Sunday, August 28, 2011

Pikesville Supreme Straight Rye Whiskey

I'd lived in Maryland for about fourteen years before it occurred to me to ask what people drink around here. More particularly, I wondered whether there's any sort of liquor or liqueur for which the Old Line State can claim bragging rights. (Well, besides Natty Boh.)

And that's when I found out about Maryland Rye Whiskey.

About thirty years too late, maybe, to taste rye whiskey actually distilled in Maryland, but at least one Maryland brand name -- Pikesville, now owned by Heaven Hill -- was still in use. And not just in use, I discovered, but cheap! Less than nine dollars in the local liquor stores. (And, according to the label, still "distilled under an old Maryland formula.")

So I got a bottle and tried it and... the stuff ain't bad. Granted, there's not a lot going on in the glass, but what is there is perfectly enjoyable.

Pikesville Supreme is now my quaff of choice when I just want a whiskey at my elbow that doesn't draw attention to itself. It's also very mixable, although these days I mostly just mix it with crushed ice.

Nose: Sweet toffee, hint of rye. More rye on the palate, and a bright, spicy finish. A couple drops of water bring out fruit notes in the nose and more of a grain taste.

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