Editor’s Be aware: These merchandise have been supplied to us as a assessment pattern by Sagamore Spirit. This under no circumstances, per our editorial insurance policies, influenced the ultimate consequence of this assessment.
Since their 2017 debut, Sagamore Spirit has been vocal about their ambition to jot down a comeback story for pre-Prohibition Maryland Rye. I used to be shocked to be taught that the ninth smallest state within the Union as soon as produced portions of whiskey akin to Pennsylvania and Kentucky util the twentieth century. Nonetheless, not lengthy after reaching its peak in 1911, a succession of crises and pressures from the Volstead Act to post-war subsidies on corn manufacturing slowly strangled Maryland’s as soon as sturdy distilling business.
Those that bear in mind, or search to resuscitate, distilling in Maryland at the moment are buoyed by a broad curiosity in regional and native merchandise, American drinkers’ steadily growing curiosity about whiskey past bourbon, and particularly the surging recognition of rye, which is traditionally a key ingredient in Maryland whiskey. Sagamore’s model is constructed on this historical past, exemplified by the truth that their bottles are marked with 1909 to point the yr that the spring home sheltering Sagamore’s limestone-filtered water was constructed.
They aren’t simply dwelling up to now, although. Between the core choices and “reserve” releases Sagamore’s vary is sort of broad. Most lately, they’ve launched a line of blended drinks that includes their 4 yr straight rye whiskey, and, in step with their said dedication to partnering with Maryland producers, the drinks have been developed in collaboration with Baltimore mixologists CAnE Collective. The canine days of summer time appear a well-chosen time to launch a ready-to-drink cocktail choice, so with extended excessive temperatures on the horizon I took a pair cans out on the porch to style…
Tasting Notes: Sagamore Lemon Tea Fizz
Actually nice and refreshing. There’s a truthful quantity of sweetness proper at the beginning, however it’s actually simply a gap act for the principle act of robust inexperienced tea with citrus acid and a contact of rye spice enjoying supporting roles. The acidity retains the sweetness in examine and any spicy tingle on the tongue is overshadowed by reasonable carbonation within the can whereas the earthy black pepper notes from the rye are an excellent complement to the toasty, grassy flavors of the tea.
Between drinks, a prolonged end of dried apricots or fruit leather-based lingers on the palate. Though the can guarantees yuzu, I didn’t discover it notably strongly represented, however loved the drink all the identical.
Tasting Notes: Sagamore Honey Paloma
I couldn’t be extra skeptical of whiskey-for-tequila substitutions. I’ve seen it a lot of instances and I’ve by no means seen it work. Till now. The flavors of this drink chart a very nice development from tart and candy to wealthy and floral. I’m typically averse to overly candy drinks, however right here the sweetness each tempers the bitter/tart citrus flavors of lime and grapefruit juices and facilitates a pivot into the richer points of agave and honey.
The addition of agave retains the flavour profile inside the bounds of a traditional paloma whereas a floral honey facet lingers round on the fringes of every sip supported by gentle rye tannins that solely make themselves recognized on the end.
I don’t envy the selections that fall on beverage builders in establishing canned cocktails. There are semi-competing priorities to deal with; on the one hand I think about (or hope) that they might need the flavors of their whiskey to function strongly on the cocktail, in any other case it’s laborious to see the way it builds/contributes to their model. However however going all in on the flavour profile of the alcohol can throw the cocktail itself out of steadiness. It looks like Sagamore’s mixologists have struck a pleasant steadiness between these targets. The rye is a discernible presence in each, but it surely picks its spots and doesn’t take over the drink fully.
On a couple of event when ingesting canned cocktails, my thoughts has wandered as I ponder how I’d create an improved model of the beverage (or at the least yet one more finely tuned to my very own subjective preferences). I’ll even admit that when reviewing canned cocktails up to now, I’ve poured a couple of of them out as soon as I’d completed taking my notes. I’ve had the identical expertise with canned cocktails sufficient instances that my near-reflexive response to them is a shoulder-shrugging “meh, high quality.”
However within the case of each of the Sagamore canned cocktails that I sampled I simply flat out loved the drink after taking the majority of my notes on the primary a number of sips. I even questioned, with the rising warmth of Oregon’s summers bearing down on me, the place I may discover one other can. Credit score to each Sagamore and CAnE collective on a profitable collaboration, these are among the many best-tasting able to drink cocktails I’ve encountered.