Roknar Minnesota Rye Whiskey
Roknar Minnesota Rye Whiskey, NAS, 47 %
This is my first review of whiskey from Minnesota, USA. The Roknar Minnesota Rye Whiskey is produced by Far North Spirits. The distillery was built in 2013, and they are one of only a few distilleries in the USA that grow their own grains.
Here is the official description of the product:
Aged for 16 months in 15-gallon charred oak barrels and finished in Cognac casks.
With a mash bill of 80% rye, 10% corn and 10% malt barley, Far North aims to establish MINNESOTA RYE as a regional style in the spirit of Pennsylvania and Maryland-style ryes.
Quite unusual with the Cognac cask finish, but I say bravo to that. I love it when distilleries try something new and different.
Back in the day a lot of Norwegians emigrated to the Minnesota area. I assume that is one of the reasons they play around with our special Norwegian letters on the bottle label. For instance they write the name of the distillery as “Får North Distillery”. A bit silly since “får” is Norwegian for sheep. The name of the whiskey is written as “Røknar”, and “røk” is Norwegian for smoke. The whiskey is not smoky or peaty through. Anywho, I guess this is all very exotic “over there”, so why not!
You can buy the Roknar Minnesota Rye Whiskey a around USD 40-45 online in the US (750 ml bottle).
Nose: A veil of vanilla and white pepper first. Behind this I detect earthy notes, root vegetables straight from the soil. With time hints of honey and red berries.
Taste: Medium to full body. Peppery and creamy honey. Real nice! A second wave provides unsalted peanuts, vanilla and notes of ginger. Red berries here as well.
Finish: Medium long finish. The rich, creamy honey lingers, the pepper does fade away though. It is now a little green in character - maybe a touch of the vegetables from the nose. Sawdust and nuts in the back.
Comment: This is a keeper! Love the honey and pepper.
PS! Thanks for introducing me to Roknar, Stephen!