Review: Pikesville Rye Whiskey

This past summer Heaven Hill doubled down on the rise of rye whiskey and released Pikesville Straight Rye. “Pikesville” the name can trace it’s lineage back to Maryland in the 1895’s. Stories are cool. A great product is even cooler.

First, some details about Pikesville Straight Rye. It’s a 6 year, 110 proof whiskey that retails for around $50-$60. The Heaven Hill rye mash bill is estimated to be 23/65/12 corn/rye/barley.

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Pikesville Rye Whiskey Review

The nose is overall sweet with vanilla. It a little fruity but more like honeydew or some other sweet melon. The taste is honeydew with orange peel and sweet tea. It doesn’t have the spiciness of a high rye whiskey but there’s plenty of cinnamon or nutmeg.

This stuff is delicious. It has great flavor for a 6-year whiskey. The proof is high enough to provide a bite but it’s rich enough to enjoy neat.

Conclusion: I would buy a bottle if you see it. Here’s the hard part. Is it twice as good as Rittenhouse which is only 2 years it’s junior? Is it $20 better than Sazerac 6 year which is Buffalo Trace’s similar offering? All questions you’ll have to answer but I’ll leave that up to you.


    I agree with you. I left SAOS off because it’s a different style of rye whiskey and not everyone loves the 95% rye that MGP produces

    Yes to both questions in the Conclusions section. It was available locally (Oklahoma City) briefly for $35 a bottle. I should have bought more than the three I did. My go-to neat rye.

    Fellow OKC’er here and just heard about this rye from a Heaven Hill guy. Picked it up for $45 and was blown away. Fantastic, and I’m not a rye fan typically. Also, I spotted a couple bottles of Sazerac in the Edmond area if you are interested.

    Baby Saz and Rittenhouse are both very good. I’ll never turn either down. Pikesville seems to me to be on another level, flavor-wise. There’s so much here! At first it felt a bit stiff, but after a couple of weeks decanting it blew me away. This is in my top five ryes ever.

    By Terry

    The Key question for me is the Corn. Over ninety percent of the corn grown in the US is GMO. My question is are we going to be injecting known harmful ingredients into our bodies? Would appreciate if you would clarify this Blake. Thanks.

    You do realize that GMO means ‘genetically modified organism’ right? Which just means the produce/fruit grown now, is somehow different than its original strain… it has nothing to do with “injecting harmful ingredients”…

    I would drink the Rittenhouse Bottled in Bond more frequently. I enjoyed sharing this rye with people who don’t regularly drink rye (many of who coincidentally were from Pikesville). I never warmed to the Sazerac Rye, finishing the bottle in mixed drinks instead of my usual neat.

    Your preaching to the choir my friend. I’ve been recommending this stuff for a while now. Better go get some more before it’s all gone!

    …..but we must not laugh or become angry……this is Capitalism and the wonders of the free market!….we must rejoice in our being ripped off! We mustn’t gripe or bitch, but happily bend over and love it! SMDH over and over and over and over……

    How’s this for a laugh… put this on wine-searcher to find the nearest retailer and discovered that Westchester Wine Warehouse is selling this for $99.99 per bottle (marked down from their bogus “retail” of $119.99).

    Hahahaaa!!!! Yeah, I just took a look…unbelievable! (not really). ….if you want to laugh (or cry) some more, take a peek at their Pappy Van Winkle 12 and 23 year old prices!!!! All I can say is, “that meth is a HELLUVA drug”!!!

    LOVE this stuff!!!…….I was able to get one over the holidays (opened it up and drank it…yup, all done) and acquired 2 more bottles recently….these are allocated bottles in the state of Virginia…..the price is $49.99 plus tax….for right now the price is fair …..but,with this newest gem being discovered, the prices will continue to rise. I am a BIG fan of the Rittenhouse BiB and the baby Sazerac, but the Pikesville is definitely tastier! I am not good at describing the complexities of spirits…I say what i taste and this is very smooth, with a little spicy heat…..tons of different flavors dancing all around your month….I enjoyed the sweet nose as well. Overall, a very pleasurable experience! VA the Rittenhouse bottles are allocated…in NY, I can pick them up almost from any store off the shelf at less than $30 including tax…..even the baby Sazerac I can find easily in NY in almost any liquor store for under $50…RARELY do I see a bottle on a ABC liquors store shelf in VA (allocated)…..I would encourage you all to get a bottle of the Pikesville Rye if you can find one, I’ve been mostly drinking it neat, but have enjoyed it making cocktails (old fashion’s, sazerac’s and Manhattan’s) over the holidays….everyone loved them…absolutely SUPERB!

    “It has great flavor for a 6-year whiskey” is a statement that speaks volumes about the ignorance of even popular review bloggers about the aging of American whiskies in general and about the aging of rye whiskey in particular. Your whole breakdown of value in terms of age vs. cost makes me highly skeptical of every review on this website.

    The comment was in comparison to Rittenhouse which is four years old. The taste is much more developed at 6 than it is at 4. That was all I meant by that. Yes, I understand how aging works. The majority of Master Distillers believe the bourbon sweet spot is 6-8 years. I also understand how rye ages differently than bourbon. It’s why I think every craft distillery should start with a rye. But, thanks for the comment.

    I recently picked up two bottles for about $40 each yesterday after watching the rye blind tasting. I haven’t tried it yet but look forward to it soon! The only other rye I’ve had recently was Baby Saz and it was good but not great. Thanks for providing some great whiskey resources!

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