You know, I have loved brown liquor for thirty years. I've downed enough Maker's Mark, Blanton's and Jack Daniels to float a freighter. But until I stumbled onto this thread, I had never thought about rye. And I had never tasted it. At least, not that I can recall.
Tonight, at the liquor store, I saw a display of Jim Beam Straight Rye Wiskey. I bought a fifth and, as I write these words, am conducting a little taste test---Jim Beam Rye against Jack Black Label. I thought of comparing it to Blanton's Single Barrel, but that might have not been fair to the rye. By the way, both contestants sit before me straight.
I have very little ablility to describe the taste of something. I understand that some people can, but I can't. I've sat puzzled at wine tastings while people dressed in tweed thrilled at the "nutty, chocolatey, slightly-fruity flavor" of the wine they were sipping. I was just happy that I was able to tell the Merlot from the Pinot Grigio. But I can tell if I like or dislike the taste of something and I can now say that I like rye wiskey. Even the humble Jim Beam brand. It is not quite a mellow or "round" as burbon (does that make sense?), but it is not harsh or acrid, either. Its quite smooth, actually. And it tastes less sweet to me---drier, to borrow a vintner's term.
Well, it isn't Blanton's, but it is good. I might not drink it often, but I can see how it might be a nice occasional change from my normal burbon on the rocks.