Gun Figther Rye

Review 2017-060 «Specifics» Rye whiskey • Distilled from 60% rye, 34% corn and 6% malted barley • 50.0% Alcohol • Matured for a minimum of 6 months in new American oak barrels and then finished in French port barrels • Non-chill filtered? • Natural coloured • Golden Moon Distillery • Golden • Colorado • U.S.A. • Locally available • Difficult to find (price ±€49) • Whiskybase #94012

STORY. Golden Moon Distillery/Maison de La Vie was founded in 2008 by Stephen Gould and Karen Knight with the purpose to make hand-crafted liquors and liqueurs (what’s the difference?). Many of their distillations are based on century-old recipes from their own library. They use antique stills from he mid-1900’s and use locally available products as much as possible. They also produce single malt, bourbon and rye whiskey, although it is not their core business as it is for many other American micro-distilleries. The age of the whiskies is still young (½ to 1 year) and while their single malt is targeted for the premium market (at $110), their bourbon and rye is (and I quote) “providing a premium bourbon/rye whiskey at an affordable price.


APPEARANCE. Western movie-style and simple design, colour of the contents is golden with a rosé hue and is slightly cask coloured.

NOSE. Fragrant and fruity. It has got forest fruits jams,  marmalade, rose jelly, accompanied by a fresh layer of peppermint. There is also some grapefruit bitterness. A perfect balance between port inspired fruitiness and the spiciness of rye. Like a fruit bowl with spices, strawberry jam with cloves, or coriander sugar toppings.  The coriander is in particular present. Then some apples drizzled with lemon, liquorice roots and caraway seeds. I also find a hint of young cheese. It is so lovely and fascinating. (water) None is needed.

TASTE. At first it is light, and not really spirit-y. The spices enter first but turn directly into red fruit sauces consisting of strawberries, raspberries, cherries, all in the mix with well balanced spices. It is not at all overpowering, bold or sharp. Is this really a young rye? The spices come out eventually with notes of nutmeg, coriander, cardamon, ginger, definitely ginger, and peppercorns. I also get some marmalade in the development. It lingers reasonably long on the tongue with strawberry jam with cardamon, some tannins in the aftertaste. Probably the shortish finish is where you mostly notice the age. (water) Again none is needed.

VERDICT. All together this is beautifully integrated, well matured, cleverly selected. The young rye goes so good with the fruity sweetness of the port. Reminds me very much of the locally made jams around here, which often combine sweet fruits with spices. I like the occasional bottle of port, but port-fished whiskies have so far mostly been a no-go for me. Too much tannins, too much bitterness and acidity. Not at all like a good aged port. Well, probably they do not use the casks which contained the good port. Anyway, this rye is different. So single malts makers please pay attention, lesson one on how to integrate a good port cask influence into your spirit.

Recommended for lovers of spicy jam.

Thanks to Norbert for the sample!

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