Union Horse Rivalist American Single Malt Whiskey Review

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Union Horse began developing their American Single Malt Whiskey back in 2015. Fast forward to 2023 when their Rivalist American Single Malt Whiskey won best of category at the New York Wine & Spirits Competition. So what's it like? Read our full review to find out!
Union Horse Distilling Co
American Single Malt Whiskey
4+ years
96 Proof
MSRP: $60

Please enjoy our Union Horse Rivalist American Single Malt Whiskey review!

What is Rivalist?

From the Union Horse Distilling Co web site: “Rivalist American Single Malt Whiskey is a small batch, artisanal whiskey made from 100% malted barley. Handcrafted from start to finish using three styles of barley (Odyssey, Chocolate and Caramel malts) in our copper pot still, then aged to perfection in new oak barrels.”

Released in August 2022 — Awarded Best American Single Malt in August 2023

Debuting in August of 2022, Union Horse Rivalist is the first American Single Malt Whiskey released by the distillery. Union Horse had begun working on Single Malts back in 2015, and arrived at what would be Rivalist’s final recipe in 2017. However, all of that work paid off when Union Horse Rivalist won a Double Gold and was crowned the Best American Single Malt Whiskey at the 2023 New York World Wine and Spirits Competition!

Union Horse Rivalist American Single Malt Review - Bourbon Obsessed Glencairn and Sample Bottle
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Tasting Notes

Let’s taste it:

🛏 Rested for 15 minutes in a Glencairn

👉🏻Nose: Grain forward, with noticeable malted barley, very subtle red delicious apples and pears; brown sugar, light cinnamon & mild tannins; mild to moderate alcohol
👉🏻Taste: Mildly and moderately toasted/roasted malted barley; quite grain forward, mild brown sugar sweetness
👉🏻Finish: The graininess continues, and gradually fades into darker toasted malt flavors that linger, along with some expected tannins; white pepper spice grows, but remains fairly mild; long finish with a mild burn

Frootbat - Making hard to find liquor easy to buy

Quite A Bit Of Malted Barley Graininess

The Rivalist has quite a bit of malted barley graininess, with fruits more subtle than they often are in single malts. Nonetheless, there’s a bit of brown sugar sweetness, which serves as a nice complement to the grain. The darker toasted notes of the malted barley become more noticeable in the finish, and add some tannins and spice, as well.

Union Horse Rivalist American Single Malt Review - Bottle
Frootbat - Making hard to find liquor easy to buy


Overall, Rivalist American Single Malt is a very enjoyable pour. If you are a fan of a noticeably grain forward whiskey, then this is one you will definitely want to try! Cheers!

We hope you have enjoyed our Union Horse Rivalist American Single Malt Whiskey review! Would you like to read more about Union Horse bourbons? Then check out our Union Horse Reserve Bourbon Review and Union Horse Rolling Standard Four Grain Whiskey Review!

Thank you to Nancy at Union Horse Distilling for graciously providing this whiskey for my review!

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