Maverick Distilling’s new triticale-based whiskey was born from a mistake. After ordering a batch of rye, the distillers discovered they had been sent the similar-looking triticale, a hybrid of rye and wheat. What the hell, the San Antonio-based operation decided, let’s make into whiskey anyway and see what happens. It’s an uncommon grain to use for whiskeymaking, though we’ve seen triticale whiskeys from other distillers a couple of times in the past.
Made from a mashbill of 72% triticale, 10% barley, and 18% corn, the whiskey aged in 30 gallon barrels underneath Maverick’s downtown San Antonio distillery, a former bank vault. After four years in barrel, it’s bottled as a bonded whiskey at 100 proof.
We got a sample to try, and I’m happy to report that if you like young rye, you’ll love Maverick’s Straight Tritcale.
On the nose, the whiskey is boldly herbal, pungent with char, and strongly weedy from start to finish. That’s not a bad thing — this stuff is a Texas whiskey to its core, evoking the frontier before there was a frontier. The palate doesn’t diverge much from the theme, pouring on notes of green wood, fresh-cut rye, and dry, toasted oak. Some time in glass helps more nuance to come into focus, including sweeter toasted coconut, a bit of orange peel, potpourri, and toasted sesame seed notes. Aggressive but clean, it finishes with sharper tobacco notes and ample pepper, though it never comes across as particularly biting. It’s intriguing as a one-off, but probably not something I’d turn to as a daily sipper.
If this sounds interesting to you, I do have some bad news: So far only one barrel has been bottled, yielding 66 bottles available only at the distillery or through its website. More will be coming, so if you miss it, keep checking with Maverick for availability updates.
B / $135 / maverickwhiskey.com