Old Henry Clay Rye Whiskey
If you’re like me then you probably hadn’t heard much fanfare over the release of this Old Henry Clay Rye Whiskey. In fact I hadn’t heard anything about it at all. The reason I picked it up is because I went into my buddy’s liquor store where he is the general manager to pick up a bottle EH Taylor that he held for me. Then he brought me over to the shelf and said, I think you should review this Old Henry Clay Rye Whiskey. He said it’s cheap, and it’s delicious. So get it while you can. How could I turn down that sort of introduction!
So here we are! I started digging in to learn more about this Old Henry Clay Rye Whiskey and I found their website and started reading about the brand and who Henry Clay was and it’s a great story. Henry Clay was a famed statesmen and speaker he had a habit of shipping whiskey from the Oscar Pepper distillery in Lexington to Washington D.C. where he represented the state of Kentucky in both the Senate and the House. He loved to use this whiskey for diplomatic reasons. I can imagine it’s easier to persuade others to see your point of view after a couple of glasses.
After Henry passed a distillery was built in his honor. Unfortunately, it burned down a few years later. However, it was rebuilt in 1869 by James E Pepper son of Oscar, mentioned above. The distillery has seen a lot of history of the years but is now reconditioned and operating with all new equipment and nice facelift. According to their website they’ll be open to public this spring / summer for tours.
I’m also looking forward to trying some of their other expressions they have an entire line of ryes, and a bourbon under the 1776 brand. Well, let’s dive into the review and see what this Old Henry Clay Rye Whiskey has to offer!
The bottle itself isn’t overly flashy. It’s a rounded corner square bottle with a black plastic cap. Similar to a Jack Daniels bottle in overall shape. The label is a faded white paper with a bit of texture, my guess to give the perception of an old time paper that Mr Clay would have used in his diplomatic efforts.
On the front side of the label is a portrait of Mr. Clay that would be considered his head shot. One thing that you’ll noticed on this bottle is small green text is ‘Distilled and Bottled for’. So obviously they’re not distilling their own product yet. They are buying this product from MGP a distillery in Indiana and selling it under their brand name while getting their operation up and running. This isn’t new, in fact a lot of brands take this exact same path as they get their operations going. Because we all know it takes time for the whiskey to age so they get a jump start by taking this path. I hear people all the time talk about how this is so wrong and not true to the brand. I’ll be honest, as long as the whiskey tastes great I don’t care.
The label wraps around the side of this Old Henry Clay Rye Whiskey bottle as well and continues to tell the story of Mr. Clay. Pretty much summing up what I wrote in the first section. So that’s enough about the packaging. Let’s dive into what’s inside the bottle. That’s what matters the most!
Up front on the nose I picked up a hint of spice primarily that note of rye that is most common. Hints of fruit appear as well. Primarily orange peel and a bit of honey to follow.
On the palate the flavors started a bit thin on the first sip, but each sip continued to impress with the depth of flavor. I picked up vanilla and caramel notes primary from the aging. Then mint and cloves as a refreshing cleansing flavor that was left behind.
The finish was rather short but crisp. It lets those minty flavors sit for awhile and then they’re gone.
Overall, this Old Henry Clay Rye Whiskey was a very enjoyable whiskey. My first sip I wasn’t blown away but as I continued moving forward with the glass it got better and better. At the end of the glass I was finding I wanted to pour another. With this bottle being priced at $25 I can certainly see this being a repeat buy without breaking the bank. So if you’re interested in trying a new rye whiskey then I would certainly tee this one up for your next purchase!