For whiskey explorers, discovery is the easy part. There is always something that you haven’t tried, but the results are often disappointing. Happening upon Pinhook Rye (Lot 001) was a great find. 

Inexplicably labelled “Bourbon N Rye” this 93.5 proof, two-year-old has a 95% rye, and 5% malted barley mash bill. Its  sweetness pleasantly offsets its youthful verve. At two years, the color is not surprisingly light and translucent. The nose is soft citrus and toasted oak, and the flavors follow those aromas. The finish lingers in solid cherry with the light spice of a maduro cigar.

The Pinhook name is derived from the rural regional term “pinhooker
a small time trader in farm products.
A more contemporary use of “pinhook” refers to a speculator on racing horses—a special meaning for grain traders and racing fans. Be prepared to speculate on price, too. A bottle ranges from $29 in a downtown Memphis liquor store to $48 in Chicago big box stores. But lately, the biggest challenge is finding lot #001. If you do, we recommend that you pony up for it. 

— Jeff Joseph