“A piney fresh aroma wafts from the glass and is pleasantly earthy without overwhelming the nose. Sweet and spicy in the mouth, the flavor bursts on the palate with black pepper, orange zest and hot cinnamon.” (Finalist, Extraordinary, Ultimate Recommendation)
“Lush aromas of butterscotch and caramel are married with cherry pit, apricot, and dried apple. The palate is well structured, creamy viscosity serves as a base for the complex profile of this whisky. Cedar and sandalwood notes come to mind. The finish is long and leaves a pleasant roasted almond flavor.” (Finalist, Excellent, Highly Recommended)
“Named for former president and native Long Islander Teddy Roosevelt and his ‘Rough Riders’ volunteer cavalry. Look for a vanilla and oak scent, plus a touch of apple. On the palate, this rye has a concentrated vanilla flavor tinged with espresso and cocoa, finishing on mouthwatering fruit and spice.”
“Sepia brown color; excellent purity. First whiffs capture delicate aromatic notes of corn husk/tamale, cornbread, and toasted dark chocolate, sweetened breakfast cereal, sealing wax, and oaky resins. Entry is pleasingly rich, sinewy in texture, as bittersweet as it is sweet, chewy, and delectable; midpalate reflects many of the entry findings, adding toffee and caramel corn flavors that usher in and dominate the savory aftertaste.”
“Burnt sienna color; flawless clarity. This opening nose is ripe, fruity, cereal-like, and even a bit like cherry compote; with more aeration, the aroma settles down into a moderately spicy/peppery bouquet that’s direct, assertive, vivid, and delicately sweet and ripe. Entry is jam-packed with flavors, including seedless rye bread, toasted marshmallow, sour grape hard candy; midpalate mirrors the entry, but at this stage it’s the silky texture that tells the biggest story. Aftertaste treats the taste buds to a fully rounded-out, supple rye that’s quite lovely.”
"This cask-strength rye is among the highest proof you'll see on the shelf. Uncut, this dark amber whiskey has a rich caramel aroma and a wood-heavy palate that finishes long, spicy and hot. Balanced with plenty of dilution, mellow vanilla, almond and coconut tones emerge."
“Like rye, bourbon is required to have a 51 percent specific grain component, this time of corn. A Kentucky origin isn’t necessary for a bourbon designation: it can be made in any of the States, though it must be aged in charred new-oak barrels. Enter the Long Island Sound–cooled wine country of the North Fork on New York’s Long Island: the Rough Rider distillery opened there in 2007, the island’s first since the 1800s. Its Straight Bourbon Whisky—the ‘straight’ means it was aged for at least two years in those oak barrels—was further aged in ex-merlot and -chardonnay casks. At 60 percent corn (the rest is mostly rye, with a handful of malted barley thrown in), its notes are predominantly of medium-toasted caramel, with fruity and ash aromas in there, too, along with a lean, stony texture. A coffee chaser is its most obvious accompaniment. For food, go austere and bready: an English muffin, a Southern biscuit.”
“Inspired by Teddy Roosevelt's Rough Riders, this eastern Long Island bourbon rests in Merlot and Chardonnay barrels that get washed with high-proof brandy after initially aging in new oak, giving essence of both oak and wine characteristics. And at around $33 a bottle, it's a solid deal.”
“A lovely bronze/auburn color; ideal, flawless purity. I liked the aroma on this rye from the very start as it clearly points to the base grain in spades through the defining fragrances of salted crackers, prune, new leather, loose leaf tobacco; second passes reveal spicier notes such as sage, sea salt, toffee, saltwater taffy, chalk/limestone. Entry is voluptuously sweet and spicy, with dried fruit notes of raisin and prune; midpalate soars to flavor profile heights in waves of campfire warm elevated abv, caramel, candied walnut, fudge. End on an embers-warm note that embraces the tongue, wrapping it in oily layers of spice, grain, oak and brown sugar. One fraction of a step away from being unctuous, but luckily it didn’t reach that point, instead being robust, slightly fiery dram of succulence and dried fruit.”
"The spicy high-rye bourbon is aged four years in new oak, then finished in Merlot and Chardonnay wine casks (first rinsed with Long Island-made brandy) to add hints of spice, minerality and sweetness.
Tastes Like: Self Confidence. At 90 proof, it's bold, but the barrel finishing mellows the hard edges. Sip neat or over ice, take your time, then conquer the world.
Street Cred: Would Teddy have preferred his whiskey finished off in Chardonnay casks? We kinda doubt it. Still, this is good, honest whiskey from a team that gives a damn."