Review: Buzzard’s Roost Single Barrel Straight Rye
Buzzard’s Roost Sippin’ Whiskey is yet another addition to the seemingly unending line of non-distilling producers crowding the whiskey shelves today. The brand was started by Bourbons Bistro founder Jason Brauner, who personally took part in more than 100 barrel selections over his career and supposedly pioneered the idea of private barrel picks for restaurants. Over those 100 barrel selections, Jason must have come to the conclusion that the barrel really is the most important component in producing a unique whiskey because that appears to be the whole point of Buzzard’s Roost. Per the website:
We start by sourcing the best aged whiskey we can find, but the real magic is in our barrels. We use only brand new, 53-gallon white oak barrels that are carefully toasted and very lightly charred. Each one is designed from the ground up to deliver a specific flavor profile.
We work closely with our cooperage to tweak every parameter of the barrel – from the seasoning to the charring to the development of our custom toast profiles. All of our barrels are unique and proprietary to our company, giving Buzzard’s Roost a truly one-of-a kind flavor. After resting only a few weeks in our new barrels, the whiskey is purposefully transformed and ready for bottling.
At the moment, Buzzard’s Roost comes in three different flavors: Single Barrel, Barrel Strength, and Very Small Batch. All are reportedly sourced from MGP. We received a sample of the Single Barrel for review. Thoughts follow.
Wood is definitely the first thing you get on the nose. A lot of wood. This thing smells like a new birdhouse inside a woodshop inside a lumberyard. As it opens, the burliness subsides and a little more sweetness and rye spice creeps in, but there’s still plenty of sawn lumber and chocolaty barrel char in the mix. No exact age information was provided on this single barrel, but it’s reportedly three years old. That’s not surprising because it’s hard to not detect some youth on the palate. Raw grain and young barrel notes are evident, but to its credit there are minimal oak tannins and astringency, even with the considerable wood influence, and the rye notes are well-developed with baking spice and a bit of red fruits. The finish is generous but dusty with toasted oak. A little water brings out a bit more of the grain but also some of the milk chocolate hiding in all that lumber. Since it’s a single barrel, your mileage will certainly vary, but if the same double oak barrel finishing is universally applied, be prepared for a hike through the woods.
B / $70 / buzzardsroostwhiskey.com