Thursday, April 11, 2024

Review: Bhakta Straight Rye Whiskey Calvados & Armagnac 1928

Color (5%): 
 Nice and dark. Deep rust color. Minimal thinning.  5/5

Nose (10%): A few lovely soft maples, honey, and apple notes. Some lovely jam notes and ripe purple fruits.  8/10

Palate (20%): Honey and apples straightaway. The calvados does a lot of heavy lifting in this spirit. I want a charcuterie board with this. There is some nice malted rye through this, a mild tannic spice. Faint pepper and cardamom. There's a nice bit of creaminess through this.  19/20

Finish (10%): It's got a pretty long finish, with the armagnac starting to shine more. Some funk starts to creep in here as well. There's a nice dynamic flow here. 8/10

Overall Impression and Harmony (30%): This product is really nice. I love rye whiskey, apple brandy, and many other brandies. Bringing them all together in the right rations must have taken a lot of experimentation. Don't be some snooty whiskey snob. Appreciate the layers of flavor through this. If you can handle whiskey being finished in sherry casks or cut with grain-neutral spirit, you can appreciate a blend like this. Sweet honey and faint brown sugar shifts into ripe fruit and finishing in rich creamy funk.  28/30

Retry on Ice (25%): The funk pops out more over ice. There's more brandy notes, earthy notes, less honey and fruit. It's still good, but I'd prefer this neat. That's a rarity for me. A faint honey apple is still at the start, but it doesn't shine as long. 21/25

Total Ranking: 89% Legendary, AmazingGreatGood, Fair, Average, Tolerable, Swill

Estimated Fair Price: $85
Actual Price: $70

Conclusion: I will be controversial and just call this a whiskey. Yes, it's blended with fruit liquors, but corn isn't technically a grain, and we call bourbon whiskey. This spirit fits in the whiskey scope, maybe not legally, but for our purposes, they are comparable. This is a damn fine product. Beautifully layered flavors change on the palate and as it dilutes over ice. Masters made this, and they broke the mold. I highly recommend this. Pick up a bottle, especially if you like apple notes like I do. 

Fact Sheet:
60% Straight Rye Whiskey, 30% Calvados, 10% Armagnac
Bottled in Vermont
ABV: 50%