Review 2017-064 «Specifics» Flavoured rye whiskey • Bottled in 2017 • Distilled from 100% rye and flavoured with French black Périgord truffles for several months • 50.0% Alcohol • Matured for (probably) no less than 1 year in new, charred American oak barrels, finished in used barrels • Non-chill filtered • Natural coloured • Sonoma County Distillery • Rohnert Park • California • U.S.A. • Locally available • Difficult to find (price ±€100) • Whiskybase #99431
STORY. Sonoma County Distilling Company was founded in 2010 by Adam Spiegel, born and raised in nearby San Francisco. To quote: “ “While working with great Master Distillers and Blenders over the years, I’ve honed my stills to continually raise the bar with each new product and batch. There are no “Masters” here per say; we’re just regular people striving every day to better themselves and their craft. I like to say we’re making whiskeys in a small way for a big world.” They try to adhere to traditional methods using direct-fired alembic copper pot stills and perform milling, mashing and fermentation all in-house. They use local organic non-GMO grains and new, American oak barrels from Minnesota and Missouri. Within their range they currently offer three types of rye, three types of bourbon and two types of wheat whiskey. And then there is this, the world’s first black truffle rye whiskey! For this they used pure rye whiskey and added some genuine black truffles from the Périgord region in French. If that isn’t intriguing, well…
APPEARANCE. Distinctive and authentic design, colour of the contents is earthy light brown and is only slightly truffle-coloured.
NOSE. I suspected lots of truffle, but in fact this is surprisingly fresh and fruity. Well, it is earthy, obviously, but there are also lots of fresh apples and juicy pears. In addition, I find mushrooms and good calvados. (water) Does not add anything, rather makes it slightly musty. I do get some extra notes of champagne.
TASTE. Also here it is surprisingly fresh. There is some cooked pasta, and then the truffle comes forward, along with some parsley, baked mushrooms, pepper and ginger. (water) This makes it more earthy, musty, and there is even more truffle.
VERDICT. This is a elegant and high class combination of truffle and rye. Very well thought trough, because it fits perfectly. It would fit with a dinner in a 2-star Michelin restaurant. Waiter, bring me some more of these ingenious surprises, please!
Recommended for moments when you feel like drinking whisky in a fancy restaurant, but secretly want to stay home.
Thanks to Norbert for the sample!
«What others say»
- @Whiskybase: Mean score of 90.00 (1 vote)
- @Whiskeywash: “II’ll be honest, my expectations were sky-high in the “weird” column for Sonoma County Distilling Black Truffle Rye, but the truffle character was actually milder than I’d anticipated” Score: 86/100
- @Distiller: ” If one does snag a bottle, it will make a unique and enjoyable pour for an end of night treat” Score: 88/100
- @Drinkhacker: “Give it time in glass, and ample time on your shelf, as you explore its many mysteries” Score: A-
- @Superflybourbonclub: “After sitting with this whiskey for a while I’ve made 2 big observations: the truffle character was actually softer than I’d anticipated, and that it’s a worthy experiment of continuing” Score: Good