What a perfect pour for the Fall season! When I think of Fall, I think of brisk days with changing colors and a warm drink in hand (obviously I was not born and raised in Florida). I think rye whiskey is the perfect Fall drink, and for some reason when I look at this bottle I am instantly reminded of my days north of the Mason-Dixon.
The Stoll & Wolfe distillery is a relatively new distillery located in Lititz, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, and has quickly developed a reputation as a producer of high quality bourbon, rye, and American whiskeys. The site of the distillery has a history dating back to the mid-1700s and was once the place where brands like Shenk’s, Bomberger’s, and Michter’s were produced. The distillery is now run by Dick Stoll, the understudy of Charles Everett Beam and the former Master Distiller for the original Michter’s distillery. You can read all about the history of the distillery, and the history of whiskey in Pennsylvania, at the Stoll & Wolfe website here:
The whiskey in the bottle is made from a sweet mash of 60% rye, 30% corn, and 10% malt, that is aged for at least 2 years. It is then non-chill filtered and bottled at 90 proof (45% abv). This bottle retails for $45.
Appearance – Golden amber.
Nose – The nose is surprisingly sweet with a more subtle rye aroma than I expected. Caramel syrup and apricot preserves initially dominate, but the rye spice does begin to develop and intensify with time. The bouquet of spice balances the sweet notes nicely and also ushers in a soft note of green oak.
Palate – The mouthfeel is pleasantly thick for a 90 proof whiskey and once again, the sweet flavors dominate up front. I found honey drizzled apricot, along with some vanilla, traditional baking spice (i.e. allspice, nutmeg, clove), and some soft oak.
Finish – The rye spice continues to develop on the finish, with an intensifying spice mid-palate, but the profile is still sweet overall. I found brown sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, and just a hint of floral citrus. The oak also becomes more prominent on the finish, as it is slightly tannic with some lingering bitter notes.
Overall – I am extremely impressed with this whiskey. While I am not usually a fan of sweeter whiskeys, this bottle is very unique and extremely easy-drinking, especially at 90 proof. It is not the most complex rye available, but the flavors that are present do work well together and provide for a pleasant sipping experience. The flavor and ease that come from this whiskey is particularly impressive considering the age and mash bill. And how could I forget to mention that very reasonable price tag of $45!