Last encountered in 2015, Craft Distillers’ Low Gap Rye was at the time a two-year old whiskey that didn’t seem to be getting any older. As a matter of fact, distiller Crispin Cain is out with a new version of Low Gap Rye and, again, it’s a mere babe at just two years of age.
This expression doesn’t change a whole lot, at least on paper. As with prior batches, this is a malted rye with the addition of some corn and barley, aged in new and used bourbon and Germain-Robin brandy barrels. The proof is just a tick lower, and it’s a bit more expensive, but otherwise this is basically made with the same process.
Of course, that doesn’t mean it’s not a different product… so let’s dig into the 2018 rendition of Low Gap Rye.
For a two year old whiskey, Low Gap Rye really has a surprising level of nuance. It’s not without a rocky start, though the initial aromatics are heavy on the cereal grain, with some pet food notes, a bit of hemp rope, and a briny smoke element.
The good news is that the palate finds a lot more going on, a rich honey character that initially rushes the mouth before sliding into some notes of raisins, coconut, and a little milk chocolate. Some work seems to have been done to round out the finish, which is much more approachable than the 2015 and is actually quite clean. As that finish fades, I get some hints of mint and butterscotch, making this a more complex and interesting spirit than that older version. Definitely worth a dram or two.
87.4 proof. 3900 bottles produced (this batch).