About – First produced in Maryland in the 1890s, the brand, along with the rest of the once-booming Maryland Rye industry, was shuttered by prohibition. The brand reemerged after prohibition and became the last standing Maryland Rye, as the rest of the industry’s production had ceased. Now produced in Kentucky from extra-aged barrels stored in prime warehouse locations, Heaven Hill keeps this historic Maryland mark alive with this award-winning six year old, 110 proof offering. Pikesville is produced by Heaven Hill and is considered by many the big brother of Ritthenhouse Rye. It can generally be found for around $50 in most places.
Nose – This is reminiscent of a caramel apple. At 110 proof it is hard to miss the ethanol. There are also notes of cinnamon. Not as much rye spice as expected. The aromas are well incorporated with that caramel note running throughout. On the rocks it picks up a hint of cream and some floral notes.
Palate – Brown sugar and cinnamon. It is a bit thinner than I expected. The apple from the nose is taking on more of a pear on the palate. These all fade into a cherry candy and lead in to medium finish that reminds me of biting into a piece of rye bread.
Score – B
Verdict – Pikesville is a big rye that packs a big punch in the flavor and alcohol department. Looking back I actually scored Rittenhouse higher than Pikesville. It isn’t that I don’t enjoy Pikesville, it is a good rye. It is just hard to justify paying over double the price of Rittenhouse for it.