Review: NY Distilling Co. Jaywalk Straight Rye

Review: NY Distilling Co. Jaywalk Straight Rye

Jaywalk Straight Rye Whiskey

Brooklyn’s NY Distilling Co. recently announced the release of three different rye expressions, all using a unique grain that harkens back to 17th-century New York State. Jaywalk Rye utilizes Horton Rye, a grain smaller in size than traditional rye used for whiskey making.

NY Distilling’s Allen Katz and Tom Potter partnered with Cornell University to cultivate the rare varietal from 10 initial seeds. According to the brand, the smaller grain size leads to “a concentration of sugars, minerals and starch compounds that make for a truly distinct flavor profile.”

Jaywalk Rye is distilled from 75 percent New York rye, 13 percent New York corn, and 12 percent malted barley. The distillery is releasing three expressions: a straight rye at 92 proof, an age-stated bonded rye at 7 years old and 100 proof, and a limited series of cask strength offerings between 114 and 116 proof.

Today we’re looking at the 92 proof Jaywalk Straight Rye, which was aged in 53 gallon barrels with a level 3 char. Let’s see how it stacks up!

The nose starts with overripe fruits: banana, peach, and pear. That’s followed by a noteworthy minerality, namely magnesium and calcium. A deeper inhale brings a vegetal funk with aromas of cut grass, stewed tomatoes, and damp mulch. More time in the glass helps sweeter aromas win out. But especially at first sniff, Jaywalk Rye is a bit vexing. It exhibits a broad array of scents, the combined effect of which noses unlike any rye I’ve had in recent memory.

While the nose is a bit untamed, the palate is much more coherent. Flavors start with light buttered popcorn, transitioning quickly into sugar cones (without the ice cream). With an oily mouthfeel, the flavor gradually and significantly builds with each return to the glass. Rye spice and dried apricot shine at the midpalate, giving the taste a more determined series of specific notes compared to the nose. The “funk” of many a rye whiskey is almost entirely absent here, replaced by fruit and spice aplenty for 92 proof; I can imagine both punching through in a cocktail, as the brand suggests.

Spice persists on the finish as sweetness and fruit gradually fade. It’s the most traditional, expected element of rye here, a nice bookend especially compared to the nose.

NY Distilling Co.’s Jaywalk Rye may be a head scratcher on the nose, but the palate and finish shine with delicious interplay between the grain’s sweet and spicy elements. The brand suggests this expression for cocktails and mixing, and it can certainly hold its own there. But whiskey nerds may also want to try Jaywalk Rye neat. It certainly showcases a different side of rye than much of what’s on the market today. Just expect things to crescendo from the nose up to the finish.

92 proof.

A- / $50/

NY Distilling Co. Jaywalk Straight Rye




David Tao is a writer for Drinkhacker.

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