Solera Aged Rum finished Rye whiskey is an experimental blend that came to be when we had an abundance of 5+ year old rum from Trinidad, Venezuela, and Jamaica and a collection of recently dumped bourbon casks. To make use of these, we decided to try the Solera aging method which is used to blend and age spirits in the Old World to create a unique rum cask finished rye whiskey. At the time, there were only a few rum cask finished rye whiskies in the market, so we wanted to add to this underrepresented category. The spicy notes of the rye and fruity rum complement each other well, much like a Caribbean spice cake.
The first batch of Solera Aged Rum finished Rye whiskey was made by filling a few dozen of the emptied rum casks with a blend of MGP rye whiskies and allowing it to mellow for several months before bottling. Tasting throughout the process, we found notes ranging from classic baking spices such as allspice, clove, and cinnamon, to fresh pineapple skins, pressed apple cider, and sweetened pears. Unlike our bourbon finished in Sherry and Cognac casks, the blending and aging process for Doc Swinson's Rye Whiskey finished in Rum cask Soleras is only influenced before the solera process begins. The whiskey bottled is straight from the solera. The blend process starts with two different rye whiskies from MGP: a 95% rye and 5% malted barley mashbill and a 51% rye, 4% malted barley and 45% corn mashbill, both are over 5 years old. Once ready, these are blended together to create a base spirit of about 73% rye. This is then diluted from its original cask strength of 120 to 103 proof, and added to the top row of the Solera. A draw is made for bottling, and the whiskey is proofed down to bottling strength and rested before bottling.