Opened in 2020, Great Jones Distillery is Manhattan’s first and only legal distillery since Prohibition. Being so new, they aren’t yet bottling their own whiskey. Their products are currently distilled, aged, and bottled at Black Dirt distillery in upstate New York. Today we will be trying three of their whiskeys, but only the standard bourbon is widely available. The Four Grain and the Rye are distillery exclusives.
Great Jones Straight Bourbon Whiskey – This four-year-old whiskey has a mashbill of corn, malted barley, and rye. The nose is soft, with enticing notes of brown sugar and vanilla as well as a touch of black pepper. On the palate, the rye pepper notes are more pronounced and provide a nice balance to the brown sugar and vanilla notes. The whiskey isn’t overly complex and tastes a bit young with a fairly short finish, but it drinks well, particularly for its price point. I would love to see how it tastes with a little more time in cask. 86 proof. B / $40
Great Jones Four Grain Straight Bourbon – Made with corn, malted barley, rye, and wheat all grown in the state of New York, this whiskey has been aged for four years. The nose is quite lovely and offers caramel, corn-heavy sweetness, and cereal notes, along with a bit of nutmeg, clove, and cinnamon. The palate is similar. Caramel and baking spices come first, along with a bit of peppery rye. Light sweetness balances the spice nicely, and although this is a young whiskey, it drinks a bit older. The only drawback is the finish, which could be longer, but this is a solid sipper. It works well on its own and would be a great base for an Old Fashioned or a Manhattan. 90 proof. B+ / $60
Great Jones Rye Whiskey – This whiskey is 100% rye, aged a minimum of four years. The nose shows the mashbill, starting with a spicy kick followed by vanilla and dried apricots. The palate opens with caramel, more dried apricot, and a light sweetness followed quickly by peppery spice notes that are pronounced, but not over the top. There’s balance here, with a finish that is medium in length. This is a nice sipping rye at a good price point and would serve brilliantly in cocktails. 90 proof. B+ / $40
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