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American Whiskey Rated C+ Reviews Rye Whiskey

Review: 2bar Spirits Rye


It’s been over five years since we looked at the spirits of 2bar — an impressive bourbon, vodka, and more — but the Seattle distiller recently rolled out a new product: 2bar Rye. This whiskey is made from a mash of 65% rye, 10% corn, and 25% malt, and it’s aged for 2 1/2 years in 30 gallon barrels with a #4 char. That makes for a much different animal than 2bar’s other spirits, as we’ll see in short order.

Good god, just opening the bottle is an assault on the senses. A brief whiff of sweet cereal and classic rye spice finds itself quickly displaced by an overwhelming, pungent aroma of well-charred wood and heavily toasted, almost burnt grains. To approximate the effect, toss a slice of rye bread and a cedar shingle into a toaster and set it on high.

The palate takes things even further. Pushy and rustic, it’s an exemplar of young, craft rye, the brashness of the barrel equaled only by the aggressiveness of the distillate. Green and biting, the spice is overloaded and eye-searing in intensity; I reached for water after a few sips to see if this beast was tamable. Honestly, not very. Water dulls the heat and thins things out, but it never really gives the secondary elements any time to shine. There are hints of cinnamon and gingerbread deep down in there… but it takes inordinate effort to find them. By and large, it’s wood, grain, rinse, repeat. A mixer is a must.

Sampled at 100 proof. (Bottle proof may vary.)

C+ / $33 / 2barspirits.com

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2bar Spirits Rye



Christopher Null

Christopher Null is the founder and editor in chief of Drinkhacker. A veteran writer and journalist, he also operates Null Media, a bespoke content company.

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