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Bold spirit: Taylor Garrett Rye gives whiskey drinkers ‘a little more spice on the palate’

Taylor Garrett Rye is the second installment in the brand’s core spirits line. (Courtesy of Taylor Garrett)

Taylor Garrett has gone bolder with its new addition to its core spirits line.

Its Taylor Garrett Rye takes things to the next level for whiskey drinkers. The mash bill on the rye is 65% rye, 25% corn, and 10% malted barley.

“Rye is a much earthier, spicier grain,” distiller Scott Feuille said. “It gives you a little more spice on the palate. It’s really bolder. It’s a little bit more rugged, and there’s a big resurgence of rye. A lot of people are rediscovering rye. After they rediscovered rye, they’re moving over to rye, which is a natural progression of the palate.”

The same innovative process used to make Taylor Garrett Whiskey was also used to make its rye. Feuille found a way to accelerate the process to produce Taylor Garrett Whiskey and Rye in six to seven days that is comparable to whiskeys aged for a decade.

“That’s what I really think is cool about our aging process is I can get results really quickly and we can decide where we want to go with what we’re developing and what we’re putting out there,” Feuille said.

Since releasing Taylor Garrett Whiskeyin February, Feuille has made some tweaks. New Mexico roasted corn is no longer part of the recipe and has been replaced with corn from Monte Vista, Colorado. There were some caramelized sugars in the roasted corn that were not fermentable and kind of “drug across the palate.” The old mash bill also caused the whiskey to appear slightly cloudy, which was another issue Feuille wanted to fix.

Distiller Scott Feuille is the creator of Taylor Garrett products. (Courtesy of Taylor Garrett)

“I couldn’t bring myself to put a product out there that wasn’t exactly what I wanted it to be,” Feuille said. “So we did change it up a little bit. Everybody here and everybody so far has liked it. … It’s phenomenal now.”

It is Feuille’s plan to have three core Taylor Garrett products: the whiskey, the rye, and rum rye. He is looking to release the rum rye in November.

“This is the one that I really think about that’s a sit by the fire, just a sipper,” he said. “It’s different and unusual. It has that little sweet rum kick to it. So it’s got strong maple, a little molasses in it. I get sandalwood on the nose and spice, and then you get that dry finish. It’s two things that you think wouldn’t do well together, but they really complement each other and just create a whole new spirit. We took a while playing with the ratios, and it’s mostly rye, with 35% rum, but I love the way it came out.”

Taylor Garrett products are available at VARA Winery & Distillery, Jubilation Wine & Spirits, Kelly Liquors, Quarters Discount Liquors, Total Wine as well as Whole Foods in Albuquerque and Santa Fe. Whole Foods also is carrying Taylor Garrett Whiskey bratwurst as well as Taylor Garrett apple whiskey bacon.

Feuille has also taken on distilling duties at VARA Winery & Distillery. He is aiming to release a gin, a light rum, and an aged rum in mid-October under the VARA brand. A dry vermouth and a sweet vermouth with a Spanish profile are in the works, tentatively planned for release in November.

“There’s 13 botanicals in (the gin),” Feuille said. “… I wanted something that wasn’t so medicinal and dry. I wanted something that was pleasant that had balance. There’s 13 botanicals, and there’s a lot of citrus profile. Of course, juniper is the primary, but then it’s a citrus profile. So I’ve got citrus blossom, orange, tangerine, lemon, lime and grapefruit. And then on the other botanicals, I’ve got juniper, sage, for a New Mexico feel to it, star anise, cardamom, coriander and angelica root.”

“With COVID, it’s like all right we have a lot of stuff,” Feuille said. “We really wanted to space these releases out, but at the same time we want people to start enjoying them. … I’ve always been very cautious against introducing too many spirits. You have so many products that you couldn’t possibly do all these products well. But here we are releasing different spirits, but I think all of them are on point, and so as long as we can maintain that level of quality and deliver what we say we’re going to deliver to our customers, then OK.”

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