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1776 Straight Rye Whiskey by James E. Pepper

James E. Pepper Rye

James E. Pepper 1776 Straight Rye

WhiskyRant’s conclusions
Tasting notes

This straight rye whiskey comes from MGP of Indiana distillery at Lawrenceburg. 1776 Straight Rye Whiskey is part of the legendary American whiskey brand called James E. Pepper. The brand comes from Lexington, Kentucky, where they are planning to open a renovated distillery in 2018. So somewhere in near future, 1776 Straight Rye Whiskey will be distilled, matured and bottled in James E. Pepper’s own distillery.

James E. Pepper is a well known brand since the American Revolution all the way through 1958. Relaunched in 2008 by the Georgetown Trading Co., they’ve bottled bourbon and rye whiskey sourced from MGP of Indiana.

1776 Straight Rye Whiskey has been matured in charred new American oak for 2-3 years and it’s non-chill filtered, bottled at 100 proof (50% ABV). Made using over 90% rye in its mash bill like Colonel James E. Pepper’s Revolutionary-era recipe suggests. He nicknamed his whiskey “Old 1776” by the way.

Like 1776 the musical

It was hard trying to figure out a movie reference, but I’ll state this simply 1776. 1776 is a musical drama film directed by Peter H. Hunt, based on 1969 Broadway musical of the same name.

This rye whiskey actually is like a musical, combining two completely different notes of fruits and spices together, like a musical ties acting and singing together.

I must confess, with 100 proof and over 90% rye mash bill sourced from MGP, I was expecting more out of this. As you can see from my scoring, this James E. Pepper whiskey got a good overall score. But I was expecting a much richer straight rye whiskey. Check out my tasting notes below for more information:

Tasting Notes

Mash bill:
95% rye, 5% malted barley
ABV: 50%
Colour: Burnished copper
Non-chill filtered
Nose: Surprisingly smooth with notes of rhubarb dominating. Cool with hints of rye and lots of fruity notes. Heavy citrus notes along with some oak as well.
Taste: Very minty and like the brand obligates, very peppery. Tropical fruits rise nicely from the background. Spicy rye bread and oranges. 1776 Rye Whiskey’s palate is nice with typical mint notes from MGP of Indiana rye dominating, with a (James E.) peppery twist.
Finish: Nicely long with lots of spicy notes. Hints of pineapple and nice notes of salty liquorice powder.
Balance: Quite straight forward but good rye whiskey. Nicely in balance, great mix of tropical fruity notes and spicy, peppery palate. Rye is nicely presented even though it doesn’t dominate in any part of the tasting.

Read my review of James E. Pepper 1776 Barrel Proof Rye Whiskey

1776 Straight Rye Whiskey Scoring

Brand: James E. Pepper (Lexington, Kentucky) Distillery: MGP of Indiana Region: Lawrenceburg, Indiana, USA

James E. Pepper 1776 Straight Rye Whiskey Review

Johannes Lindblom
Johannes Lindblom
Finnish whisky enthusiast and the author of WhiskyRant! A digital marketing professional by day – a whisky reviewer and informer by night.

1 Comment

  1. […] the 100 proof version, 1776 Barrel Proof Rye Whiskey has been matured for 2-3 years in charred new American oak. The mash […]

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