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A tasty Rey Whiskey made from a Beer mash and aged in new quarter-casks for a full-on flavor party.
Rodney "Rod" Cegleski was a California surfer when he met an Australian Jackaroo named Hamlisch "Hammer" Marshall (a "jackaroo" is a young ranch hand down-under). In 2012 they started experimenting with brewing and distilling at the SLO Brew brewery in San Luis Obispo that Hamlisch had purchased. Distilling grew into a passion, and that passion developed into a business. They officially opened Rod & Hammer Slo Stills in 2019 and set about to build.
Rod & Hammer's Slo Stills Distiller's Reserve Rye Whiskey was released for the first time in 2020 — and it immediately was names as one of the Top 100 Spirits of the Year by Wine Enthusiast magazine. Congratulations to them, right? So, what makes it special you may ask? First, the mash bill is a "Beer mash" with 60% rye grain — that means the fermenting yeasts are tightly controlled. The second is that even though the Spirit is aged for twelve months, they use unusually small quarter casks. Each one only holds fifteen gallons so wood contact is maximized. You care because that means the Whiskey develops flavor a LOT faster. When we tasted our sample it "felt" like a four to five-year-old dram with a warm, caramel-and-spice profile.
A Whiskey and a Beer mashes are similar, but they have important differences. Proper Beer fermentation requires far more control over the yeasts and bacteria to prevent funky and sour notes so the wort (mash liquid) is usually boiled prior to fermentation. Not so with Whiskey.
Appearance / Color
Nose / Aroma / Smell
The aroma has a pepper and cinnamon fragrance with a base note of vanilla bean.
Flavor / Taste / Palate
The palate opens with classic Rye spice — including cracked black pepper and Aleppo’s — with a dash of tart caramel apple.
This is one of those Rye drams that leaves you with a peppery warmth that seems to go on and on.
The Flavor Spiral™ shows the most common flavors that you'll taste in Rod & Hammer's Slo Stills Distiller's Reserve Rye Whiskey and gives you a chance to have a taste of it before actually tasting it.
We invented Flavor Spiral™ here at Flaviar to get all your senses involved in tasting drinks and, frankly, because we think that classic tasting notes are boring.