Mersey Craft Spirits Recipe No. 06 American Rye Review & Tasting Notes


Life is an adventure. Some embrace it; others shy away. The Poole family tended to fit the former. In the 1800s, F.A. Poole’s parents sailed from Edinburgh, Scotland, to Auckland, New Zealand, to begin their new lives. Growing up, F.A. had that curious heart, and when he was old enough, he left Auckland for South Africa, where he learned to become a blacksmith. He also took up horse farriering and wagon building to expand his opportunities to earn money and build wealth. The family was involved in metalwork for several generations.


Fast-forward to 2018, and you’ll find Gavin Poole, the founder of Mersey Craft Spirits in Birmingham, Alabama. Gavin has the same curiosity as his ancestors, intending to satisfy people who thirst for adventures in new flavors.


Terroir is the influence of a place and its people on our whiskey. It’s the idea that each batch is uniquely created from its environment; it tells a distinctive story that cannot be replicated. Our fifth generation of intrepid explorers, pioneers and artisans endeavors to bring this to you and reward the spirit of adventure.

We believe brands should generate experiences and build a better world that’s why its important to us that our spirits embrace the grain to glass method of distilling.” – Mersey Craft Spirits


Mersey is a tribute to Queen of the Mersey, a sailing ship built in the 1860s. It was chartered to transport English immigrants to New Zealand. On one of its runs, it made the journey in 108 days. There was a mutiny by some of the crew after the grog (spirits mixed with water, usually beer-like) in the ship’s cargo hold. Its captain, Aitkin, had successfully fought off the mutineers but did not escape serious injury. Five of Captain Aitkin’s crew were tried and imprisoned when the ship arrived in Lyttleton, New Zealand.  


Today’s adventure in spirits is Mersey Recipe No. 06. It is a sourced straight Rye whiskey that fits Mersey’s terroir goal: The grains were grown in, and the whiskey was mashed, fermented, distilled, and aged in North Carolina. Two-thirds of the mashbill is 95% rye/5% malted barley, and one-third is 51% rye/39% corn/20% malted barley. The former aged four years in new, #4 charred oak barrels, and the latter three years at the same char level. The blending, proofing, and bottling took place in Birmingham.


Recipe No. 06 weighs in at 45.5% ABV (91°), and a 750ml package has a suggested price of $49.99. It is a limited-production whiskey, and you can buy it from Mersey’s website. But should you?


Before I #DrinkCurious to answer that, I must thank Mersey Craft Spirits for providing me with a sample of this whiskey in exchange for my no-strings-attached, honest review.     


Appearance: I poured this Rye into my Glencairn glass to sip neat. The liquid had a brassy, amber color and formed a medium-thick rim, which yielded slow, thick tears.


Nose: Recipe No. 06 was fragrant right from the initial pour. It included cinnamon, caramel, apples, pears, honey, and oak. I uncovered caramel and apples as I drew the air into my mouth.


Palate: The Rye possessed a rich texture that was inviting. Subsequent sips didn’t deviate. Flavors of honey, vanilla, and apples hit the front of my palate. At its midpoint, I tasted cinnamon and rye spices along with nutmeg. The back featured clove, charred oak, and black pepper.


Finish: Charred oak, black pepper, clove, and caramel rounded out the finish, which had a medium-long duration.


Bottle, Bar, or Bust: Sometimes, 95/5 ryes can be too potent for those newer to the whiskey category. Blending the bold with a more minor, barely legal component made that concern irrelevant; it softened the blow without drowning out what excellent 95/5 ryes can be. With Recipe No. 06, that was brilliant planning. I found this Rye to be proofed correctly; anything more than a few points higher might have lost what magic Gavin created. For $50.00, you’re getting one hell of a good American Rye. It earns every bit of my Bottle rating. 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.



  1. Nice review! Just picked up a bottle can’t wait to start exploring it! Cheers! Wayne the Rye Guy


Post a Comment

As we should drink in moderation, all comments are subject to it. Cheers!