About Sagamore Spirit Distiller's Select Manhattan Finish Rye Whiskey
Their Reserve Series celebrates risk-taking and the innovation of Maryland distilling. The Distiller's Select Manhattan Finish is their straight rye whiskey that gets finished in vermouth, bitters, and cherry brandy barrels. This unconventional experiment results in a unique Manhattan-finished whiskey. It's complex and different, a successful clash of two worlds. Aged 4 to 5 years and bottled at 103 proof, it upgrades the signature rye profile with cherry and herbaceous notes, making it wholly unique. The whiskey invokes the spirit of the famous cocktail and has garnered several awards.
In the early 1800s, Maryland farmers were using rye as a cover crop. The rye has a fibrous and sturdy character that keeps soil healthy, protects the land from erosion, and last but not least, it serves as a base for a top-notch whiskey. Rye whiskey production also turned out to be more profitable than simply selling raw grain. After the grains were harvested in the spring and later distilled, rye whiskey became the unofficial spirit of Maryland.
Sagamore Spirit pays tribute to these early days of the Maryland distilling tradition with their carefully crafted unique rye whiskeys. Their core line is comprised of three Maryland-Style Rye Whiskeys – Sagamore Spirit Rye Whiskey, Cask Strength Rye Whiskey, and Double Oak Rye Whiskey. In the past, Maryland Rye Whiskey was famous for its smoothness and a lingering rye spice finish that harbored creamy tastes, imparted from the calcium-rich waters of Maryland limestone.
Sagamore Spirit’s whiskeys are made from water that flows from their Spring House, built in 1909, at Sagamore Farm. It comes from a limestone aquifer, which makes it pure and naturally filtered - it’s cool, crisp, and calcium-rich, or in other words: perfect for whiskey. Receiving 95 points from The Tasting Panel and a Gold Medal from the SIP Awards, their signature Sagamore Spirit Rye Whiskey exemplifies Maryland-style rye whiskey, with balanced notes of warm cinnamon, vanilla bean, honey, and spice.
At their Baltimore distillery, each batch is hand-blended for consistency in aroma, flavor, and texture. The spirit is crafted from two distinct mash bills, one a high rye and the other a low rye, that yield their signature bold flavor profile. The high rye contains rye and malted barley in a ratio that gives flavors of baking spices and fruit. The second mash bill, a low rye where corn and malted barley are more prominent, helps create a smooth, slightly sweet spirit. The two recipes are distilled, aged separately, then blended to achieve a Maryland-style rye flavor profile prior to bottling - creating a bold, approachable spirit.
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As American as the bald eagle, rye whiskey was first brewed in the American Northeast in the 1600s. Even George Washington distilled it after leaving the Oval Office, so there’s no way of denying its origin.
It’s distinguished from bourbon for its original and unique spicy notes.
By law, rye whiskey must be made from at least 51% rye grain, aged in new and charred oak barrels for at least two years, and bottled at no more than 62,5% ABV.
Check out our impressive selection of rye whiskeys, find your new favorites in The best-reviewed rye whiskeys, and explore our treasury of Best rye bottles under $100.