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Masterson's 10-Year-Old Straight 100% Rye Whiskey

Masterson's 10-Year-
Old Straight 100% Rye


By Robert Plotkin

It's hard to imagine a whiskey aficionado not swooning over ultra-sophisticated Masterson's 10-Year-Old Straight 100% Rye Whiskey. The artisanal import has a brilliant set of aromatics and a palate brimming with impressively long-lasting flavors. Any more character and the makers will need to put the whiskey into a larger bottle. If you're in the market for a world-class spirit free of hype and hyperbole, Masterson's is just the ticket.

The whiskey is handcrafted at the Alberta Distillers Limited Distillery in Calgary, Canada from rye grain grown in the Pacific Northwest and water sourced from the Canadian Rockies. After fermentation, the mash is distilled in a small, copper pot still and then placed in white oak barrels. Masterson's is matured for not less than 10 years before being bottled at 45% alcohol (90 proof).

This 100% rye whiskey is a guaranteed crowd pleaser. During its stay in wood, the whiskey developed a shimmery amber/gold appearance, a velvety textured body and a generous nose saturated with notes of evergreen, cloves, nutmeg, citrus zest, dried herbs and tobacco. The longer it is allowed to breath the more aromatics come to the forefront. Its bouquet alone qualifies it for elite status. The entry is spicy warm as it rapidly fills the mouth with succulent flavor, a broad array that includes candied fruit, vanilla, dark chocolate, caramel, roasted chiles, maple syrup and anise. Its long finish is spicy, gingery, oaky and thoroughly satisfying.

Masterson's is exactly what one hopes to experience when drinking a straight rye whiskey. Its aromatics reel you in and the sensational palate clinches the deal. While a sterling choice for use in contemporary cocktails, Masterson's seems bred for service neat. The whiskey's bouquet takes about 5 to 6 minutes to fully open and express itself. Your patience will be well rewarded.

The whiskey's namesake is Canadian-born William "Bat" Masterson, who according to the front label is said to have been a legendary gambler, buffalo hunter, army scout, gunfighter, newspaperman, and most notably, a lawman in the Old West. A guy like that surely knew great whiskey. The proof is in the glass.