Old Potrero is a recreation of an 18th century American whiskey. It’s made with 100% rye mash. Most rye makers mix corn and/or barley in the mash, which would make the spirit sweeter.
It’s copper-pot distilled and aged for two years plus in toasted oak barrels. The reason they don’t call it a “rye whiskey” on the label despite the fact that it has a much higher rye content than other American whiskeys is that U.S. standards require the oak to be charred in order to give a whiskey that designation.
I’m not as picky as the U.S. government, so I’m calling it rye.
Made by Anchor Distilling in San Francisco (the Anchor Steam beer folks), this rye whiskey is relatively hard to find. According to the bottle, it is only sold in California.
It’s a rough spirit, not as refined tasting as a Kentucky bourbon or the 51% rye mash rye whiskeys we’re accustomed to. However, the heat and kick of this whiskey won’t deter true spirits enthusiasts.
The grassy nose and oily mouthfeel are unique, and followed by overwhelming warmth and a peppery finish. It has a peaty flavor that is unusual for a traditional rye.
It could easily overwhelm a Manhattan, but could be an intriguing choice for a sazerac.
I’d recommend letting it open up before drinking. If you like the heat, sit back and enjoy. If not, add an ice-cube to balance the liquor.
A bottle will run you anywhere from $50-$100 depending on where you live.