We first explored Sugarlands Distilling’s Roaming Man Tennessee Straight Rye Whiskey back before the holidays last year with our review of Edition Four. It was a very limited release, as all of the Roaming Man releases have been and continue to be. The Seventh Edition sold out on its release day in February and the Eighth is expected in the second half of the year. We received another sample for review, this time Edition Six, which has seen 3 years and 2 months of barrel aging. It’s interesting to taste this whiskey evolve with incremental time in the barrel, but Chris felt with Edition 4 that it still had some distance yet to go before hitting the shelves. How much closer to prime time is Edition 6? Let’s find out!
The nose on this one is still grain-forward, but it’s less wood-heavy with nice caramel and butterscotch notes that soften the dustiness. Worn leather, spice cabinet, and a bit of citrus show promising signs of future complexity. The palate is bold and honeyed, but youth remains a dominant feature with lots of drying wood notes and a bit of sharp, caramel corn. On the plus side, the vegetal notes from Edition Four have faded, replaced with hints of toffee and vanilla bean underneath a less punishing amount of barrel char. The finish is perhaps the best sign of things to come. There’s good balance on the tail end, and it’s surprisingly oily despite all the wood influence, showcasing fading notes of chewy caramel and orange rock candy. Roaming Man is definitely getting there.
B / $50 (375ml)