Minor Case Whiskey Rye Sherry Cask Finished Kentucky 90Pf 750MlRegular price $41.39 Save $0.00
Limestone Branch Distillery introduced Minor Case Rye in February, 2017. The whiskey was inspired by Limestone Branch founders Steve and Paul Beam’s great-grandfather, Minor Case Beam. Minor Case Beam operated a distillery prior to prohibition, but passed away shortly after it’s repeal. He made rye whiskey during his pre-prohibition days, and it was his specialty. This rye was inspired by him and meant to pay tribute to his distilling legacy. Incidentally, this whiskey’s mashbill shares the same 51% rye component as Beam family recipes dating back to the 1930s.
Distilled and aged at MGP in Indiana, this 2 year old straight rye has been aged for additional time by Limestone Branch in Sherry casks from Meier’s Winery, which held their award winning #44 Cream Sherry. According to Steve Beam, the finishing period is a mix of ages ranging from a very short time to about 8 months so that the same flavor profile can be recreated each year.
The aroma is soft on entry, but there’s a lot going on. Sweet summer fruits, floral notes, and a hint of rye spice are most prominent. It has a familiar MGP rye nose, but with additional complexity brought by the fruit and floral notes. It’s enjoyable and well developed.
Like the aromas the sip is also soft on entry, with cherry, raisin, and caramelized sugary notes first. A touch of rye spice along with an almost port-like flavor round out the backend. Being a finished rye, the sherry cask finish seems to become more evident here. It’s gentle and easy to drink, with a well-rounded and nicely integrated flavor profile.
A little pop of spice starts things off, followed by a reinvigoration of the sweet fruit and sugary notes found in the palate. The sweetness lingers, but it’s soft and subtle right until the end. Overall it’s quite good.
Minor Case Rye is a very soft, easy to sip whiskey. It’s layered and nuanced but very subtle at the same time, much like the experience I find with Hillrock Estate’s Solera Aged Bourbon. At two years old, it’s quite young but that youth is well hidden by its flavor profile. It’s a trend I’m starting to notice more and more with two year old ryes, as many just don’t taste anywhere near as young as I’d expect. Based on tasting, my assumption is the sherry cask finishing not only mellows out this whiskey’s rough edges, but adds additional depth to the flavor profile as well.
Barrel finishing, including sherry cask finishing, is becoming increasingly popular. I haven’t had every sherry finished bourbon or rye, and did not have any sherry cask finished ryes available in-hand to directly compare. But direct comparisons aside, compared to rye whiskey at large Minor Case Rye does succeed in separating itself from the herd, offering a more layered and softer drinking experience than you’d typically find.