Of all the bottom-shelf whiskey, Ezra Brooks shines the brightest in my book. I’ve purchased many a bottle of Ezra Brooks bourbon, produced by Luxco and distilled at the Heaven Hill distillery, for parties and my own leisurely drinking, so I was keen to taste their version of rye whiskey, a new venture for the company. The release was coupled with a new cork and an updated label – a matte finish that feels grainy and expensive. I spent a good minute admiring the texture.
Many distilleries are trying out rye whiskies, and it’s hard to keep track. In my opinion, Ezra Brooks Straight Rye seemed a little bit like they were just jumping on the bandwagon. And I only felt that way because in a press release, a spokesperson from Ezra Brooks touted a 27% increase in sales of rye products in 2016 as the reason they decided to release the product. That’s common sense – any good business is going to follow trends in the market.
In that sense, I think they did what they set out to do, which was create a rye product that tasted good enough to appeal to the masses at an accessible price. They, like so many others, opted to source their rye spirit from Indiana, almost certainly from MGP.