
While the makeup of the core lineup will continue to include sourced whiskey, Sagamore is releasing other limited-edition expressions that are produced in-house, with some even using local grains in the mashbill. Penny’s Proof Maryland Grown Series, a 2.5-year-old whiskey made from Maryland grain and aged in Maryland oak barrels, launched at the distillery in November and promptly sold out. This whiskey, the fourth in the series, will continue to be released as it gets progressively older, culminating with a 4.5-year-old whiskey in another two years.
You can purchase a bottle of the new Sagamore Spirit Bottled in Bond Straight Rye Whiskey from Drizly now while supplies last, and look for future versions of this excellent rye in the coming years.