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 Companyâ€™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 itâ€™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 wasnâ€™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 fruitâ€”namely that dense, faintly funky scent dried peach hasâ€”surfaces after a few minutes.
Palate: Honey shows up first on the palate. Thereâ€™s some grain, but not as much as I got on the nose. The fruit here is darker and juicier, more like blackberry, and itâ€™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.