I had the absolute pleasure of visiting the New York Distilling Company in Brooklyn a few weeks ago. This distillery is known for producing Dorothy Parker Gin and Ragtime Rye, but they also produce more labels as well. Whiskey tasting, in general, is tough, even for someone as experienced like me. I enjoy whiskey, especially rye and thought to learn to blend my own was so interesting.
We sat down, where we tasted the Ragtime Rye first. This rye is full and robust with caramel, spice, and vanilla notes. On the palate, it’s smooth with nice spice balance and ends with a medium long finish. I wanted my blend to be similar and just as complex. I decided to blend four different barrels of whiskey together to make my blend.
There’s a lot of tasting and work that goes into blending whiskey, and it’s a lot harder than most think. Whiskey is harsher on the palate due to the high alcohol content, so tasting and trying to figure out the blend can give you palate fatigue much quicker than wine blending. We blended four barrels of straight rye whiskey, which all came from different barrels which is why the colors vary from bottle to bottle as well as the tastes; it’s really incredible. Overall our class with Allen Katz, Co-founder of New York Distilling Co. was informative and fun! I really enjoyed my blend which made for a great cocktail as well as a spirit to sip on its own.
If you want to visit New York Distilling Co. yourself, be sure to check out their bar called the Shanty, where you can enjoy the spirits as well as cocktails! If you want to learn a little, then drink you can also take a tour on Saturday and Sundays at 2:30, 3:30, and 5:00 pm.