Few cocktails evoke the warm feeling and flavors of fall quite like a Manhattan. To welcome the season and pay homage to a recipe that’s stood the test of time, Sagamore Spirit of Baltimore introduces a new limited-edition rye whiskey inspired by the classic cocktail: Sagamore Spirit Distiller’s Select Manhattan Finish. At a substantial 103-proof, Manhattan Finish rye whiskey is equally enjoyable mixed in its namesake cocktail or savored on its own.
Sagamore Spirit’s latest limited release deconstructs the flavors of a Manhattan cocktail, finishing straight rye whiskey in separate 53-gallon cherry brandy, vermouth, and bitters barrels. The final result hints at the fresh cherry sweetness, herbaceous vermouth and botanical spice of the classic cocktail, while preserving the gentle yet full-bodied character of Sagamore Spirit’s Maryland-style rye.
This standout bottle is the first in Sagamore Spirit’s “Distiller’s Select” line, an ongoing collection of Maryland-style rye whiskies aged in barrels formerly used to age other spirits. “Distiller’s Select” complements Sagamore Spirit’s “Brewer’s Select” line, a newly launched collection of barrel-aged beer-finished whiskies.
“Whiskey enthusiasts want to be challenged, and we’re always up for a good challenge too. It led us to try something that’s never been done before, which ultimately became Manhattan Finish,” said Brian Treacy, Sagamore Spirit’s president. “The process started with breaking down the flavors of a Manhattan cocktail and then building them back up again. Our distilling team spent weeks testing different combinations of our straight rye whiskey aged separately in cherry brandy, vermouth and bitters barrels to find just the right blend. The result turned out to be exactly what we wanted: a full-proof whiskey with character – not a cocktail – and one that was well worth the risk.”
Sagamore Spirit’s team of distillers have mastered the art of experimentation. All of the brand’s finished whiskeys first exist as an idea, inspired by the curiosity of their distillers then informed by months – and years – of trial. But in a world where there are no rules or roadmaps, success is never guaranteed. Manhattan Finish represents an experiment gone deliciously right.
As the latest innovation from Sagamore Spirit’s distilling team, Manhattan Finish follows other popular limited time offerings released earlier this year: Rye Ale Finish (aged in Sierra Nevada beer barrels) and Calvados Finish. While Manhattan Finish will only be available for a limited time, fans can enjoy Sagamore Spirit year-round with Signature Rye Whiskey and Cask Strength, the distillery’s core offerings that are leading the Maryland-style rye revival across the country.
Sagamore Spirit Distiller’s Select Manhattan Finish will be available nationwide this fall, in 750ml bottles at a suggested retail price of $69.99. To find a bottle near you visit sagamorespirit.com/find-rye.