JW Kelly "Melrose" Amarone Cask Rye Whiskey


46% ABV, 750 ml, Chattanooga, TN

Melrose incorporates a rye mash bill first matured in an American white oak barrel that has been air-dried for two years, then lightly toasted and charred. Melrose is finished to perfection in carefully hand selected Amarone wine casks that reflect truly exotic woods. This attention to detail helps create a unique and rich taste legendary to J.W. Kelly’s timeless reputation.

The distinct aging process that Melrose undergoes adds spicy and dry flavors, heightens notes of cherry and cinnamon, and creates an all-new experience for rye whiskey connoisseurs. Chattanooga’s first-born Rye Whiskey, Melrose, is available in select cities across America.

The Whiskey Wash: "The revived J.W. Kelly & Co. is led by Ryan Kohl, his grandfather Ed Kohl, and Joe Griffin, all of whom are on the executive team of Quest Brands, a liquor importing company based in Chattanooga. While J.W. Their mainstay since they began is the Old Milford Straight Bourbon Whiskey, but the latest release is this new rye whiskey.

The whiskey is aged for two years in American oak barrels that have been air-dried, and then finished for an unspecified amount of time in casks that previously held Amarone, a style of rich, dry Italian red wine.

Tasting notes: J.W. Kelly & Co. Melrose Rye
Vital stats: Rye “double-barreled” whiskey aged at least two years in American oak barrels, then aged further in Amarone wine casks, and bottled at 46% ABV. 

Appearance: In a glass, Melrose rye has a bit of a darker color than the median for whiskey giving it a reddish, coppery hue, but it is still well within the realm of normal.

Nose: The first aroma that enters the nose comes with a heavy dose of the clove and ginger combination that I find typical of rye giving it an earthy, spicy, and slightly tangy scent. In this case, the combination also includes a touch of vanilla along with a pronounced note of dried stone fruit, which add an interesting coolness to the bouquet that reminds me of spearmint. The spices fade to make room for a sherry-like combination to take center stage, characterized by notes of prunes, raisins, and a bit of salt, with light touches of orange and molasses.

Palate: Entry into the mouth is unusually sweet, hitting the tongue like a sweet caramel sauce with a bit of a smoky character and just faint touches of dried fruit. That sweetness seems to persist for an unusually long period of time, all the while spicy notes of cloves, nutmeg, and just a bit of ginger are building up almost imperceptibly until they become a moderate roar on the tongue. Swallowing sends a stronger wave of those spices rushing through the mouth. That then fades into a sweet finish with flavors of raisin, molasses, oak, and a touch of orange with occasional flares of mild spice."

Collections: Bourbon/Rye, Spirits, Whiskey


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