The reddest of ryes, our fifth Oxford Rye Whisky release is the result of a love affair between our heritage grains, New American Oak Casks, and three legendary sweet wine casks; a Pedro Ximenez Butt and two Vintage Port barriques.
A decadent triple-matured rye whisky with a rich, wine influence, some may say a Pedro Ximenez cask followed by a second maturation in Vintage Port is extravagant, or perhaps even excessive, but we argue it’s the perfect level of festive indulgence. This expression is a celebration of grains and grapes; an exploration of our Oxford Rye Whisky house character, with a decadent fortified wine profile perfect for the time of year.ADD TO BASKET
Here at The Oxford Artisan Distillery, responsible farming will always be the first stage in our whisky making; taking our time, regenerating the land and supporting biodiversity with every bottle.
The organic heritage grain used for this batch was harvested in the Autumn of 2017, just after we threw open the doors to our distillery for the first time. It was a diverse maslin grain harvest, in sandy fields just 7 miles from the distillery, where we had let nature take its course. Several different grains grew together in these healthy, diverse fields including multiple ancient heritage rye strains, wheat strains and even a few oats and a few thistles. Working with our Head of Farming all of our grains are grown regeneratively and sustainably, using absolutely no pesticides or chemical fertilisers and contributing to an abundance of wildflowers, insects and birds across our farms.
Rye is amazingly powerful and will always bring certain characteristics, but where our whisky is rooted in Rye Whiskey’s history, and accordingly in American whisky history, it is certainly not American Rye Whiskey. A long fermentation in Hungarian oak vats has contributed fruity and creamy notes and toasty sourdough crust flavours come courtesy of flaking the grain in a centenary mill, rather than true milling.
Our intricate production techniques create our whisky’s flavour profile, with the grains bringing herbal, floral, spicy and nutty notes. The fermentation in Hungarian oak vats brings fruit and boosts the lovely creamy notes. Our bespoke stills give espresso and toasted sourdough smokiness, and finally, it is the interaction with the casks, marrying all these flavour notes together in our exclusive wine casks that bring together our house character and the wine influence.
Red Red Rye’s first maturation was for one year in casks 12 and 13, both American Oak casks which gave the new make our classic house profile. For the second maturation, both casks were blended into cask 72, the Pedro Ximenez, for two years to give it the depth of old sweet wine. For the final maturation cask 72 was split into two Vintage Port barriques, casks 268 & 269, for the final year to brighten the liquid with a fresh port bomb.
Full of the raisin character of deep, sweet oxidised wine with tannic fruitiness, sweetness and body, nothing got in the way of us making this most decadent whisky. Using very good old wine and very good new wine casks we have preserved the balance and structure between our house character and the wine influence.
It’s a rye whisky with a viticultural personality; think violets and berry jam alongside toffee apples in a pine forest.
This is an exclusive bottling of only 610 bottles. Each bottle is numbered and will arrive in a beautiful gift box. Red Red Rye works well by the fire, after dinner or with cheese. If you can’t wait until after dinner, make an extravagant Manhattan for your aperitif. After all, it’s time to celebrate!ADD TO BASKET
Watch our animation below to see how we’re doing things differently, using regenerative farming to grow our heritage grains, supporting biodiversity and making our critically-acclaimed Oxford Rye Whisky.
“This in an extremely assured debut which shows huge promise. English whisky just got even more interesting.”
We use rye, wheat and barley grain, all historically fascinating and grown from varieties that were common before 1904, when the advent of modern farming changed how crops were sown and grown.
Our heritage grain is grown sustainably, eschewing pesticides, chemical fertilisers and even manuring. There is low to no crop rotation and the crop is undersown with clover. All of this contributes to an abundance of wildflowers, insects and birds across our farms.
In the past, farmers grew genetically-diverse landraces that adapted to local growing conditions over many generations. Our ‘heritage populations’ are also diverse, resilient and adaptable. Each plant in the field is different, creating a crop which is more vigorous, healthy and hardy than modern monoculture crops – without the need for chemicals.
Every part of our landrace sustains the agro-ecosystem – from microorganisms in the soil, to insects buzzing and birds flying above.