Dented Brick Bottled-in-Bond Straight Rye Whiskey Review & Tasting Notes


What do you think of when someone mentions Utah? Is it the purple mountain majesties from God Bless America? Gorgeous national parks? The Great Salt Lake? The Sundance Film Festival?


How about the Mormonism? Don’t worry; I’m not here to discuss religion aside from a historical context.


In 1840, Hugh Moon and his family emigrated from Liverpool, England, to Nauvoo, Illinois. The journey took the Moons about a year. What do Hugh and the Latter-Day Saints have in common? The Moons were the first overseas converts, and Hugh obtained permission directly from Brigham Young to engage in distilling. Moon moved to Salt Lake City and was Utah’s first distiller of record.


Fast-forward to 2011: Marc Christensen and some entrepreneurs meet over cocktails in his office. The discussion moved to what everyone’s hopes and dreams were. He wound up with one heck of a problem: Due to federal regulations, distilleries could not be built within 500 feet of either a school or church. In Mormon Country, that was easier said than done, with the added challenge of finding land that would be zoned for an operating distillery.


In 2014, he located what he believed was an ideal property in South Salt Lake City and began construction. In 2016, Dented Brick Distillery was born, and distillation commenced. Everything is grain-to-glass using non-GMO ingredients.


“When I set out to find the ideal land on which to build our distillery, I was armed with one critical piece of advice from an old moonshiner I had met in my travels and education in Kentucky: “It starts with the water!” We needed a property that had access to the best water we could find.

The search would end with a gift from heaven (and mother nature) — a property with an artesian well. The water flows clean and pure from the Wasatch Mountains, forming the perfect foundation for our spirits. We later learned that the land belonged to renowned distiller and entrepreneur Hugh Moon — a historic connection that made it all seem like fate. Hugh produced whiskey in Salt Lake City for the early Mormon pioneers in the 1850’s.” Marc Christensen, Founder & CEO


But wait, there’s more! Before Hugh Moon started distilling, the land was owned by a well-digger who discovered the artesian well Moon used. The well-digger was killed in a frenzy of a gunfight, and his brick home was riddled with impact dents from the bullets. Some of those bricks were salvaged and used in the distillery’s construction, which led to the distillery’s name.


Today, I’m exploring Dented Brick Bottled in Bond Straight Rye Whiskey. It is distilled using 100% unmalted rye grain, and because it is Bottled-in-Bond, it is packaged at 50% ABV (100°) and is at least four years old. A 750ml has a suggested price of $59.99.


Before I get to the #DrinkCurious part, I must thank Dented Brick Distillery for this sample in exchange for my no-strings-attached, honest review. Ready? Let’s go!   


Appearance: I poured this bonded whiskey into my Glencairn glass and drank it neat. The liquid possessed a deep, orange hue and formed a bold rim with widely spaced, even thicker tears.


Nose: The aroma consisted of floral rye, vanilla, toasted oak, and cinnamon. I encountered vanilla and nutmeg when I breathed in the air through my lips.


Palate: The texture was soft but weighty. There was also no immediate alcohol burn. The front tasted of brown sugar, caramel, and cinnamon spice. The cinnamon spice changed to rye at the middle and was joined by nutmeg and clove. Flavors of black pepper, tobacco leaf, and oak were on the back.


Finish: The spice notes clung for dear life. Pepper, cinnamon, and clove seemed to compete for attention. Tobacco and nutmeg were next. Underneath everything was a strong barrel char influence. It lasted what appeared to be several minutes.


Bottle, Bar, or Bust: Bonded whiskeys have been my jam for years. While it is true that I’ve come across a handful of mediocre ones, the proof is near perfect, and I love how tight the rules are. I’ve had many Bottled-in-Bond Ryes, and Dented Brick’s version is likely the spiciest. I love it when distilleries do something out-of-the-ordinary, and Dented Brick does not disappoint. Is there something special about the land with the artesian well Moon selected? Is it Christensen’s recipe? Something magical is happening, and you’ll want to grab a Bottle of this whiskey. Cheers!


My Simple, Easy-to-Understand Rating System

  • Bottle = Buy It
  • Bar = Try It
  • Bust = Leave It


Whiskeyfellow encourages you to enjoy your whiskey as you see fit but begs you to do so responsibly.