• Seth

Riverset Rye Review

Earthy and bold, this is different in a good way and a nice first introduction to Big River Distilling.

Type: Straight rye whiskey

Distillery: Undisclosed (distilled in Tennessee)

Proof: 93 proof

Age: 3 years

Retail: around $40


Medium amber. In the bottle, there's a faint red tint, but that seems to just come from the crimson label. In the glass, it's a golden amber.


No surprise here, but rye comes rushing to the nose. For a 3-year, 93 proof variety, the rye note is stronger than I anticipated. I also get cardamom and a faint tobacco note, almost like a cheap cigar. At the tail end, I get a little vanilla and caramel. There's more complexity here than I expected.


More rye up front which I was expecting this time. There's a unique earthy note that rushes forward with every sip. I can't really explain it, other than it tastes like the earth where the rye was grown. I've only ever encountered a similar note on an Eagle Rare Store Pick. I didn't like it on the Eagle Rare, but here it's less intense and more enjoyable. After the earthy bit comes a little clove, a decent kick of oak and a nice caramel note. At the tail end I get a dash of vanilla that rounds everything off well.


Medium in length with a dry characteristic. The earthy flavor lingers before transitioning to a sweet and spicy rye note.


I know less about this bottle than any other bottle I've reviewed here. I don't know the distillery it came from, the mash bill that was used, and I really can't find a ton about the company behind it. Perhaps that's a good thing as it let me approach this without any expectations. Overall, this stuff is pretty good. It's unique and packs more flavor and punch than I would've expected based on the age statement and proof. The earthy note may not be for everybody, but if you've found that before and enjoyed it, this one is for you. At $40 in today's inflated market, I think it's worth picking up. If nothing else, the folks behind this have my attention now and I'll be following any future releases or new batches closely.

This sample was provided at no cost by Blue Note Bourbon. Thoughts and opinions are my own.



Rating Scale:

This is a general guide of what I consider each score range

4.75 - 5.00: Phenomenal. Hard to imagine anything better. Acquire at any cost.

4.25 - 4.50: Excellent. I'll camp out to get a bottle if necessary.

3.75 - 4.00: Great stuff. I'll buy backups if not too expensive.

3.25 - 3.50: Good stuff. Try to keep one on the bar, but don't spend too much.

2.75 - 3.00: Not bad. I don't regret the purchase, but may not buy another.

2.25 - 2.50: Sub-par. I regret the purchase. Reserved for mixed drinks.

1.75 - 2.00: Bad. I'll struggle to finish the bottle. May not want it in cocktails.

0.00 - 1.50: Drain-pour. Something seems wrong with it. Get it away.