The incredibly thick and creamy mouthfeel elevates an already exceptional whiskey. Complex, bold, and concentrated flavors with nothing out of place.
Hochstadter’s Family Reserve Rye is a limited release of sourced rye whiskey, bottled by The Cooper Spirits Company in Philadelphia, PN. The Cooper Spirits Company has been around since 2006, and also owns the Hochstadter’s Vatted Rye, Slow & Low Rock and Rye, and Lock Stock & Barrel Rye brands. For Hochstadter’s Family Reserve and Lock Stock & Barrel, Cooper hand picks casks of aged stock from Alberta Distillers Limited, which is essentially Canada’s version of MGP in terms of production scale and notoriety as a bulk supplier for non-distilling producers. For Hochstadter’s Family Reserve, the casks chosen contain whiskey distilled from 100% rye grain and aged at least 16 years. The casks were all new charred oak (as opposed to refill casks), which allow the whiskey to be labeled as a “Straight Rye” according to U.S. regulations.
This 16 year old rye whiskey was released in 2017 with a limited 7,500 bottles hitting distribution. It was bottled without any dilution at natural cask strength.
- Distilled and aged by Alberta Distillers Limited in Calgary, Canada
- Bottled by Cooper Spirits Company in Philadelphia, PN
- Mash of 100% rye grain
- Bottled at 61.9% ABV (123.8 proof) without chill filtration
Nose (undiluted): Baked goods, toffee, cherries and pine play together with toasted oak and buttery caramel. There is a nice raisin note that fades to a faint herbal tea with cloves and a bit of boozy heat.
Nose (with a few drops of water): The candy sweet notes (butter toffee, caramel) are much bolder with the pine and ethanol nearly vanishing.
Palate (undiluted): Sweet pine verging on juniper attacks your palate with toasted vanilla and fresh oak behind it. The spice follows with notes of cloves, tobacco, and a nice pepper rye kick that forms a creamy triangle of flavor before giving way to barrel spice with raisins and cherries popping up. Some mild, earthy leather notes round things out.
Palate (with a few drops of water): The mouthfeel is even creamier with a full array of fruits now appearing, including cherries, plums, raisins, and cranberries. The butterscotch is much more present, and there is a touch of pine, as the leather and tobacco get pushed to the finish.
Finish (Undiluted): Sweetness transitions to a slightly more tart and spicy finish. Oak, vanilla, and faint caramel bring up the rear with a touch of what seems like roasted corn similar to what you’d find in a young bourbon. Nice charred barrel spices and leather leave behind a rich array of fruity flavors before the final wave of heat hits and mellows nearly at the same time.
Finish (with a few drops of water): Big cherry and toffee notes linger with a small wave of rye spice and char.
Buying Recommendation: Worth Buying a Pour. Taste wise, I’d love to tell everyone to go out and buy a bottle of this, but it’s hard to make that recommendation for a $200 whiskey. That said, this is a truly exceptional whiskey that would be worthy of a splurge purchase.
The great mouthfeel of the liquid highlights this wonderful whiskey and it almost feels like it’s melting in your mouth as you drink it. Big rushes of lush fruity flavors and sharp pops of rye spice mingle in a pleasant yet intricate way making every sip seem like a new adventure. The corn notes at the end are interesting because this is a 100% rye but they don’t feel out of place or distracting. The high proof plays well with the fun fruits and spice in a way that could be found amusing by all levels of enthusiasts. If you can afford it or are lucky enough to know someone who has a bottle this is a must try.
All in all, adding just a touch of water elevated this whiskey, and the number scores reflect my rating with the water added.