Review: Old Potrero Single Malt Straight Rye Whiskey / by Jason Hambrey

Old Potrero.jpg
Virgin Charred Oak
100% Malted Rye
Distiller Anchor Distilling (San Francisco, California)

Old Potrero is a bit of an iconic brand - it was a micro distillery opened out of the Anchor brewery in 1993! So, they were a bit ahead of the times. It is a single malt rye, not something you see too often - although a number of big distilleries in Canada still make it, but it’s rarely fully as that. The barrels that are used to mature this, notably, are seasoned for 24 months which allows the tannins in the wood to break down into other flavour compounds.

Review (2017)

  • Batch: N/A.

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: 2019

Rich, spicy, fruity – loads of complexity on the nose. I especially like a dry spiciness that comes through into the whisky. All the sweet dried fruit almost has you thinking “brandy”. Lots of caramel, dried fruit, oak, maple syrup, fennel, and intense sweet spices toward the finish which ride on waves of oak. The whisky has a good sense of “umami” to it – not in the salty savoury sense, but in the rich character that binds together all of its parts. The whisky develops great richness in the glass.

Not as interesting as their “18th century style” rye which features barrels which have been toasted and not charred – but, I expect that many would prefer this style to that. I do really like the sharpness and intensity of pot stilled rye whisky – this fits the bill too. A bit on the candied side, perhaps – but I enjoy it.

Very different than my usual pot-distilled rye tipple, Lot no. 40 – the potrero isn’t as complex, spicy, or floral but is more on the dried fruits and candy. But…both very good.

Highly Recommended (49% of all whiskies I’ve reviewed to date get this recommendation or higher).

Value: Average, based on $90. Good whisky, but also a bit expensive.