Rye Review: Stauning Bastard
Stauning Bastard / 46.3%
This (WB) is a Danish (Denmark) double-distilled Rye whisky aged for three years in toasted virgin American Oak casks, and then finished for six months in mezcal casks from Mexican Oro de Oaxaca. It is the second release in Stauning’s experiments series, and is non-chill-filtered.
This “experiment” is clearly inspired by the Scotch Whisky Association’s decision to allow more flexibility in Scotch Whisky finished in ez-Tequila/Mezcal/etc casks.
- Color: russet (1.3)
- Nose: tequila agave, chlorine and salt, lime, and gingerbread
- Taste: good oily texture and mouthfeel, a high layer of citrus and tequila, underneath grande marnier-style orange liqueur
- Finish: five spice, black pepper, and crème de orange; lingering sweetness
I have not delved deep into the world of ryes, bourbons, tequilas, or mezcal, but this experiment can only be considered a success. By using virgin oak for the first traditional aging period, and for a little longer than required for “straight rye” at two years, they’ve developed admirable colour and a little complexity.
Six months was absolutely long enough in the ex-Mezcal cask, as the agave/mezcal influence is starting to dominate the normal spicy Rye.
I would look forward to a vatting of virgin-oak and ez-Mezcal whiskies, matured a bit longer, and perhaps even married in an ex-bourbon or refill bourbon cask. My only complaint is the marriage between rye/mezcal seems incomplete, and instead of a single final whisky, I feel like I’m drinking a layered shot. The lovely finish makes up for it though!