The Peerless Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey

750 ml beacon of hope

Tasting notes:
Although I enjoy the taste of many of them, and find some sublime, I’ve had a hard time shaking the notion that cocktails exist mainly for two reasons: First, to hide cheap and ill-tasting alcohol; and, second, to inebriate the unwary. As such, I tend to graciously—I hope—decline them. Rye whisky, for all of its perfections, glory, and assertiveness has long seemed to me to be a perfect candidate to mix into a cocktail rather than neatly sip straight-up.

*cue the music*

Until now.

*the music begins to swell in a major key, kinda like Marvel’s new intro fanfare*

The Peerless Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey’s nose is like a bioluminescent fog wafting away from a natural hot spring on a full harvest moonlit night. Elves are dancing; elephants are dancing; even the most committed non-dancers find a lilting trip a-tip-tapping in their step. Diaphanous spinach transfigures into a souffle. Gilded fern leaves twinkle at moonrise like a Studio 54 disco ball, circa 1977. It’s dank like a meme, like the devil’s lettuce, and like a limestone cave opened to a raccoon rave by a wee seism that shifted a crack just a key little bit.

On the mouth, the herbs rise in a glorious revolution, and scamper most of the way to Dill Palace, stopping for a quaff in Coriander Plaza. There are green pepper night watchmen manning the gates, allowing mint, powdered anise, and ramps sautéed in ancho chili powder to pass into the city. It’s a quiet riot in Flavor Town, there’s widespread panic! at the cocktail disco, and the peppermint is about 30 seconds away from Bruno Mars. Chaos, zoos, and tech companies are envious of the cascading disruptions. Revelatory: All these flavors come together like a band of beetles in a Liverpool nightclub.

The finish rises and falls like Aaron Copland’s Fanfare for the Common Man. It’s melodic, it’s moving, it’s ennobling, and it rocks mittens like a translator for the deaf nailing the cadences of a livestock auctioneer. There are dandelions plucked from the Elysian fields and lilacs from an Octopus’s garden in the shade. I mean, I was frankly disbelieving that a two year-old rye could rate highly in the 2017 Whisky Advocate, but they made a Monkee out of me: I’m a Believer.
On the scale of things that soothe savage beasts and breasts–
The Peerless Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey is Music–Heavenly, descending from the heavens, descanting above the other arts, freezing architecture: Where would we be without music? Nowhere I’d want to be.
–Our thanks to Peerless for the sample!

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