Pikesville Straight Rye Review

This week I review a brand that has a history that has led it on a journey that has taken it through 2 states. This week I will review Pikesville Straight Rye produced by Heaven Hill Distillery. We will find out if the journey was worth the trip or will it turn out to be a scene from a Vacation movie.


Make sure you put in the comments any bottles that you would like me to review.


NAME – Pikesville Straight Rye


PROOF – 110


AGE – non-age stated but at least 6 years based on website data


COLOR – old copper penny (1.5 auburn, polished mahogany on the Whiskey Magazine Color Chart)


NOSE – Vanilla pudding, cooked peaches, cinnamon, honeysuckle, caramel and some musty oak There is fair bit of ethanol also.


TASTE – Butterscotch up front with honeysuckle, and cinnamon. As it moves through the palate you get aged oak, slight cocoa and a touch of mint.


FINISH – I would call this a medium finish. The aged oak stays along with the slight mint, but tobacco and aged leather comes in also.


REVIEW – If this bottle was more available, I would tell you that this should be your preferred “Swiss Army Knife” bottle you should have on your shelf. It has a little bit of something for everyone. The rye drinkers will like it, bourbon drinkers will like it and it has the proof and bold taste to hang in any cocktail. Due to it not being as available in Ohio I would still tell you it’s a good bottle to have on the shelf. You just might reach for its younger brother Rittenhouse for your cocktails.


FINAL COMMENTS – As described on Heaven Hill website:


First produced in Maryland in the 1890s, Pikesville Rye, along with the rest of the once-booming Maryland Rye industry, was shuttered by Prohibition. The brand reemerged after Prohibition and became the last standing Maryland Rye, as the rest of the industry’s production had ceased. Now produced in Kentucky from extra-aged barrels stored in prime warehouse locations, Heaven Hill Distillery keeps this historic Maryland mark alive.


Is this a bit of a story? Sure, but who doesn’t like a good story. By all accounts this is a Kentucky Rye with the minimum 51% rye needed to be called a straight rye. Due to that a lot of the herbal notes are subdued and the corn sweetness comes through. If you are a hardcore rye drinker, I would look for a MGP style 95% straight rye but if you are bourbon drinker that wants to dabble in rye this is a good one especially if you like a little added proof.