Updated: Feb 21, 2021
Distillery: Spirit Works Distillery
Age: NAS (at least 4 years)
Mashbill: 70% Rye, 30% Malted Barley
BACKGROUND: Spirit Works Distillery is a grain-to-glass distillery in Sebastopol, CA. They were founded by a husband and wife who met in Holland working for non-profits. The husband, Timo, is from Britain and his family harvested berries for a slow rested gin. They were both passionate about the environment and knew that they wanted to launch a grain-to-glass distillery. Spirit Works's is has all female head distillers who are always innovating and making incredible spirits. They have a hybrid potstill with 21 plates inside of it giving them the ability to create a unique spirit. Spirit Works uses organic California grains and specialty brewing malt to bring a sweetness in to balance the rye spice. Spirit Works just recently released a Bourbon Whiskey, which Fred Minnick loved, as well as a vodka, wheat whiskey, and barrel reserve rested sloe gin. They can distribute anywhere in CA from their website and are distributed to OR, CO, AR, and CA.
NOSE: I was shocked by this nose. As soon as you take a sniff you are greeted by scents of crisp green apple glazed in caramel. As you continue to smell you will start to get some smells of oak and sweet baking spice. There is no sting or burn whatsoever. The smells are all rich and bold, but my only knock is that it's a one-dimensional nose but is still really nice. (21/25)
PALATE: Wow, we were pleasantly surprised by this one! This whiskey is incredibly easy to drink while maintaining the rye edge that many of us love. As soon as the whiskey touched our lips we were met by sweet floral notes, toasted coconut, vanilla, and more apple. As it sat on our tongue we began to pull some baking spice that didn't bite at all. I wish the flavors were a little bit deeper but overall I think they all work together nicely giving this rye whiskey a nice floral-ness to it that is not common in straight rye whiskey. (34/40)
FINISH: The finish is medium in length and pretty much straight oak and baking spice. Again, there was no bite that is common in rye whiskey which was a nice pleasant surprise. We also got some smokey notes. (21/25)
VALUE: Spirit Works Rye Whiskey has a SRP of $45 which is an excellent price. They are using organic grains and were able to bring a smoother rye whiskey to market. (8/10)
FINAL THOUGHTS: Spirit Works Straight Rye Whiskey is a very enjoyable, smooth, and unique rye whiskey that is made by great people at Spirit Works Distillery. They take pride in the spirits they produce and this one was an excellent representation of them and the greater California area. We strongly encourage anyone who usually does not like rye whiskey due to the bite and spice to try this one out, we think you would love it. We can't wait to try their other bourbons!
Similar & whiskey slightly better: Wilderness Trail Cask Strength Rye Whiskey
Similar & equal whiskey: Russell's Reserve Rye
Similar & whiskey slightly worse: Whistle Pig 6 year PiggyBack
Tell us what you think and give us some feedback!
96-100: The perfect dram, juice of the gods
90-95: Near perfect, truly incredible whiskey
85-89: Amazing whiskey, will always try to keep a backup bottle of this
80-84: Very good, some minor flaws here or there
75-79: Good, quite enjoyable to drink, Will try and keep a bottle on the shelf
70-74: Solid, wouldn’t go out of my way to get this
60-69: Decent, would offer this up to non whiskey drinkers
50-59: Not my cup of tea
Below 50: Give away