1512 Spirits’ Aged Rye Whiskey
This whisky is 1512 Spirits’ first public release since their Barbershop Rye white whisky found its way onto the shelves of discerning drinkers fortunate enough to know about this artisanal brand. Frankly, my writing concerning 1512’s white whisky was deservedly laudatory. Salvatore Cimino’s skills and unwavering dedication to his art demand respect. The demand, however, is unnecessary because I and anyone I share his whisky with offer up our respect willingly.
Batch 1 of the aged rye is the latest contender from Mr. Cimino’s cloistered operation and, not surprisingly, it is unmatched. You will know it by its color. Unlike the white whisky gauntlet 1512 threw down in times past, the aged edition has the patina of an aged whisky. And while the aging process was minute by whisky standard, it was precisely the time needed to achieve Mr. Cimino’s goal of creating an unparalleled whisky not by chance, but by purposeful design. I can write of the vanilla and warm sugars, the bright-but-not-hot flavors, the stunningly signature dry, crisp body of this whisky and I would only be scratching the surface. Unlike many whiskies, many good whiskies, without actually trying this release, it is hard to get your head around the stand-out aspects of this whisky. So tasting notes do not really communicate an accurate description of the experience unless you have tried a whisky of this particular caliber and craft. This is because the taste of most whiskies do not readily convey the old-world skill, artistry, and dedication palpable in 1512 Spirits’ products, and this latest batch in particular. There are many craft distillers in the marketplace and some of them are making noble efforts in bringing to people’s attention the importance of hands-on, traditional approaches to whisky that have too long been obscured by mass producers of good and bad whiskies more readily available. But not all distiller’s can express the almost-unbalanced degree of enthusiasm and self-discipline necessary to bend the labors of an a still to their will. Or take the time to concoct a mash that relies upon the distillation process to enhance characteristics and bring them to bloom, instead of concealing weaknesses in booziness of mediocrity.
There were only 180 bottles of Batch 1 produced. Even with the minimal aging involved, some very lucky angels absconded with a respectable share of this whisky. The bad news for you is that I am about three months behind on this article, so many of those bottle have been snapped up. So concerning shops local to San Francisco that 1512 Spirits’ products are usually available for sale at, Royal Liquors (sold out of the Aged Rye, and I am partially to blame), Healthy Spirits (still in stock), Cask (sold out, but they have the new larger version of the Barbershop Rye), and K&L (still available).
Naturally, new releases are slated sooner and later this year. I am particularly excited about Mr. Cimino’s take on a potcheen (a traditional Irish whisky) which is rumored to already be out, as well as another batch of aged rye. And in all honesty, I expect these new releases will surpass 1512 Spirits’ prior and current efforts at producing superior liquor. I praise Mr. Cimino’s contribution to whisky and resurrection of a craftsman’s ethic with a glass of his aged rye (batch 1), a glass from my all-too-rapidly depleted stores. –Nate