Castle & Key Restoration Rye Review

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The first whiskey to be released under the Castle & Key label, Castle & Key Restoration Rye, is finally here, and it does not disappoint!
Castle & Key Distillery
Kentucky Rye Whiskey
Batch #1

Well, the wait is finally over! The first whiskey to be released under the Castle & Key label, Castle & Key Restoration Rye, is finally here, and it does not disappoint! I believe many people are familiar with the Castle & Key Distillery? The distillery is located in the refurbished ornate distillery which was originally built by Colonel Edmund Haynes Taylor, Jr, back in 1887. Yes, that Col. Taylor, of Bottled in Bond fame and whose name adorns a line of sought after whiskeys produced by Buffalo Trace.

The first whiskey sold under their own label is this Restoration Rye. The bottle it comes in is as beautiful as the distillery itself, with a classic but ornate design. This rye is a batch made from 60 barrels, and you can read about the individual groups or “pods” of barrels on their website. The plan is to release the rye in batches of similar sizes, all of which will be unique, varying somewhat in their flavor profile and proof. Batch #2 is already on its way to us, but we’ll have to wait a while longer for future releases.


Mashbill: 17% Yellow Corn, 63% Rye, 20% Malted Barley
103 Proof

Tasting Notes

Let’s taste it:

🛌 Rested for 15 minutes in a Glencairn

👉Nose: Cookie dough, ginger snaps, rye spices, light leather, soft cherries and apple juice, fairly light alcohol for its 103 proof
👉Taste: Cookie dough, baking spices, apple juice, light char, early light sugar sweetness turns to dryness leading into the finish. Medium bodied.
👉Finish: Apple juice, char, butter cookies, baking spices with a hint of anise and light caramel. There’s a moderate burn and a fairly long finish

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I am not sure if it was a coincidence that the Castle & Key Restoration Rye was released as the weather began to get cooler, but the timing was perfect. The warming pastry character of this rye is just perfect for this time of year. I am very impressed with this first whiskey which bears the Castle & Key label, and look forward to trying many more. Cheers!🥃

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Would you like to read a review about another rye whiskey? Check out our review of the Wild Turkey Rare Breed Rye!

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