Sagamore Spirit Rye Whiskey’s subtle fruitiness makes it a sippable, easy-to-enjoy rye whiskey.
Sagamore Spirit Rye Whiskey is a relatively new entrant in the world of American whiskey. Produced by Sagamore Spirit, a Baltimore-based distillery, Sagamore Spirit Rye has quickly made a name for itself with its smooth taste and high quality.
A brief history of Sagamore Spirit Distillery
The history of Sagamore Spirit dates back to the early 2000s, when the founders, Bill McDermond and Brian Treacy, began exploring the idea of starting a distillery. They were inspired by Maryland’s rich history of whiskey distilling, which is quite impressive. In 1911 Maryland reached a high point of whiskey production at 5.6 million gallons. However, just like many old distilleries, the state felt the pain of prohibition, and then after World War II, Maryland distilleries disappeared.
McDermond and Treacy saw an opportunity to revive Maryland’s whiskey-making tradition and decided to focus on producing high-quality rye whiskey. They spent several years researching and perfecting their recipe before opening their distillery in 2017.
How it’s made
Sagamore Spirit Distillery offers a few different ryes, including Cask Strength, 83-Proof, and Double Oak Rye. They also have a line of lovely finished whiskeys, which includes a Sherry Finish, Port Finish, and Manhattan Finish.
Each rye begins with blending two straight rye mash bills, with one being 95% rye and the other 52%. Mr. Treacy tells The New York Times, “Doing so allows us some flexibility, and it gives us that sweet roundedness Maryland rye was known for.”
Sagamore Spirit whiskeys are aged in high-char American oak barrels for at least four years and then stored in Sagamore Spirit’s warehouse on the banks of the Patapsco River in Baltimore. The river’s proximity is said to give the whiskey a unique flavor, as the water is infused with the salt and minerals from the Chesapeake Bay.
Distinctive flavor, sustainability, and prestigious awards
Sagamore Spirit Rye’s distinctive flavor profile sets it apart from other American whiskeys. The high rye content gives it a spicy, peppery flavor, while the oak barrels impart vanilla, caramel, and toasted oak notes. You’ll also notice notes of candied orange peel, imparting the fruity flavor often noted. The whiskey is smooth and well-balanced, with a long, lingering finish.
One thing that sets Sagamore Spirit Rye apart is the distillery’s commitment to sustainability. Sagamore Spirit uses renewable energy to power its distillery and has implemented a number of environmentally friendly practices, such as recycling and composting. The distillery also partners with local farmers to source grain and supports conservation efforts to protect the Chesapeake Bay.
The distinguished distillery is well-received by critics and whiskey enthusiasts. In 2018, Sagamore Spirit won a Double Gold Medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition, one of the most prestigious whiskey competitions in the world. They’ve also been featured in publications such as Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, and Whisky Advocate.
Distiller for a day
Have you ever dreamed of being a distiller? Sagamore Spirit Distillery is offering that chance through its “Distiller for a Day” sweepstakes. Three lucky fans will have a chance to help make whiskey at Sagamore Spirit Distillery. Brian Treacy, Sagamore Spirit’s co-founder and president says of the contest, “We’ve always given folks an opportunity to learn more about Sagamore Spirit’s distilling techniques and see firsthand our dedication to excellence and quality when it comes to Maryland rye whiskey, so it was only natural to give them a chance to make it along with us.”
To enter, simply follow Sagamore’s Instagram page, like the sweepstakes post, then comment on why you want to learn the craft of distilling Sagamore Spirit Rye Whiskey. It’s that easy! Be sure to check out all the rules before playing.
I don’t know about you, but sometimes I want a cocktail but do not feel like getting everything out to make it, or I am busy entertaining company, or maybe just putting my feet up for the day. Sagamore has you covered during those times. I suggest you keep your refrigerator stocked with their canned cocktails. They come in Honey Paloma, Lemon Tea Fizz, Orange Crush, and more. You can also buy a variety pack. Chill and serve – so easy! I am looking forward to these this spring as I chill on the deck.
In conclusion, Sagamore Spirit Rye Whiskey is rich in history, even if it’s a young name in the world of whiskey. When the founders of the distillery began their whiskey-making journey, they weren’t just interested in creating a product; they wanted to resurrect Maryland’s whiskey heritage, and they did.