In case you wouldn’t have guessed, I love little whiskey projects. So when a friend and fellow whiskey lover gave us a bottle of Low Gap un-aged rye (well, technically it’s aged 420 minutes, for some reason) and an oak spiral made for in-bottle aging for Christmas, I was super excited!
Per the oak spiral’s packaging, 2 weeks of aging was pretty much the limit for the character it would impart, so we threw that sucker in the bottle and let it go to work.
We pulled a sample of the new sauce before we slipped the wood in (ha!), took a sample after 1 week, then pulled the wood out (ha! again) and bottled a sample of the 2 week old. Then, Kate and I took the three samples over to the home of our friend that purchased the gift for us, and sampled it with a very official panel involving him, us, and another couple of fellow drinking pals, one of which is pregnant so she could only help with the aroma notes (although I think she may have had some kind of pregnant person super smelling ability or something because she was very good at it. Biologists and/or doctors, go research and tell me if that’s a real thing).
At first the panel was VERY hesitant to try to provide any kind of notes, but luckily some pre-drinking helped loosen everyone up and it ended up being a blast! I have compiled all of our notes below, and combined them all just because I’m lazy and it’s easier that way. Also, the combined tasting notes of like 5 people are pretty damn funny to read (hopefully). Here we go!
Color: Crystal Clear
Nose: Tequila, yeast, fruit loops, sweethearts, brown sugar, bell pepper, cinnamon rolls, rye heat, light cinnamon, and grass.
Taste: One of the panel members did NOT like the tequila vibe this new make gave off. Other notes were sourdough bread, rye spice, and brown sugar. Many noted it was much drier than expected, and had decent balance.
Finish: Those cinnamon rolls came back along with the rye spice and yeasty, sourdough vibe. It was a medium long finish which was very smooth and balanced.
Overall: Nobody was really a huge fan of the white dog, although it did seem to pleasantly surprise everyone given that they thought they would hate it. The panel found it surprisingly smooth and balanced, but all agreed it wouldn’t be something they would seek out and buy again.
Color: Light Straw
Nose: Brown sugar, cinnamon rolls, raisins, grape, orange, vanilla, honey, grapefruit, and a hint of oak.
Taste: Bigger rye spice than the new, maple, red hots, brown sugar, caramel, dried fruit, and a nice creamy, buttery mouthfeel (almost like hollandaise, according to the host).
Finish: The rye spice was big here too, the citrus from the taste transferred to the finish, and a bit of the oak hung around.
Overall: Everyone agreed that this was definitely better than the un-aged sample. The first week of the spiral made quite an impact, bringing out the rye in a big way and providing more oak than we would have expected.
Nose: This one started venturing into more conventional notes. Everyone got green apples and cinnamon which reminded us all of apple pie and apple cider. There were also some raisin notes as well as a lot more oak than the 1 week.
Taste: Tobacco, leather, green apple, and oak were pretty across the board. There was some smoke noted as well as that nice, buttery mouthfeel.
Finish: The buttery texture coated our mouths and left a nice little balance in the spices, oak, rye, and brown sugar.
Overall:Everyone liked this the most, although not enough to bump it any more up the ‘ol rating scale. The butteriness came out the most here, and the oak stepped up quite a bit compared to the others which made it the most well rounded. It also brought out the best quote of the night from our friend that purchased it for us when he said “No way I would give this to a friend for Christmas.” Ha! Thanks, Steve!
Well this was obviously a ton of fun. Thanks to the official panel for letting me write their notes up, and to Steve for giving us the gift of this little experiment, as well as for playing host while we did the tasting. Cheers!