Review: Green River Rye

I suppose it was only a matter of time before Green River introduced a rye whiskey to their lineup. I’m honestly surprised we didn’t see it earlier. Rye is often the first offering from a new label, but we’ve already been spoiled with a trifecta of impressive bourbons from the Owensboro outfit. This latest is a blend of ryes aged 4 to 6 years and made from a mashbill of 95% rye and 5% malted barley, a recipe that should look familiar to fans of Ross & Squibb (nee MGP) rye. This whiskey is Kentucky born and raised, however — distilled, aged, and bottled by Green River. Priced as competitively as its bourbon brothers, but is it as good? Let’s find out.

The aroma is unusually soft and mellow, a bit gritty with stewed cereal notes and a malty foundation that gives way to muted, well-cooked herbs and some muddled mint. It’s not nearly as high tone or fresh as a lot of ryes out there, and it’s certainly not as spicy. On the palate, things are a little brighter and more classically rye-forward in addition to being exceptionally well-balanced and easygoing. Early notes of fresh mint, orange peel, and honey syrup give way to a flourish of gently peppery rye spice before a soft conclusion of green tea and oak. While nothing about this rye is off-putting, it’s comparative passivity makes for an atypical drinking experience but one that I’m sure a lot of whiskey drinkers dipping their toe into rye will appreciate. An exceptionally easy sipper, but a rye cocktail might call for something a little bolder.

95 proof.

B+ / $35 /

Green River Rye




Drew Beard is assistant editor for Drinkhacker and winner of several booze-related merit badges, including Certified Specialist in Spirits and Executive Bourbon Steward. A former federal employee turned hotelier and spirits journalist, he looks forward to his next midlife crisis.

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