I have to admit, I have never experienced an Amarone Cask Finished Whiskey. So, I eagerly anticipated this tasting of J.W. Kelly & Co. Melrose Rye Whiskey Double Barreled Amarone Cask.
According to J.W. Kelly & Co., Melrose Rye is finished in 15-year-old Amarone Italian wine barrels from the Valpolicella, Italy, wine region outside Venice. These wines are typically sweet, with ripe black and red cherries, blackberries, dried figs, raisins, coffee notes, and chocolate. In this review, let's see if some of those notes transferred to J.W. Kelly & Co. Melrose Rye Whiskey Double Barreled Amarone Cask.
The ethanol tangled my nose hair on the first nosing of J.W. Kelly & Co. Melrose Rye Whiskey Double Barreled Amarone Cask. I usually look for a burst of aromas when I open a bottle. However, this sample provided by JW Kelly did not offer that. Aside from the ethanol, everything else was mild. I often let a glass sit for a while to clear some of the ethanol, which was a good idea in this case. The rye notes burst to the fore. I nosed white pepper, green apple, and rye spice. A small amount of brown sugar and fig was mixed with the green apple spice. After taking my fifth first sip, some honey sweetness revealed itself.
On the first sip, there was strong rye spice and white pepper. A bit of honey lingered well below those two notes. This is very rye-forward, and I find it challenging to pick out additional notes besides cinnamon, rye, and white pepper spice. I'm curious about the mash bill because this is an unabashed rye that seems a little youthful, even for a rye. It's also a little tannic. If you like rye-forward whiskeys, you'll like this.
White pepper is on the finish as any sweetness disappears. The rye lingers.