You know Ross and Squibb even though the name may not quite ring a bell. It’s the new name for MGP which followed after the merger with Luxco. Ross and Squibb remains a workhorse contract distiller for a lot of names that ring lots of bells. They recently launched Rossville Union as one of their branded in-house whiskeys, and we had the pleasure of reviewing their inaugural barrel proof rye when it launched and again last year. Now the company has followed up with a tamer 100 proof, bottled-in-bond 6 year old straight rye whiskey, comprised of 51% rye and 49% barley. We enjoyed the Barrel Proof in 2022, and we now get to see how they fare with this latest release.
The nose presents both delicately and lively, with alternate notes recalling the sweet malty center of Mars bars and maraschino cherries. Some edginess also shows through with a peppery tingle and an interesting, earthy thyme note. On the palate arrives a wave of rye and white pepper spice with just a hint of caramel sweetness and wheat cereal, fading into an oaky, leathery grip on the tongue. The leathery oak hangs on for quite a while, with some cherry sweetness and buttery cereal notes inching their way into the mix every now and again. What gave me most pause (in a favorable way) is the intricate and effective balance of spice, creamy sweetness, and dry oak. It retains a decent level of personality and complexity, but to a degree that does not overwhelm with repeated sips. Overall a very well-crafted and accessible pour.
A- / $50 (700ml) / rossvilleunion.com