Giant TX Rye Whiskey

Giant Straight Rye Whiskey Review: Single Barrel

Meet Luke

Luke is a Level I Certified Whiskey Specialist with a passion for exploring and unearthing the best whiskeys around. Luke has a preference for Rye whiskeys but has tasted over 250 different whiskeys to date varying from bourbons to scotches. He continues to expand upon his whiskey knowledge by tasting dozens of bottles monthly and reviewing them here on Barrel and Brew as he pursues his Masters of Whiskey certification.

What started out as a Coffee enterprise in Spain in the early 1900’s managed to make its way to Mexico and, eventually, Houston, Texas. Well, in 2014, Carlos de Aldecoa decided to expand his family’s coffee business into a distillery known as GIANT Distilling Co.

They produce whiskey under the name of GIANT, as well as Space City Vodka, Round Rock Vodka, and BJ Hooker’s Vodka…. wonder where that name came from….

GIANT Consulted Dave Pickerell, dubbed the Father of Craft Whiskey, shortly before his death in creating the mash bill used in Giant whiskeys.

Giant Rye Whiskey Single Barrel

Basic Stats

  • Spirit: Single Barrel Straight Rye Whiskey
  • Owned By: Carlos de Aldecoa
  • Distilled By: Giant Texas Distillers
  • Aged: 2+ Years
  • ABV: 50%, 100 Proof
  • Mashbill: Unknown
  • Price: $40 – Available @ Total Wine

Giant Single Barrel Rye Rating: C+

This isn’t a whiskey for everyone. I suspect many fans of rye whiskey will, at the very least, find this to be an interesting and decent pour – no steal or new favorite, but not a disappointing purchase either.

For those who don’t like various styles of rye whiskey – outside your typical MGP bottlings – you may find the nose and finish to be appealing, but you’re probably better off spending your money elsewhere.

Luke Mayock

Giant Texas Single Barrel Rye is deserving of a C to C+ in my mind. I like rye whiskey, so I could even go as far to give it a B-, but I have to take into account the opinion of others here as well. There are plenty of people out there that wont like this whiskey because it’s a rye whiskey that has a lot of rye whiskey flavor to it.

It’s not super unique for a rye, but there’s a lot of earthen spice that many will appreciate but just as many will be turned off by. Regardless, $40 for a 100 proof, single barrel rye makes this a fairly good value play.

Don’t expect this to become your everyday sipper, but if you like trying new whiskey, this isn’t a bad option.

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Tasting Notes

Nose: Very nice nose, smells more like a high-rye bourbon. Creamy vanilla, warm oak and leather with a touch of lemon, cinnamon, and cherry. After a couple minutes, the rye spice really opens up in an earthen way with some pine and forest smells.

Palate: It definitely drinks more like a rye than the initial nose. A lemon citrus, pine needles, cinnamon, and other rye spices comes together with vanilla and caramel for a spicier taste than anticipated. It’s a little funky/unique, but nothing too crazy for a true rye whiskey.

Finish: A fairly nice finish with oak and caramel, and more of that cherry shows up as well.

Is Giant Rye Whiskey good?

Taste Summary

Giant Texas Rye Single Barrel was interesting for a tasting. I knew I was drinking rye whiskey, but upon my first nosing, I had to double check. The vanilla, cherry, oak, leather immediately made me think of bourbon. Yes, the rye spice opened up a bit, but you could smell the corn grain in there.

The palate was a completely opposite experience. Earthen rye spice showed up immediately and was most present. It took a couple sips to bring some of that oak and caramel back out.

The finish was a blend of the nose and palate. The cherry, vanilla, and oak was around with pine and light mint undertones.

Final Thoughts

Giant Whiskey Distilling out of Houston, TX makes an interesting pour with their Single Barrel Rye. It’s probably not a bottle I’ll seek out or add to my repertoire, but it’s not a bad value for someone who likes to try new, craft whiskey.

As a note, this is my first time adding a rating to my reviews. I never liked the idea of it because it’s all too subjective, and price plays such a key role, but enough people have asked that I decided to add it in.

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