Editor’s Note: This whiskey was provided to us as a review sample by Laws Whiskey House. This in no case, by our editorial policies, influenced the final outcome of this review. It should also be noted that by clicking the purchase link at the bottom of this review, our site receives a small sponsorship payment which helps support, but not influence, our editorial and other costs.
Knowing where the grain comes from to make a whiskey is not a fad. Many distilleries look to small family farms for local grains or heirloom varieties. Laws Whiskey House in Denver, Colorado depends on the Cody family farm for its winter rye. Rye grown in the San Luis Valley develops a distinct flavor profile due to the unique climate and soil.
The San Luis Valley sits 7,500 feet above sea level in south-central Colorado. The atmosphere is arid, dry and crisp. Rye likes dramatic highs and lows in temperature, which stays around 85 F during the day and 40 F at night. The sweet, nutty and peppery flavors of Cody Family Farm Winter Rye come particularly from the soil. The composition of the soil causes the grain, as it grows, to build protein structures.
Law Whiskey House also boasts Colorado’s first bonded bottled whiskeys. Although the age requirement for bond-bottled whiskey is four years, Laws has aged his San Luis Valley Straight Rye Bonded for seven years. The additional three years of aging should bring out the bold flavors of the craft malt.
Let’s see how the grain-to-glass process at Laws Whiskey House has impacted San Luis Valley Straight Rye Bonded.
Tasting Notes: Laws Whiskey House San Luis Valley Straight Rye Bonded (Lot 3)
Vital Stats: 50% ABV. 100 proofs. Straight rye bottled in Bond aged 7 years. The mash bill is 95% single season ancient rye from the San Luis Valley and 5% ancient barley. 750ml $60.
Nose: Right out of the bottle, the rye started out as a soggy cinnamon crisp toast. With a little more room to breathe, the dram has delicious vanilla bean and Moroccan mint. The lemon oil and anise really pop in the middle. Bright red maraschino cherry completes the finish. However, the finish has a whiff of freshly cut grass.
Palace: Rye is very spicy, and not because of the ABV. More so, the whiskey tastes sour and is dominated by straw. After this moment, a vanilla ice cream covered with pralines and sprinkled with cocoa powder lingers on the breath. The mint is there too.