Fun Product: Wasmund’s Age-It-At-Home Whiskey Kit

I love it! For about $100 you get 2 bottles of 124 proof rye whiskey and a two-liter charred American oak mini-barrel.

This product enables the whiskey enthusiast to see the incredible effects that barrel aging has on whiskey. Take a ounce nip before duping it in the barrel, and then every two weeks. Keep a notebook detailing what you smell and taste, and you will learn.

You can reuse the barrel once you’ve emptied it. Once mine is drained, I might try pouring corn whiskey in it.

Wasmund’s is made in Sperryville, Virginia. You may learn more at


Tuthilltown Hudson Manhattan Rye Whiskey

Wow, wow, wow!

This is a superb rye whiskey. Amateur drinkers and rye newbies keep back—this is a BIG rye. Just pour a wee bit in a glass and take small sips and you’ll be impressed with the viscosity of this spirit; it’s oily. It oozes flavors, like white pepper, barrel, dried orange and pear… Terrific stuff from a new microdistillery in New York’s Hudson Valley. (Rating ****3/4)

For more details, surf to Tuthilltown whiskeys are part of the Classic & Vintage Artisanal Spirits collection.


9/2009 JIM BEAM RYE 1 (rī)¹

9/2009 JIM BEAM RYE 1

This new, 92 proof whiskey came to market in the last year. The initial presentation of this rye has provoked more than a few critiques, what with the use of the Van Gogh vodka like bottle and the awfully difficult to type name. (Where on my keyboard is the button that makes the long sign over the i? And when we search for this booze online, should I type “Rye One” or “Rye 1” or…?)

Anyhoo, the marketing and packaging can be fixed. What’s inside the bottle, critically, is just fine. Charles Cowdery, a God amongst American whiskey tipplers, has spoken well of Rye One.

It is a a robust spirit, but a little less intense than other ryes out there (e.g., HUDSON MANHATTAN RYE WHISKEY). Rye One is a good starter and journeyman’s rye. It shows white pepper, and mild slight citrus and wood notes. We think it is best to sip neat and in very tiny sips, so as to allow the palate to appreciate the full flavor. (Rating ***3/4)

To see if you can order a bottle of Jim Beam Rye One online, contact


Empire Distillery T&W V6 Luxury Vodka

A vodka that is six times distilled? Aaaah, life gets better and better for the American drinker.

This 80 proof vodka is made from rye in copper pots. (Most vodkas are made in patent stills, which remove nearly all their flavors.) EMPIRE V6 won a Gold Medal at the 2006, 2007, and 2008 San Francisco World Spirits Competitions,and the very discerning Christopher Carlsson of gave it a sky-high rating.

The St. Petersburg Times published an interesting story on EMPIRE DISTILLERY back in 2007 that is an interesting read on the company and the challenges of micro-distilling.

EMPIRE DISTILLERY V6 LUXURY VODKA is exceedingly good. It is the only vodka that I know of that actually tastes better and better as it warms from bone cold to room temperature. Many, if not most, vodkas taste best bone cold, and as they warm, they get gassy and less pleasant. Not so this vodka, it actually seems to bloom as it warms. V6 is fragrant with rye, very soft in the mouth, and utterly unique. A vodka for the true aficionado. PERFECT RATING (Rating *****)

For further details, contact EMPIRE DISTILLERY in Port Ritchey, Florida. To see if our retailer can get you a bottle, click here.




In short — we love it. It’s less than $30 for a fifth, and at 101 proof it goes an awfully long way. Take it neat in small sips, soften it with a little water or an ice cube or two. However you have it, this rye whiskey tastes awfully good. It’s pungent and spicy, and tastes a little of charred maple. Mmmm. (Rating ****1/4)

For further details on WILD TURKEY RYE, surf to To see if you can buy a bottle online, click here.