Story/Background Old Carter Barrel Strength Rye Batch 1 is the first whiskey to be released by Mark and Sherri Carter under the Old Carter Whiskey brand. The Carters are accomplished winemakers but are also no strangers to whiskey. They co-founded and revived the Kentucky Owl Bourbon brand with Dixon Dedman. The Carters started their namesake brand immediately after selling Kentucky Owl to SPI Group in 2017. Batch 1 of Old Carter Barrel Strength rye was originally released in March of 2018. It is a 95% rye sourced from Indiana specially selected by the Carters and bottled in Bardstown, KY.
Nose The nose on this rye is wonderful with new aromas emerging the longer it sits in the glass. At first, you are hit with aromas of rye spice, raw bread dough, and black pepper. As it sits for a few minutes, a touch of barrel char and smoke comes through along with a lightly floral-grassy scent and some dried apricot. I could sit and smell this whiskey for a long long time.
Palate This rye delivers a really enjoyable drinking experience. The mouthfeel is thick and oily, fully coating the entire mouth. Layers of flavor start on the front of the palate with black pepper followed by toasted pecans on the mid-palate with thick drippy caramel on the sides of the tongue. As you continue to sip, mint and orange citrus flavors develop on the mid-palate. The higher proof delivers a perfect amount of tingling heat throughout each sip.
Finish It has a medium-length finish that is fairly dry and tannic. The black pepper turns into cinnamon with a good amount of citrus, mint, and a healthy dose of oak rounding out the finish.
Summary Overall this is a well-balanced and complex rye. There are new aromas and flavors that develop in the glass as it sits, which is a great indicator of an intricate whiskey and makes the drinking experience really enjoyable. The dry and tannic finish of this whiskey is the only part of the experience that was lacking a little for me. This is a great rye worthy of buying a pour if you see it at a bar and definitely worth adding to your collection if you can find a bottle.