Pow Wow Botanical Rye has a unique herbal-ness that is good straight, but also really interesting in craft cocktails.
We imagine our Whiskey-makers to have names like “Angus McSolid” and look like “The Most Interesting Man in the World” from the Dos Equis commercials. The founder of Georgetown Trading Co. looks like a mix between Bruce Willis and Rutger Hauer. That, and with a name like “Amir Peay” he’d make a great Bond villain from the Sean Connery era. But a distiller could look like a Smurf, and so long as they make great spirits we’ll call ‘em “sir,” right?
And that’s what we have here… a solid little craft-distilling company based in the Washington DC Georgetown neighborhood making a range of full-flavored spirits… and owned by someone who just might be an agent of SECTRE. Their range of quality brands includes John H. Sullivan Irish Whiskies, James E. Pepper 1776 Bourbons and Ryes, Pow Wow Botanical Rye, and 1776 Napa Valley Wines.
So … what the heck is “Botanical Rye” anyway? Heck, we humans have been infusing botanicals in our adult beverages since Nefertiti added cinnamon to her beer. We are always experimenting with flavors and alcohol. So Pow Wow Botanical Rye is a classic aged Rye with some interesting botanicals left to steep in the spirit. There are a handful of craft-shops tinkering in this space, but there are some surprises in the Pow Wow package.
Starting with a classic Rye Whiskey
set-up, the botanicals include orange peel, a bit of clove, and some other tidbits. But the really unique addition is Saffron
—by weight still the most expensive spice in the world
—which adds an earthiness and sense of tall grain still in the field (if that makes sense). Anyway, this unique herbal-ness makes Pow Wow Botanical Rye good straight, but also really interesting in craft cocktails. Try it in your next Old Fashioned or in a John Collins.
Saffron comes from small flower… a variety of crocus. Each flower yields only two or three saffron “threads” each, and this species has to be divided and planted by hand. High demand, low yield, and high labor equals pricy spice.