The Sonoma Distilling Co. was founded by Adam Spiegel, who started making his own beer as a hobby, which lead to making wine, which lead to grappa, which lead to whiskey. As you do.
By 2009, Adam could sense potential in what he was making and obtained a license to start a distillery. The rest, as they say, is history.
This Rye is made from 80% unmalted rye, 10% unmalted wheat, 10% cherrywood smoked barley. Sounds interesting, so let's get into it...
On the Nose
Very different to what I'm used to. I'm not a hugely experienced Rye drinker, so this was a challenge for me. Hay bails, deep brown sugar syrup, furniture polish solvent, cola syrup. A very distinctive nose.
On the Palate
Instantly, I got a Cigar box, mixed with fresh sawdust, orange peel with clove spice. The taste developed slightly to push the smoke notes to a more prominent position (which was an almost rubber tyre fire smoke to me), but I kept just ending up thinking about a cigar box... that's the one-note I'd say 90% of people will find with this whisky!
Ah, it's a tough one. Whilst I can appreciate there's some craftsmanship gone into this whisky, it is something outwith the norm, it's breaking down barriers and trying new things, I honestly didn't enjoy it.
However, the better half of the Dram Clan (also known as Claire) absolutely loved the (agreed) notes above, and finished the dram off quite happily. This is a marmite whiskey. You'll either love it, or you'll give it to a loved one to finish!
Want to try it for yourself?
Don't take my word for it, why not try the Sonoma Cherrywood Rye for yourself? You can pick up a bottle online at any of the following retailers:
This dram was tried via a Whisky-me subscription! To subscribe to Whisky-me, visit them HERE.