This Minor Case Rye review (like the product name) starts with the name of one of the (many) players in the early days of American whiskey. Minor Case Beam worked at the original Early Times Distillery. He became a Head Distiller, learning the trade from his uncle, Jack Beam. Later, he purchased a share in a distillery, renamed it Head and Beam, and started producing Yellowstone Bourbon.
Minor Case Rye comes from Limestone Branch Distillery. This is the same distillery that produces the revitalized Yellowstone brand. The owners/distillers, Paul and Steve, look back on the history of whiskey in American for brand inspiration.
When whiskey production ground to a halt in 1920, the smaller distilleries disappeared. Some distillers saved recipes to pass down, however, and now many brands are being reborn. This rye expression isn’t a re-launch of an existing or forgotten brand, though. Rather, it’s a tribute to Minor Case’s career. Had he not been interrupted by Prohibition, he would have produced similar rye.
Minor Case Rye Review: Unique in Nostalgia-Driven Distillation
In recent years, distilleries have been trading vintage bourbon labels like baseball cards. There’s a scramble to revitalize bottom-shelf labels through sourcing and blending. Limestone Branch’s other offerings do exactly that.
But Minor Case Rye is an original from the Limestone Branch Distillery. It’s quite young for a rye, just two years. The distiller brothers finish the whiskey in a sherry cask to help hide the age and add nuance and complexity.
Short-cutting barrel aging by cask finishing comes at a cost. Minor Case is pricey for a 2-year whiskey. But, with the right whiskey glass for sipping, this rye is great for slow enjoyment.
Minor Case Rye Review From IG Enthusiasts
These bourbon drinkers on Instagram generally sipped with trepidation when it came to Minor Case Rye. All in all, they were pleasantly surprised:
@BreakingBourbon’s description of the Minor Case Rye
“Soft on entry, with cherry, raisin and caramelized sugary notes first. A touch of rye spice along with an almost port-like flavor round out the backend. Being finished rye, the sherry cask finish seems to become more evident here. It’s gentle and easy to drink, with a well-rounded and nicely integrated flavor profile.”
@Whiskeyer’s post after sampling the rye
“It’s easy-drinking, sherry-finished rye with great dark fruit notes and subtle rye spice. The packaging is also really well done.”
@TheJugLiquors’ statement on the Straight Rye
“A delicious rye finished in Sherry casks. Golden chestnut appearance. Earthy hints & sweet sherry notes on the nose. The palate has hints of butterscotch, sweet. The sherry cask finish gives it a smooth mouthfeel.”
@AdventuresInWhiskey’s admission about the rye
“I’m not generally a fan of young rye whiskies, so I went into it with slight hesitation. Boy was I mistaken! This was pretty damn enjoyable! Those sweeter sherry notes helped temper the sharp rye flavors I usually get from young rye whiskies.”
@ProofStrength’s highlight on Minor Case
“A perfect rye for cocktails and with enough residual fruitiness to sip on for days!”
@BroadsOfBourbon’s feeling about the bottle
“Felt pretty good about it.”
@WoolfSungBrands’ verdict on the young rye
“Ever-versatile and a favorite among bartenders.”
@RyeWhiskeyLover’s view on Minor Case
“Beautiful smelling and light but quite interesting.”
@SpiritsDevotee gave Minor Case “82/100”
“It’s very subtle on the nose, a little rye spice, some floral notes and I think there’s raisin in the back. It enters the palate with a light-medium viscosity. [It] starts with the rye and ethanol. Mid-palate I get raisin, honey, and caramel. Subtle and easy to enjoy.”
@TheCasks’ opinion of the rye
“A very, very good young rye from Limestone Branch…I was initially put off by the price of this one, but after sitting with a few glasses, I’m inclined to say this one may actually be worth it.”
Tell Us What You Think
Minor Case Rye, with just a 2-year age statement, may or may not be worth the price tag. It’s definitely worth checking out as an interesting expression of sherry cask finishing. Even more complexity and depth will emerge if you leave it to open up in our premium decanter.
Plus, it comes from a new distillery. Limestone Branch is competing in a market full of big dogs, so those interested in supporting independent artisanal whiskey may want it on their home bar. Granted, Limestone Branch is sourcing their whiskey, but they are capable of expert blending.
Minor Case Rye may not be a regular purchase for most rye sippers. We think we’ll give it a try once a year to see how it’s coming along. What are your favorite yearly splurge purchases for whiskey?