Here’s a fun fact: The Gospel Straight Rye Whiskey is the first Australian whiskey that is legally labelled as “straight,” following the strict distillation and maturation rules required of American whiskeys. The whiskey is made form 100% unmalted rye grown on a single farm in the Murray Mallee region of South Australia, said to be one of the driest regions in the driest country in the world.
We got a sample — love the antique-looking green bottle, by the way — and are happy to present some opinions.
Let’s start with the nose, which is immediately very grassy — more rye than rye. There’s plenty of barrel char in the mix, but the whiskey reverts quickly to notes of dried hay, freshly mowed lawns, and burlap sacks. No surprises on the palate, at least to start: Fresh rye grain, and plenty of it, all dusty and pastoral at once. A hoppy character will appeal to IPA fans, but it can come across here as quite immature and undercooked.
The good news is with a little time in glass, the whiskey develops well. Peppery, herbal elements pair surprisingly well with notes of lemon curd and vanilla cream, some root beer notes building on the finish before retreating back to a dry, grassy note.
It’s not a complicated whiskey but it knows what it’s after. If aggressively green rye is up your alley, give it a whirl. Amen.