Review: Sivo Le Rye Whisky / by Jason Hambrey

New European Oak; Port Barrel Finish
2/3 Quebec Rye, 1/3 Malted Barley
Distiller Maison Sivo (Montérégie, Quebec)

Maison Sivo was started by the Sivo family, who originally came from Hungary where the national drink is palinka, an unaged fruit brandy. With that background, Maison Sivo distills a number of fruit spirits along with some whiskies, currently a rye and a single malt. It’s a relatively new product.

Review (2019)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: ~2018

There is paint thinner and nail polish remover on the nose, and the alcohol is a bit prominent at its bottling strength of 42% - but with some water this fades and complexity is really drawn out. The nose is centred around some really nice grainy notes, reminding me of the warm smell of fermenting rye grain. There are lots of peppery notes, loads of rye spices (baking spices, green and grassy spice, and lilac), along with cherry juice, prunes, and a sweet wine character. The palate is sharp, spicy, and fruity – very jammy, with a nice oaky backbone. The spicy, dried fruit character of the port really comes out towards the end of the palate. The finish is dry and spicy, with white pepper, lilac, dried cherry, and vanilla.

The youth comes through on this one – but there’s lots of complexity and the whisky is quite interesting and has reasonable balance. As/if this whisky gets older, there’s a lot of potential! If you want to explore something that is a bit more unique and intriguing, I’d recommend, and I expect if the distillery can age it longer it may not be far from something special. It’s a bottle I’ve flagged to follow over the next few years.

Value: Average..