This cask strength straight rye whiskey comes from MGP of Indiana distillery at Lawrenceburg. Old 1776, like Colonel James E. Pepper nicknamed it, is a legendary whiskey brand. It’s been around since the American Revolution. Originated from Lexington, Kentucky, where they just recently built a renovated distillery. So while this rye has been sourced from MGP of Indiana, at some point James E. Pepper rye will come from their own distillery.
Like the 100 proof version, 1776 Barrel Proof Rye Whiskey has been matured for 2-3 years in charred new American oak. The mash bill has over 90% rye like the recipe from Colonel James E. Pepper’s Revolutionary-era suggests.
When looking at its specifications, this whiskey sounds like the dream rye whiskey of my choice. So I was really looking forward tasting it. Check out my conclusions and tasting notes below.
I remember that the normal version of 1776 James E. Pepper rye was bit disappointing. Don’t get me wrong, it was good, it was actually great. But expectations were higher because of high rye proportion and 100 proof (50% alcohol by volume). I usually love rye whiskies which have high proportion (over 80%) of rye grain in the mash bill. 1776 rye has 95%.
The cask strength version really gets the best out of this recipe. A big improvement from the 100 proof version. Both are good but this is superior. Great rye kick in the throat, offering rich and powerful palate!