Discovery Road Smile Dutch Rye Whisky

Dutch whisky, really? Is the usual response to when someone asks me what I was drinking at the weekend. It is an understandable reaction to a connotation that the interviewer wasn’t expecting. So when faced with the prospect of Discovery Road’s release of Dutch rye whisky, I can only anticipate that confusion will multiply.
Rye whisky (or whiskey) of course is very much a fashionable commodity nowadays and American distilleries cannot keep up with demand. A pre-Prohibition stalwart, it is enjoying a resurgence amongst whisky and cocktail enthusiasts. Interestingly rye whisky doesn’t need to contain 100% rye to warrant the title; and here I thought the Scottish rules were confusing at times.  Normally the inclusion of rye provides a spiciness and sweetness, which certainly was the case with the Austrian Waldviertler release which upped the sweet factor deliberately.
This is the final review of the initial batch of releases from Discovery Road who kindly provided the samples for me to write about. You can read the reviews of the Dutch malt and 4 Lions releases by clicking on the links within this sentence. So let’s kick off this final piece in the Discovery Road trilogy.

Distillery: Zuidam
Age: 7 years
Strength: 46%
Price: £59.99
Additional: a rye whisky

Colour: auburn

Nose:  no holding back with this nose; a creaminess followed by an explosion of spice especially vanilla, cinnamon, joined by roasted hazelnuts and milk chocolate. A really fun, energetic nose.

Taste:  yes, a sweet dram but much more balanced than some of the rye's I have experienced lately. The sugar rush thankfully fails to materialise instead a pleasant tour of caramel, honeycomb, dates, malt extract and the finish reminds me of my youth and those sticky Highland toffee bars!

Another enjoyable choice by Discovery Road and continues the good standard from the Dutch Zuidam distillery. If you're starting out with whisky then maybe rye releases such as this will be a good initial foray. It combines sweetness, drinkability with commercial characteristics that should please everyone; new and old. Just 7 years old, I'm not sure what they're putting in the rye or water in the Netherlands but watch out!

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