The Oxford Artisan Distillery New Make Rye Spirit 2019 Harvest
What they say
At the very heart of our spirits is the seed we plant; the seed that grows the grain we distil, that with time and skill (and more time) becomes the spirits we sell, the dram we drink and the moment we share with friends.
And our seed isn’t just any old commercially-grown, bought-in-bulk seed. We are the only distillery in the world to use populations of ancient heritage grains to produce our full range of spirits. It might not be the economical way to produce spirits but the flavour profile these grains produce, and the environmental benefits, pay it back in spades. Our commitment to soil quality, land regeneration, community and the environment goes beyond our passion for spirits.
It was our chance encounter with Oxford-based archaeobotanist, grain expert, and now our farming partner, John Letts, of Heritage Harvest Ltd, at a farmers’ market which, if you’ll excuse the pun, gave our idea its roots and established the fundamentals of our farming.
So what about these ancient heritage grains. Why do they matter? And what does John do that’s so special?
In 1994 John discovered over 200 almost perfectly preserved examples of traditional wheat and rye landraces in the bottom layers of thatched buildings dating from the late Medieval period (1375-1550 AD). His work showed that, in spite of poor soils, these ancient crops grew to over 1.5 metres tall. and that if these fields had been manured crops would have grown much taller and fallen over in the wind and rain, ruining the harvest.
What I say
New Make Rye Spirit distilled at The Oxford Artisan Distillery from the 2019 Rye Harvest.
- ABV 45%
- Age 0
- Bottler The Oxford Artisan Distillery
- Bottling Offical
- Cask n/a
- Category New Make Spirit
- Cost n/a
- Origin The Oxford Artisan Distillery
- Outturn n/a
- Region England
- Released n/a
- Vintage 2019
My tasting notes:
- Appearance Gin Clear (0/20), thick legs and large tears.
- Nose Super sweet, estery, banana, spice, nutmeg, orange/citrus zest, flinty mineralic, new paint, cereal, bread, brioche, doughy, uncooked cake batter, floral, touch chemical/medicinal.
- Taste Medium-full bodied, thick, syrupy, creamy and sweet, banana milkshake, apple, pear.
- Finish Long, soft, sweet and gently spiced.
- Overall Very drinkable new make spirit when presented at 45% ABV.
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