James E. Pepper 4 Years Old Rye Batch 3

Image courtesy of Master of Malt

What they say

The third batch of rye whiskey from James E. Pepper which has been bottled by That Boutique-y Whisky Company. Just like batch 1 and 2, this whiskey has enjoyed a finishing period in different types of cask, though this one is a departure from sherry casks – it was finished in ale casks (as pointed out by James E. Pepper owner Amir Peay on the label).

Batch 3 is a release of 356 bottles.

Official tasting notes

  • Nose: Fudge, toasted barley and floral honey combine with malty vanilla notes and dense brown sugar. Buttery corn and chewy caramel emerge among some sawdust.
  • Palate: Oak spice, plenty of creamy malt notes and dark toffee lead. A little bit of orange zest adds a flash of citrus to the mid-palate.
  • Finish: Peppercorn and more malt linger for a while.
  • Overall: The ale cask adds an extra dimension, without distracting from the classic James E. Pepper character.

What I say

Batch 3 James E. Pepper Rye whiskey from Boutique-Y features an interesting twist with an extra finishing period in ex-Ale casks. While US and particularly Bourbon rules prevent the use of anything other than Virgin oak casks (or alternatively then the use of Bourbon on the label) I do love to see a bit of experimentation with US whiskey.

  • ABV 50%
  • Age 4 Years Old
  • Bottler That Boutique-Y Whisky Company
  • Bottling Batch 3
  • Cask Ale cask
  • Category Rye whisky
  • Cost £46.95
  • Origin James E. Pepper Distillery
  • Outturn 356 bottles
  • Region USA
  • Released 2021
  • Vintage undisclosed

My tasting notes

  • Appearance Bronze (13/20), medium-large tears and legs.
  • Nose Spicy and sweet, cinnamon and aniseed, fresh vanilla pods, honey and toffee, fruity apple, banana bread & gingerbread, almond croissants & toasted flaked almonds.
  • Taste Medium-full bodied, creamy with spice, cardamom kulfi, ginger and rye bread, fizzy peppers, caramel & honey, candied orange peel, soft brown sugar, malty.
  • Finish Medium, sugar and spice, carrot cake; clove, cinnamon, nutmeg.
  • Overall Quite spicy Rye as you’d expect but also a nice cake-y sweet & malty feel to it, I was surprised to discover this was ale-cask finished after tasting it – so very well integrated cask-finish here.

Score 83/100

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