Wisconsin-based Dancing Goat Distillery has been known for its Travis Hasse liqueurs, and recently it pushed its way into rye whiskey. The distillery offers no mashbill information, but it does note that the bottled spirit is at least three years old. The catch is that Limousin Rye starts out in used “vintage oak” barrels, to which Dancing Goat adds “just the right touch of new wood with our proprietary process.” (This includes new oak staves inside the used oak barrels.) Per the company, “The product is then finish-aged in our Solera system featuring Limousin oak barrels.” (Limousin oak is French oak.)
We received samples from two recent batches of Limousin Rye, and they’re especially notable because they’re bottled at different proofs. Let’s dig in.
Limousin Rye Batch D14 – The French oak is immediately evident here, a fresh charred wood character that is tempered by gentle spice and some red pepper. Notes of brown butter, soothing sandalwood, and nougat are all evident on the palate, which is light and youthful with plenty of classic rye spice notes. The finish sees more wood, chewy grain, and more of that brown butter character lingering. Nicely proportioned at 45% abv, it’s not overly complex, but it’s wholly approachable, despite its obvious youth. 90 proof. B / $40
Limousin Rye Batch B14 – Similar on the nose, with lots of wood, spice, and more of a burnt butter note (in contrast to D14’s brown butter). The palate is quite a bit hotter, though this is not unexpected, with a considerably bolder wood profile and a thick layer of spice on top. Somewhat nuttier, too. The finish weighs a bit heavy, with more brash wood char character and a lengthy punch of alcoholic heat. The higher proof isn’t really needed here, ultimately serving more as a distraction than anything else. 94 proof. B- / $40