Bourbon Reviews, Distillery News and Information
Fine Aged Rye
Aged 6 Years
“A select blend of straight rye whiskeys from America’s first West”
Please enjoy our 15 STARS First West Rye Review!
15 STARS Backstory
Started by father and son entrepreneurs Rick and Ricky Johnson, 15 STARS is a tribute to more than 225 years of Kentucky bourbon craftsmanship and pays homage to Kentucky, America’s 15th state. 15 STARS distills and bottles at Bardstown Bourbon Company in Bardstown Kentucky.
15 STARS First West Rye, along with Triple Cask, are the two latest releases from 15 STARS. They both became available in KY, TN & IN as well as at 15stars.com on 3/6/2023.
I really enjoy 15 STARS Triple Cask and am excited to try the First West Rye. In fact, everything I have had from 15 STARS so far has been excellent. Currently, they are sourcing and blending whiskeys while they wait for their own distillate to mature. According to their website they are aging their own red, white and blue heritage corn distillate as well as an heirloom baby black corn distillate. Those flavor profiles will likely be completely different than what we have seen so far. However, the folks at 15 STARS seem to have a knack for putting flavors together well, so I am excited to try those when they become mature.
What is 15 STARS First West Rye
15 STARS First West Rye is a blend of straight ryes that were distilled in Kentucky, Tennessee and Indiana. Coincidentally, those are the same states where it will be sold. The ryes are aged 6, 7 & 8 years.
Tasting Notes – 15 STARS First West Rye Review
Let’s taste it:
🛏 Rested for 15 minutes in a Glencairn
👉Nose: Sweet pears and delicious apples, cloves and other rye spices; light cedar and cinnamon, brown sugar and caramel; relatively mild alcohol for the proof
👉Taste: Those same flavors and sweetness continue into the taste, with some spice gradually building. After a couple of sips, some citrus appears and the rye spices become more evident.
👉Finish: Cinnamon spice builds, but the fruit and sweetness continue on as well; some barrel char adds dryness later on in the long finish; moderate burn.
Unexpected Sweetness and Fruit
The nose has lots of sweetness and fruit; a bit unexpected from a rye. Those flavors are joined by caramel and some rye spices, reminding me a bit of a warm slice of caramel apple pie, with plenty of cinnamon and spices, too. As my taste buds acclimate to the fruit and sweetness, the rye spices and citrus become more evident.
While the 15 STARS Rye does have a lot of sweet fruit for a rye, there is plenty of spice there, too. Overall, this is another winner from Rick and Ricky! And yes – full disclosure – this bottle was graciously provided to me by 15 STARS, but I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it or pick up another bottle myself.
Have you tried any of the 15 STARS whiskeys? What did you think? Cheers!🥃
We hope you have enjoyed our 15 STARS First West Rye Review! Now read about its partner whiskey in this release in our 15 Stars Triple Cask Bourbon Review!
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