There’s a huge supply of MGP rye whiskey available under a number of different brand names – one of which is Rossville Union. Some whiskey drinkers may be tired of sourced MGP bottlings, but there’s a reason MGP is so popular, they make good whiskey.
Today, we’re going to figure out if Rossville Union Single Barrel Cask Strength falls short, meets expectations, or exceeds them. I’ve had numerous MGP sourced whiskey, so I’ve got a wide range of options to compare to. I’ll list some of my favorites below.
- Spirit: Straight Rye, Single Barrel, Cask Strength
- Owned By: Ross & Squib / MGP
- Distilled By: MGP/ Ross & Squibb Distillery
- Aged: NAS, 4+ years (website states 7 years)
- ABV: 55.65%, 111.3 proof
- Mashbill: 51% rye, 45% corn, 4% malted barley
- Price: ~$55
So much of MGP whiskey is sourced, so it’s nice to drink MGP whiskey from a brand owned by MGP. What was once Lawrenceburg Distillery became known as MGP and is now Ross & Squib, although most people still refer to it as MGP.
Nose: I get a good bit of old, coated oak with some lemon and brown sugar. A touch of cinnamon adds some spice and there’s a roasted vanilla bean in there as well. The aromas are subtle and the alcohol hides unless you get your nose too far in there.
Palate: Oak, leather, pepper and that roasted vanilla highlight the palate. There’s some rye spice here, but this drinks more like a traditional bourbon with the vanilla and leather. The back of the palate and finish is where things get a little more MGP-rye esque
Finish: Citrus works it’s way in with some mint in a classic MGP finish. Barrel char, leather, pepper, and vanilla still sit around, but it’s the citrus and mint punch that I tend to equate to MGP rye.
I went into this tasting fairly blind (I did the tasting before any overview or introduction). I knew only what the bottle said – it was a single barrel cask strength rye whiskey out of Lawrenceburg, Indiana. Upon sipping it, I really didn’t think it was a rye whiskey – it tasted more like a bourbon, albeit a high-rye bourbon.
I figured right then it was a low-rye or barely legal rye, and sure enough it was the 51% rye mashbill.
You get a little bit of rye spice in the background, but it’s really more wood and leather, sweet vanilla and sweet corn, and pepper. It smells and tastes like an old bourbon.
At the finish we come into more classical rye notes with the mint and citrus.
Rossville Union Rye Summary
I’m a big fan of rye whiskey, and I was excited from a cask strength, single barrel rye whiskey. So, I was a little disappointed when I came to find out Rossville Union was a barely legal rye. I also thought there was a touch too much pepper, and not enough of other baking spices.
With that said, this was still a very pleasant whiskey and a drop of water takes off a bit of the edge to it. MGP makes good whiskey for other people, so it’s no surprise that they know how to pick out barrels for their own bottlings.