I guess it’s Bargain Hunter Friday around here. I picked up a bottle of Jim’s…may I call you Jim?…Rye a while back just on a lark. It was cheap, the bottle looks like something you could really use in a good bar fight (though admittedly, I’ve never been in a bar fight so what do I know?) and basically just piqued my interest. All those cheap whiskies that I drank in my misspent youth, I wonder how they hold up today? Perhaps this will be the first in series of cheap whisky reviews…
The Nose: Floral, herb-y, and green. There are black licorice/anise/fennel notes as well as the expected rye and vanilla. There’s Grannysmith apple, too, and a bit of bitter orange, some raw almonds. It’s not very deep and has a slightly artificial feel to it.
The Palate: Yep…whoa…green. Sharp and not just in the rye way, it’s all sharp edges. A little bitter and drying, faint vanilla and citrus struggle to be heard under the brittle youth of this one. Towards the end, a swell of bitter black licorice.
The Finish: A little longer than I expected, and while not really unpleasant, it’s not really one to relish. Youthful rye sharpness and black licorice again, lots of both.
Thoughts: Okay, for $12.99 on sale at Safeway (a large, unpleasant grocery chain) I was not expecting this one to change my life. In a way, I was pleasantly surprised, it was better than I thought it would be. It’s not something I rush home from work and pour in a Glencairn glass, but it might be okay in cocktails, though for a few dollars more Old Overholt or Rittenhouse would be a little smoother.