The second collaboration between Sagamore Spirit and Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. is here: Sagamore Spirit Brewer’s Select Rye Ale Barrel Finish. Sagamore Spirit finished a blend of six-year-old and four-year-old straight rye whiskies in barrels that first aged Sagamore Spirit rye, and then Sierra Nevada’s prized red ale. The result is a one of a kind rye, revealing rich cocoa on the nose, with notes of creamy caramel and hazelnut to taste.
It’s a case of what goes around, comes around – in the best of ways – that gave rise to two limited releases. Last year, Sierra Nevada finished its red ale, made with Maryland-grown malted rye, in spent Sagamore Spirit barrels. The result was a complex, one-of-a-kind craft ale. Sierra Nevada then shipped those same barrels back to Sagamore Spirit. The Baltimore distillers filled the twice-used barrels with straight rye whiskey to finish for an additional 10 months. The collaboration initially came about when a discussion about trademarks turned into a barrel-aging brainstorm – the fruits of which have now been fully realized.
The limited-edition whiskey, at 90 proof, marks the first release from Sagamore Spirit’s new “Brewer’s Select” line, signifying whiskies that are beer barrel-finished for unique taste experiences, each starting from the Maryland-style rye that the distillery is at the vanguard of reviving.
“Like us, the team at Sierra Nevada believes in doing things differently, and doing things right. We learned last year just how well our approachable Maryland-style rye complemented their red ale, and now they’re returning the favor,” said Brian Treacy, president of Sagamore Spirit. ”It’s the first time we’ve finished our whiskey in beer barrels that we originally owned, and the result was well worth the wait.”
Rye Ale Barrel Finish is the first release from the Baltimore-based distiller following its two Double Gold award wins at the 2020 San Francisco World Spirits Competition: one for its Calvados Finish, the other for its Barrel Select Straight Rye Whiskey.
Sagamore Spirit Brewer’s Select Rye Ale Barrel Finish will be available nationwide in May, in 750ml bottles at a suggested retail price of $69.99. To find a bottle near you visit sagamorespirit.com/find-rye.