Deleware Pheonix Rye Spirit

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Deleware Pheonix Rye Spirit

Unread postby bourbonv » Mon Feb 21, 2011 7:57 pm

Yesterday I spent the afternoon at John Lipman's house, where he was holding a sample of Cheryl's rye new make spirit (not whiskey since it never went into the barrel.) Now last may at the ADI meeting in Louisville I tried some of her rye new make and thought it was the best thing I drank all week. This spirit is a little different and was made on her new still. I love it and it shows that the craft distillers can make a good product. Tom McKenzie had already prooved that to me with his rye white dog that was wonderful with orange blossom honey aromas that were out of this world. Cheryls white dog is just as good but in a different way.

This white dog is 100 proof and has a nose that is citrus flowers and sweet spice. The taste is sweet peaches and apricots with some sweet spices such as clove and nutmeg. It has no mouth burn but there is a pleasant warmth going down and the finish is a WOW! Iy is long and sweet, but not unpleasently sweet. I would love for this to be aged in a large barrel for about 6 years. This is top notch rye whiskey.

It is interesting that both of the rye white dogs from craft distillers that I really like come from New York State. Tom's reminds me of fall with the rich honey flavor and Cheryls is a summer's day in the orchard. I would hate to have to choose between the two of them. Great whiskeys and I hope they both have great success in the market so that they will be picked up by a Kentucky distributer.
Mike Veach
"Our people live almost exclusively on whiskey" - E H Taylor, Jr. 25 April 1873
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Re: Deleware Pheonix Rye Spirit

Unread postby delaware_phoenix » Sun Feb 27, 2011 8:56 am

Thanks for the nice review Mike. I think the description is good because I too find a lot of fruit flavors. It's always interesting to hear what people taste, as some people don't find those things and say there's only grain flavor. But that just shows how different are people's taste.

I don't make any claim that this is a re-creation, but the basic "sweet mash" recipe from the Taylor-Hay papers is the foundation for this whiskey. The ratio of water to grain and it's use of water is similar but my mashing protocol is a little more modern in order to get a bit better conversion when using all rye. And I also mash by hand with a mash rake. There seems to be plenty of lactobacillus to sour the mash on it's own. :D

At present I could make about 250 bottles a month if it was all white whiskey and I didn't barrel any of it, nor made any absinthe, so I don't know if any distributor will ever be interested in me. Perhaps that simply means you'll have to make a pilgrimage to NY some day to stock up. If you do, don't forget to bring the ellenjaye folks along too.
Cheryl Lins - Proprietor and distiller, Delaware Phoenix Distillery, Walton, NY
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Re: Deleware Pheonix Rye Spirit

Unread postby bunghole » Sat Apr 02, 2011 5:12 pm

I'll just add on to this thread. Cheryl Lins was kind enough to send me some of her Deleware Pheonix Distillery Rye: One sample of new make, and one sample of that same rye whiskey aged for just three months. She also sent some white dog corn whiskey.

White Dog Corn Whiskey - 110 Proof: It's nice and clear, and has some thin coating action on the sides of the Glencairn glass. It has a sharply volatile nose of strong corn. It smells great. As good as any white dog I've nosed anywhere. I can never nose out the small grains. The flavor is of warm cornbread fresh from the oven. It has a nice oily mouth feel. The finish is extremely quick and suprisingly smooth with no harshness at all. Very easy drinking even at 110 proof.

New Make Rye Whiskey - 103 Proof: Guess What? It's clear too! HaHa! A somewhat subdued nose of faint corn; something close to rye flour or ryebread, and something a little spicey that I can't quite put my finger on - coriander seed perhaps. I don't get anything fruity like Mike Veach got from his. The flavor is where I get something peachy, and the finish is SWEET! Damn! That was totally unexpected. There is some late arrival of a bit of heat along with a bit of a bite, and some pepper too. This is pretty interesting as most unaged whiskies that I have tasted are very much monodimensional and rough. NOT these beauties from DPD.

DPD Rye Whiskey Aged Three Months - No proof written on the bottle: The color of very young whiskey never ceases to amaze me. Here we have a very nice golden hue along with some good viscosity/coating action in the glass with good legs. The nose gives evidence of rising complexity with just smallest hint of oak. In the flavor the corn and rye grain are more amalgamated. Spice notes are just begining to become pronounced, and it's not nearly so sweet anymore. This holds great promise for the future. It doesn't take much age for the true rye whiskey character to leap out! Tastes like a good solid rye to me. Not harsh or hot in anyway. A good finish that will only improve with age. There is some rye and black pepper heat in the finish of a nearly medium length.

Thanks Cheryl for sending me some of your whiskey and trusting me enough to write about it! You've got some winners here.

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Re: Deleware Pheonix Rye Spirit

Unread postby delaware_phoenix » Sun Apr 03, 2011 8:39 am

Thanks for the notes and comments Saint Bunghole! Glad you enjoyed them. I was a little concerned that you might have used your Pure glass and been writing a treatise worth of notes!

I didn't proof the rye whiskey from the barrel, but it went in somewhere between 103 and 110 proof.

The rye whiskey (aged and unaged) is a 100% rye grain bill, so no actual corn in it.

On a somewhat related note, my unaged rye whiskey, RYE DOG, received a GOLD medal from the San Francisco World Spirits Competition 2011. It was placed in the category of "American Straight Rye Whiskey". So while the Thomas Handy BTAC Rye, Bulleit Small Batch Rye and the Sazerac 18 took Double Gold, a little white dog rye got a Gold in the same company as regular Sazerac Straight Rye and Abraham Bowman Rye (Virginia).

So Chuck Cowdery can now be informed that spirits professionals at America's largest spirits competition say that there is a whiskey from a craft distiller that's equal to JBW. Just sayin' :D
Cheryl Lins - Proprietor and distiller, Delaware Phoenix Distillery, Walton, NY
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Re: Deleware Pheonix Rye Spirit

Unread postby bourbonv » Mon Apr 04, 2011 9:20 am

Cheryl,
I am sure that your whiskey deserved the awards. You make great whiskey and I for one will look forward to you winning many more awards.
Mike Veach
"Our people live almost exclusively on whiskey" - E H Taylor, Jr. 25 April 1873
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