Founded in San Francisco more than 100 years ago, Anchor Brewing & Distilling remains an innovator in the beverage industry. Fritz Maytag, the pioneer of modern craft-brewing became the instrumental force behind the Company’s resurrection in 1965 and sparked the modern craft movement in the USA.
All of their whiskeys are made with 100% malted rye. What sets this whiskey apart is that it’s aged in barrels that are toasted, not charred. The toasting comes about simply because heating over an open flame was how old-timey coopers bent barrel staves before it was easy to produce a lot of steam for that purpose. Supposedly, it wasn’t until later on that heating to the point of charring came into fashion.
Nose: Very grainy, almost yeasty, like rising bread. A little honey, combined with the toasty graininess, gives an impression of Honey Nut Cheerios. Dried stone fruit—namely that dense, faintly funky scent dried peach has—surfaces after a few minutes.
Palate: Honey shows up first on the palate. There’s some grain, but not as much as I got on the nose. The fruit here is darker and juicier, more like blackberry, and it’s spicy, but in the peppery sense, not the baking spice sense. Fairly hot and pleasantly sticky on the palate.
Finish: Spice on the finish, followed by oak, with fruit lingering.