Old Hillside Rye Review

The Last Rye'd Straight Rye Whiskey honors the history of the black jockey. An overlooked part of the early days of horse racing is the role of the black jockey. It was a pretty dominant one which unfortunately fairly abruptly came to an end due to some societal changes that took over the industry around the turn of the century.

Old Hillside
Straight Rye Whiskey
“The Last Rye’d”
4 yr
104 proof
Barrel Name: Alonzo Clayton
Old Hillside Bourbon Company
~$50
Review

Please enjoy my Old Hillside Rye Review!

The Old Hillside Bourbon Company

The Old Hillside Bourbon Company was started by a group of friends, most alumni of Hillside High School in Durham, NC. Just like their own story, the brand is based on history, heritage and homage to those that came before them. All of those qualities are exemplified in this rye.

Honoring The Black Jockey

The Old Hillside Last Rye’d Straight Rye Whiskey honors the history of the black jockey. An overlooked part of the early days of horse racing is the role of the black jockey. It was a pretty dominant one which unfortunately fairly abruptly came to an end due to some societal changes that took over the industry around the turn of the century. The escalation of Jim Crowe laws and segregation pretty much put an end to the black jockey. After winning more than half of the first 25 runnings of the Kentucky Derby, the black jockey virtually disappeared from the sport. It wasn’t again until the year 2000 when Marlon St. Julien would be the first black jockey to ride in the Derby since 1921!

Each bottle of Old Hillside Rye Whiskey plays tribute to one of four black jockeys: Isaac Murphy, Alonzo Clayton, Oliver Lewis and Soup Perkins. My particular bottle is from the Alonzo Clayton barrel. Alonzo Clayton holds the record as the youngest jockey to ever win the Kentucky Derby at the age of 15 in 1892, a year or so after he began his professional riding career. He had a very successful early career, but it seemed to fairly abruptly come to an end around 1901 due to a variety of circumstances, and he wound up living his last few years in California. He lived from 1876-1917.

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Tasting Notes – Old Hillside Rye Review

Let’s taste it:

🛌 Rested for 15 minutes in a Glencairn

👉Nose: Licorice, citrus like lemon zest and oranges, baking spices, rye seeds, mild honey, hint of Graham crackers, anise and honeydew melon; moderate alcohol
👉Taste: Starts off soft, with soft rye bread and light honey sweetness; rye spices, a hint of ginger and spearmint, citrus and black pepper spiciness rapidly follow and grow…
👉Finish: …and continue into the finish where there is black pepper, orange citrus, light honey and some barrel char lingering into the fairly long finish with a moderate burn.

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Summary – Old Hillside Rye Review

Old Hillside Rye is a very pleasant rye. It’s distilled in Indiana, so presumably MGP. It certainly has some familiar spice and heat towards the end, but the flavors are a bit softer up front. The fresh citrus zest is noticeable throughout, even into the finish. The flavors are complex and come and go from the forefront as I drink my glass. Graham cracker becomes more noticeable as I grow more accustomed to the spice and heat. Likewise with the rye bread, anise and melon.

Have you had Old Hillside’s Rye or Bourbon? What did you think? Cheers!🥃

I hope you have enjoyed my Old Hillside Rye Review!

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