Distillery: 10th Mountain Distillery
Age: 1 Year
Mashbill: 75% Rye, 21% Corn, and 4% Malted Barley
BACKGROUND: 10th Mountain Spirits is based out of Vail, CO and was launched in 2014. They are named after the historic US Army 10th Mountain Division which is stationed in Fort Drum, NY. The connection between Vail and 10th Mountain is that In 1943-44, the 10th Mountain Division trained for alpine combat at Camp Hale which was near Pando, CO; present day Vail. After WWII, 10th Mountain veterans returned home and some of their veterans founded Vail and Aspen resorts. After getting the opportunity to speak with Chris and Ryan, the founders of 10th Mountain Spirits, it was clear to me that they are dedicated to continuously honoring the legacy of the 10th Mountain Division. 10th Mountain spirits has a full spirit portfolio including an non-aged corn whiskey, potato vodka, bourbon, rye, and apple sage cordial. They also will be releasing a brandy and single malt whiskey soon. For their rye whiskey, they aged it for a year in new, #4 charred oak, using 5, 10, 30 and 53-gallon barrels, most of which are 53-gallon barrels sourced from Barrel 53.
NOSE: You would have surprised me with the mash bill as the most prominent scent I pulled was malt, like a scotch! Accompanying the malt notes are scents of fresh strawberries, apple, and some honey. It is a very unique nose for a rye whiskey and the more I smell, the more I pull out some green apple notes. It is on the lighter side but still enjoyable. Although, trying it blind, I never would have guessed it to be a rye, I would've said a younger scotch. (21/25)
PALATE: Unlike the nose, the palate is absolutely a rye whiskey. There is a smooth creaminess at first that opens up into warm butterscotch, tart green apples, and rye spice. There is also a nice note of mint and milk chocolate towards the middle of the palate that reminded me of Thin Mint cookies. Overall, this rye whiskey is very smooth, sweet, and tasty with a flavor profile that is older than it's age. (33/40)
FINISH: The finish is short and light but leaves a nice chewiness to it that left me wanting more. I pulled out dry oak, sharp rye spice, and cracked pepper that left the tingly chewy sensation. (20/25)
VALUE: 10th Mountain Rye Whiskey has a $40 SRP which is a fair price for this unique craft whiskey using Rocky Mountain water and high quality grains. (7/10)
FINAL THOUGHTS: 10th Mountain Rye Whiskey was a very enjoyable and unique whiskey. This is an excellent whiskey in all names of the game but was especially enjoyable neat or in a manhattan as the rye spice and sweet apple notes made the cocktail. I would recommend this whiskey to anyone who is looking for a good rye whiskey that is not overly spicy and is easy to drink in the $40 - $50 range. This is also a great whiskey to try if you are a Malt whiskey fan (Scotch, Single Malts, etc.) and want to try rye whiskey.
Similar & Slightly Better Whiskey: Old Line Single Malt Whiskey
Similar & Equal Whiskey: FEW Rye Whiskey
Similar & Slightly Worse Whiskey: Monkey Shoulder
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