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Sunday, September 2, 2018

Wakey Whiskey: Roaming Man Tennessee Straight Rye Whiskey

By Eric Ducote

Good morning all and HAPPY M'F'IN' GAMEDAY to you all!  We wait all off-season for this day with a bit of hope that this season is going to be the one.  This season LSU is going to beat Alabama, win the SEC, go to the playoffs, and win the WHOLE DAMN THING.  We also all know that this isn't likely, but hey, for now, I'm saying there's a chance.  LSU is starting off the season with the University of Miami, which is a tough test right out the gate, both for the Tigers and for my wakey whiskey selection.  I try to tie what I'm drinking in to who the team is playing, or where they are, or just something that makes a connection.  

Well, I don't have any Miami whiskey.  I don't even have any whiskey from the state of Florida.  Do they even make whiskey in Florida?  What's "Florida Man" up to these days anyway?  In the absence of a Miami connection, I had to go with the backup plan, base my selection off of where I am at the time.  Well it turns out for this Labor Day weekend I'm on vacation in Knoxville, Tennessee, and in the Bite and Booze collection just happened to be a bottle of Roaming Man Tennessee Straight Rye Whiskey from the Sugarlands Distilling Company in nearby Gatlinburg.  

Roaming Man Tennessee Straight Rye Whiskey

This is a blend of three barrels from the same batch that were all barreled at 118.42 proof back on May 29th, 2015, then aged for two years and five months prior to bottling at barrel strength.  The final proof on this whiskey is a robust 120.98 for 60.49% alcohol by volume.  As mentioned before, this is a straight rye whiskey, with a grain bill of 51% rye, 45% corn, and 4% malted barley.  All of that information is right on the bottle (plus more) which is phenomenal for a whiskey geek like me.  

Now, the whiskey, this was aged in 25 gallon barrels so even though it's only around 2.5 years aged that increased surface area per volume will augment the aging process.  This sped up process leaves a rich copper colored whiskey with hints of red and orange.  The nose is potent with alcohol but also some cinnamon and vanilla notes.  The taste is strong with a pronounced alcohol burn (to be expected!) then the oak and vanilla comes through from the barrel char as well as more cinnamon notes which is very typical for rye-heavy whiskeys.  This is definitely a sipper that will probably benefit from an ice cube of a splash of water (maybe next pour) but it's a good sip just served neat and room temperature.

I'm glad to have tried this one, now I need to look for some other Sugarlands products while I'm up in Knoxville.  Cheers! and GEAUX TIGERS!