Baltimore-based Sagamore Spirit continues to innovate by taking MGP-distilled rye and applying unique finishes to it, taking an otherwise familiar product into a new direction and dimension. The latest of these is Sagamore’s Port Finish, a blend of straight ryes (with varying mashbills and ages) that is finished for six months in two different types of Port casks — the real deal from Portugal and barrels sourced from Baltimore-based Boordy Vineyards.
We tasted it. Thoughts follow.
The nose here is pretty heavy duty stuff, initially a bit tight with notes of clean cotton and linen, touched with Lysol and some mothball notes dominating. Let some of these rougher elements fade in the glass and the fruitier elements of the whiskey eventually emerge, bold cherry notes showcased with a touch of cedar chest in the mix.
The palate is a dramatic, deep dive into the fruit hinted at on the nose. Dark chocolate-covered cherries are massive on the tip of the tongue, followed by an ample wood influence soon after. A touch of mint builds as the whiskey develops further. The finish is quite drying and, while the cherry notes linger, there’s a lingering wood influence that hints at fresh matchsticks. As the tasting reaches full circle, notes of cloves and more dark chocolate cling to the palate.
This is a complex, rewarding, and occasionally dazzling whiskey that shows plenty of evolution over the course of a tasting session. Well worth checking out.
101 proof. Reviewed: Batch #1C.