The ever lovely @_lostnemo_ has sent me another amazing @mayorpingreewhiskey release from @valentinedistillingco for review. This time it was in the form of an entire bottle as a housewarming gift! Can you believe her? I appreciate everything the @SpiritAnimalSociety has brought to the whiskey community so far, but our crown jewel has got to be Abby. She does so much and is incredibly kind to boot. What more could you ask for in a friend? I'm surely glad to call her one of mine!
Despite the bottle being a lovely gift, I will try to review the whiskey without bias, which usually includes removing the bottle from my view as I sip neat from a glencairn. Let's see what the Michiganders are producing these days!
Mayor Pingree 6 Year Single Barrel Cask Strength Straight Rye Whiskey
Company on Label: Valentine Distilling
Whiskey Type: Straight Rye Whiskey
Mash Bill Percentages: Undisclosed
Age: 6 years
Further identification: This single barrel is produced and aged by Valentine; the whiskey comes from barrel 705 and is a distillery only release as far as I know
Nose: Oh mylanta, this is a rye? I get all the hallmarks of an unbelievably well crafted bourbon with syrupy caramel, vanilla, molasses, and level oak. There's another wood characteristic that reminds me more of cedar too. Wow, incredible wood characteristics all throughout this now. I feel like I'm in a woodshop. I've only had one other whiskey that elicited that exact feeling. Now the cherry syrup and plum characteristics are swinging in. I get some really nice earthy tones that remind me of tomatoes growing on the vine. It's not overly powerful despite its higher proof. On a good swirl I drum up sweet raisin, savory black pepper, and milk chocolate. What a silky, bakery sweet scent to this. There's a touch of warm leather on the front end with things blooming into hints of allspice and nutmeg. There's a lovely bubbling cranberry note that simmers to the top as I dive deeper. The overall feel is definitely one that favors bakery sweets like pastries and cakes with flashes of lovely fruit sweetness that make this a complex pour with savoring. Time for a sip. Wow, a paper note is quite prominent after a sip. It's a bright oakiness not many other pours can replicate. Soft honey is there, and the descriptor is quite apt for many of the aromas that find their way out of this glass. The empty glass smells of Summer flowers, soft plum, honey, and grenadine.
Palate: Plum and pepper lead the charge on my first sip. A long heft builds and hugs me warmly all the way down without every coming off too harsh. There's a calm copper metallic note that sits on the palate gingerly. Another sip builds in the milk chocolate, caramel and molasses that the early nose was demonstrating well. The mouth coating is thin, but warming in a comforting way that reminds me of sitting in a sunlit window seat of a breakfast diner. The raisin and cranberry notes swing through now and dance with a bit of citrus zest on the middle of my tongue. The mouth coating is really starting to build now with caramel cookies and pastry dough continuing to set the scene. Wow, bright honey and lemon tea just flashed onto the scene like an old friend coming by for a surprise visit. As I near the end of the glass the dark red fruits continue to build in intensity and do start to take on a bit of bitterness that's not unwelcome. My last sip is on the larger side of a sip and it produces lemon zest in troves, cinnamon, cherry skins, soft herbal tea tones, and honey. The oak characteristics linger well, but certainly not too long. The finish is slightly drying with the feeling of consuming something that was coated with flour.
I thoroughly enjoyed this pour, and am definitely reaching for another as a follow up on this fine Friday evening! I did think this presented fairly traditional overall; maybe I was expecting something unique out of the Michigan aged spirit, but it ended up delivering something delicious, familiar and overall a really great whiskey that I am so stoked to have more of. Thank you again Abby!