Lately I’ve been on a bit of a rye whiskey cocktail kick. Not sure why, but at the end of a long day a Manhattan just sounds too good to pass up. Needless to say, when Heritage Distilling Company sent me a bottle of their unaged Commander’s Rye Whiskey I was a bit excited. Of course, that also meant I had to come up with an unaged rye whiskey cocktail. A task I was more than prepared to take on.
Before I tell you more about said unaged rye whiskey cocktail, let’s first discuss the booze and the company that makes it. Heritage Distilling Company, located in Gig Harbor, Washington, is a craft distillery that is family operated. All of their spirits are made from ingredients that are locally sourced and they operate under the idea of Field to Flask. The all-natural hippie in me loves all of this. They also have a Cask Club and My Batch program where people can come in and make their own spirits.
Their Commander’s Rye Whiskey is said to be based on a variation of George Washington’s original rye whiskey recipe. According to Anthony Dias Blue in the book, The Complete Book of Spirits, Washington was one of America’s first distillers and was known for his rum and rye whiskey. Heritage makes their Commander’s Rye from a blend of rye, corn and malted barley and bottles it unaged with no colorings or additives.
This was my first time trying an uaged rye whiskey so I don’t have anything to compare it to except for aged rye which really isn’t the same. Commander’s Rye Whiskey is clear in color. On the nose I get grains and yeast with a slight note of menthol/mint. I can tell that it is some type of whiskey but I wouldn’t place it as a rye. On the palette, it is dry with the flavors of grains and hints of powdered sugar with a short finish. I was worried that the flavor of the whiskey would get lost when mixed in drinks, but that wasn’t the case at all with this unaged rye whiskey cocktail.
There is a nice balance of flavors here with the unaged rye, fresh clementine, Campari and bitters. Add in a flamed orange twist and you have this beautiful aperitif cocktail that I’ve named Washington’s Honor. Enjoy!
- ½ clementine mandarin, peeled
- 1-1/2 ounces Heritage Distilling Company's Commander's Rye Whiskey
- ½ ounce Campari
- 2 dashes Angostura bitters
- Orange peel for garnish
- Add peeled clementine pieces to a cocktail shaker and gently muddle.
- Add rye, Campari and bitters with ice.
- Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
- Garnish with a flamed orange twist.
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Note… I was sent the bottle of Commander’s Rye Whiskey to put to good use. All thoughts, opinions and pictures are my own. Also, the link for the book mentioned above is an affiliate link to help support the costs of running this site.