For almost 20 years, the beginning of spring has been the most anticipated, maligned moment in the whiskey world. After months of waiting, the San Francisco World Spirits Competition (SFWSC) results are released, and with them a tidal wave of whiskey speculators and bottle hunters buying up all the winners.
This year, the mass shortage of a previously stable bottle of bourbon won most headlines, but another, more unique award-getter vanished too: Sagamore Spirit Port Finish Rye, winner of SFWSC’s “Best Rye Whiskey.”
The whiskey inside the 101 proof expression is a high- and low-rye blend of juice from Indiana’s serial rye-maker, MGP. This makes for a rye that isn’t nearly and fiery as Bulleit and it’s like, but not nearly as smooth and buttery as older-style products like Old Forester’s new rye offering. Once Sagamore has its hands on the whiskey, its whiskey makers finish the blend for six months in Portuguese and American port barrels, imbuing it with flavors of “dark black cherry jam with dark fruits.”
Thirsty yet? Good news: Baltimore-based Sagamore Spirit says America’s best rye is being restocked on shelves now — just in time for Father’s Day. Expect to pay around $70, barring any ridiculous markups.