Over the last couple years, we’ve seen a resurgence of rye whiskey. Here at Barrel & Brew, we drink everything, of course, but believe there is no beating a good rye whiskey. So, we’ve decided to try out one of the highest rated rye whiskeys out there. Sagamore Spirit Double Oak Rye received 96 points and took home a double gold at the 2020 International Spirits Competition.
Is Sagamore Double Oak Rye all it’s made up to be? What does it taste like and how much does it cost? These are questions we’re going to explore in our review of this celebrated rye whiskey.
Sagamore Spirit History
Sagamore Spirit was founded by the owner of Under Armour, Kevin Plank. Plank, a Maryland native, has always had a mindset of “bet on Maryland”. It’s an idea that has certainly carried him far in the business world. You can read more about his Maryland mindset and how it guided him here. It began with Under Armour, the closest rival of Nike, and has moved on to other ventures as well.
One of those ventures being the purchase of Sagamore Farm. Plank bought the farm in order to train racehorses with the goal of a Maryland horse winning the famed triple-crown. (You can read about the history of the Kentucky Derby and Woodford Reserve HERE).
Then, Plank went on to purchase an area in Port Covington of Baltimore. Here, he went on to build a distillery know as Sagamore Spirit Distillery. With the completion of the Distillery in 2017, Sagamore Spirit released their first whiskeys. While they sourced their whiskey from other distilleries, in 2021 they were finally able to release their in-house produced whiskey – Sagamore Spirit Bottled-in-Bond.
Sagamore Double Oak Rye Overview
- Distiller: MGP
- Mashbill: Unknown, but likely MGP’s high rye mashbill – 95% rye, 5% malted barley.
- Age: 4-5 years in new charred oak barrels. Finished for 18 months in toasted wave stave barrels.
- ABV: 48.3%
Sagamore has three whiskeys in their core collection – Signature Rye, Cask Strength Rye, and Double Oak Rye. All three of these whiskeys are sourced from a distillery in Indiana, namely MGP. Their Signature Rye and Cask Strength Rye are a blend of two straight rye whiskeys. Double Oak Rye is simply a straight rye, meaning it isn’t blended and has been aged at least two years.
Sagamore Double Oak Rye is aged 4-5 years and then finished in toasted wave stave barrels for 18 months. Essentially, it is double barreled in order to add a stronger oaky and nutty profile. Once the aging process is done, it is cut to proof (96.6 proof, 48.3% ABV) with limestone filtered water.
Sagamore Double Oak Rye Taste
Now that we’ve covered some of the history and basics of Sagamore, we can get into specifics of the Double Oak Rye. What does it taste like? Is it good whiskey? Let’s pour ourselves a glass and find out!
Nose: Heavy oak and plum aromas. Rye spice, light fruit, and vanilla make its way through as well.
Taste: The immediate profile is light spice with the vanilla, lemon, and rye off the bat. The flavor quickly darkens, though. Chocolate, nutty pecan, and dark fruit take over the profile right to the finish.
Finish: As the dark and rich profile fades away, notes of pepper settle in easily. The finish is moderate in length but the flavor really stays for a while.
Double Oak Rye Taste Summary
This is a very good whiskey, especially for people who like a darker profile and even if you don’t. The initial taste is more on par with a lighter rye whiskey, even more so when you add ice. However, this lightness is short lived as rich chocolate, pecan, and dark fruits come to take it’s place.
There is also a buttery-ness to the mouthfeel. It is stronger at 48.3% but it remains smooth. The first sip or two can catch you off guard, but it gets better and better with each sip. If you want to cool it down, simply add in an ice cube. Sometimes ice can kill the flavor, but that doesn’t really happen with this one.
Sagamore Double Oak Rye Price
Alright, so we’ve determined this is a very good whiskey, but good whiskey comes at a cost. To determine the average price of Double Oak Rye, I take a look at various Total Wine prices from across the US. Prices may vary depending upon your individual store and/or location.
- Sagamore Double Oak Rye price 750ml: $53-63
Sagamore Double Oak Rye is a fairly expensive bottle of whiskey. Luckily for me, I was able to purchase my bottle for the lower end at $53 at the Total Wine outside of Denver, CO. This isn’t to say that the spirit is overpriced, though. It’s simply good whiskey and has a price tag to match it.
Sagamore Spirit Double Oak Rye Value
Now that we’ve covered taste and price, we can answer the question, is it worth buying? The simple answer is yes. Yes. Yes. However, I don’t like spending $50+ on a bottle every time I want good whiskey. So, is this a daily drinker for me? no. It’s also good enough and reasonably priced that I don’t save it for special occasions. It’s a whiskey that I buy and drink when I’m looking to enjoy it.
One option I often go for is the Sagamore Spirit Signature Rye. It is every bit as smooth and delicious minus the darker profile and flavors. I can also usually find a bottle for ~$40. At the end of the day, if you’re looking for a good whiskey and don’t mind spending $50-60, I wholeheartedly recommend picking up a bottle of Sagamore Double Oak Rye.
Summary of Sagamore Spirit Double Oak Rye Review
Sagamore Spirit produces two of my favorite whiskeys out there, regardless of the kind of whiskey. The Signature Rye (be on the lookout for a review soon) and Double Oak Rye are phenomenal options to go for if you don’t mind spending a little more.
Sagamore Double Oak Rye may be sourced from MGP in Indiana, but much of what they do in Maryland plays a role in this being a great rye whiskey. The extra 18 months in toasted wave stave barrels adds a darker, nuttier, richer profile than I initially expected it would. As someone who prefers lighter whiskey, I must say that this darker profile is done right.
Below are frequently asked questions about Sagamore Spirit and their Double Oak Rye. Many of these questions are answered in the article above.
Is Sagamore a MGP Whiskey?
Yes. Sagamore Spirit currently sources their whiskey from MGP in Indiana. However, their distillery is only 5 years old, so be on the lookout for Sagamore to begin producing some in-house whiskey.
In 2021, they did release their Bottled-In-Bond selection which is all done at the Sagamore Spirit Distillery, minus the aging process that is done in a federally bonded warehouse.
Who Owns Sagamore Spirit?
Kevin Plank is the owner of Sagamore Spirit Distiller and Sagamore Farm. He is also the founder of Under Armour.
Where is Sagamore Spirit Distilled?
Much of Sagamore Spirit’s whiskey is distilled in Indiana at MGP, but the Sagamore Spirit Distillery is located in Baltimore, Maryland.
Is Sagamore Spirit Double Oak Rye Good?
Yes. This is a fantastic whiskey. Probably one of my favorites, if not the favorite.