Whisky Advocate

Review: Masterson’s Straight Rye Whiskey Batch #3

November 27th, 2011

Masterson’s Straight Rye Whiskey Batch #3 10 year old, 45%, $80

The third recently released 100% rye whiskey sourced from Canada, with the others being WhistlePig (50%, $70) and Jefferson’s (47%, $40). (The one you purchase might depend on which one you can find, as they are all quite limited.)  This one sells at a premium to the other two, but shows polish and is nicely rounded. Layers of sweetness (honeyed fruit, caramel, nutty toffee, maple syrup), toasted oak, cinnamon, evergreen, nutmeg, and a dusting of cocoa. Very distinctive!

Advanced Whisky Advocate magazine rating: 88

24 Responses to “Review: Masterson’s Straight Rye Whiskey Batch #3”

  1. ?? says:

    Are all of these coming from the same distillery? and does anyone know who the head distiller is?

  2. MrTH says:

    That’s a mighty strange-looking bottle there. I think I’d best leave it at that.

    • Mary says:

      Actually, it’s a beautiful bottle IMO – feels really nice in the hand, stands out on the shelf. The whiskey tastes good too – although, I think it’s overpriced for what it is. $50 would be more realistic. They are all good but I prefer the Jefferson’s between these 3 -not because it’s realistically priced – it’s just better by a couple points.

  3. Tadas says:

    Can Canadian whiskey be called straight rye whiskey? I thought that one of the requiremtns to be called straight, that it has to be made in USA.

  4. Red_Arremer says:

    I second you “??”. What is up with all the 100% rye 10yo selections lately? Does anyone know the whole story?

  5. JDW says:

    This is mediocre rye at best. I would opt for the Rittenhouse BIB or if I wanted to spend more then the Sazerac 18 year blows this out of the water.

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  7. thomas mckenzie says:

    I have had the whistlepig, would buy the jeffersons, but this is way to expensive for what it is. Amazing how you can take whiskey designed for a 12 bottle of blended canadian and dress it up and get 80 bucks a bottle.

  8. Davindek says:

    I think you nailed it John.
    All are truly great whiskies, but for me it’s Masterson’s by a hair. I am very familiar with Rittenhouse 100. Because of the price it is my go-to straight rye, but for a special guest I’d pull out the Masterson’s. Making these Canadian ryes is a little more complicated than just mingling a bunch of random casks of flavouring whisky, because, of course, every distillery will have a number of different rye flavourings to draw on. I think for Masterson’s they have found a really powerful combination which, as you noted, shows polish and is nicely rounded. Of course then there is WhistlePig which is wonderful for exactly the opposite reason: it is neither polished nor rounded. Jefferson’s for me is somewhere in the middle, and a good bargain.

  9. Matthew says:

    Incorrect. WhistlePig is from Shaksboro, Vermont! Not Canada, nor is it Canadian whiskey….
    For an “advocate” blog, double-check the factoids.

    • John Hansell says:

      Matthew, get a bottle of WhistlePig and read the label: especially the line where it says “Product of Canada.” We’re not the ones who need to “double-check our factoids..”.

      • Matthew says:

        Wow. Despite it claiming all over it’s site and bottle that it’s distilled and bottled in Vermont, sure enough there’s small print saying “Imported from Canada”. Slightly misleading, and slightly disturbing they’d go so far to advertise Vermont on the bottle and website (and maybe purposefully not mention Canada). I’ll go ahead and just eat my big plate of words in front of me here. Delish!

  10. Florin says:

    There is a fourth whiskey in this series, which I’m enjoying very much right now: Pendleton 1910. Canadian 100% rye, 12 yo, $35. Canadianwhisky.org’s review of it is right on.

  11. Davindek says:

    Just to be clear, Rittenhouse is American straight rye whisky, the others are all Canadian, although each falls within the range of the typical straight rye flavour profile. (As does Sazerac 18, also American.)

    Yes, Pendleton 1910 is very good rye whisky too, representing another flavour style in the rye spectrum.

  12. Jesse Wood says:

    I’ve heard the stocks for both Masterson’s and Whistle Pig were distilled by Alberta Distillers Ltd. I have bottles of both and found them both enjoyable (not as good as Saz 18, but still good). I need to try the Jefferson’s and compare all three side by side.

    I will add that it is nice to see 100% rye whisky coming out of Canada more frequently.

  13. I_SPEY says:

    Hi there, I’m from Holland(officially The Netherlands!) and apart from the whisky(not for sale in Europe – ;)) I love the design!

  14. Evan Calford says:

    I received a bottle of this whiskey as a present and added my usual 2 inch square man cube to it. Once it mellowed down, in one minute, I really liked it. I typically like Islay malts but love to stray away to other types of whiskey. When I looked to see how much it would cost me to get another bottle I balked. Though this is a fine whiskey I don’t find it distinctive enough to justify the price. Half that price would put it reasonably competing with other whiskeys for my money.

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