I’m a few years late with this review, but hear me out. Kentucky Owl 11 Year Rye Batch 1 was released in late 2017 and it never crossed my mind to buy a bottle until years later. I had never heard of it, and even if I had seen it, I would have been deterred by the hefty $130 price tag at the time. Years later, I heard the occasional compliment about this and one day in early 2021 somehow found a bottle sitting on a store shelf at MSRP and bought it out of curiosity.
Batch one is a blend of at least 11 year old Kentucky rye, although I’ve heard rumors that there’s a lot more older whiskey in the blend. As of 2017, there was a short list of Kentucky distilleries that could provide this: Buffalo Trace, Barton, Wild Turkey, and Jim Beam. My best guess is Barton and/ or Beam because Barton historically sold a lot of older rye to High West for Double Rye! and Rendezvous Rye, and Jim Beam’s 2016 Booker’s Rye was 13 years old, so they had older stock. Regardless of the blend, what matters now is whether I like the whiskey and if I was a total fool to buy this. There have been 3 releases since, but I’m going back to the beginning in this Kentucky Owl Rye Batch 1 review.