Bristlecone Charity Bottle: Ry3 Barrel Proof Toasted Barrel Rye Review


As I become older, I realize that giving back to the community holds greater importance. It is the reason for my annual #30DaysofBourbon challenge. It is why I’m a part of The Bourbon Mafia. It is why, when there’s a fundraiser and I can donate something to help raise money, I’ve got some bottles set aside for that purpose. That is also why I don’t accept advertising or affiliate links or charge you money to read my reviews.


Today’s review is for a charity barrel to help raise money for Bristlecone Charity. Its mission emphasizes helping youth facing unreasonable circumstances stemming from financial hardship, abuse, and sickness in South Central Wisconsin.


Bristlecone has partnered with The Bottle Shop of Grafton to offer Ry3 Whiskey Barrel Proof Toasted Barrel Rye. The store is doing something a bit above and beyond what many charity barrel fundraisers do. Instead of just the profits, The Bottle Shop of Grafton is donating 100% of all the proceeds to Bristlecone! If you want to visit the store, its address is 1237 – 12th Ave in Grafton, Wisconsin.


The barrel was selected by several groups, including members of Ozaukee County Bourbon Club, Wisconsin Fine Whiskey Fanatics, Lake Country Bottle Club (LCBC), Single Barrel Whiskey Club, Central WI Bourbon Society, Wisconsin Bourbon Enthusiasts, SE Wisconsin Bourbon Enthusiasts, Wisconsin Cigar Enthusiasts, Nose Your Bourbon, and a host of individuals who have supported Bristlecone.


This opportunity came to me because I have a few friends on Bristlecone’s board, and they invited me to share my notes.


If you’re unfamiliar with Ry3 Whiskey, it is produced by Phenomenal Spirits of Virginia Beach, Virginia. It takes three whiskeys with three distinct mashbills and ages them for three different periods before marrying them. Its Toasted Barrel Rye comes from a hand-selected blend of American and Canadian Rye whiskeys, which went through their normal aging process and were finished in toasted barrels.


The exact mashbill is undisclosed, as is the whiskey’s age. It is packaged at 62.1% ABV (124.2°), and a 750ml is priced at $85.00.

Now, let’s #DrinkCurious and have a taste!


Appearance: I poured this whiskey into my Glencairn glass to sip neat. The liquid had a definitive reddish hue, forming a thinner rim that shed thick, fast tears.


Nose: As I brought the glass to my face, I could identify smells of cherries, brown sugar, cocoa, and toasted oak. I found plums and a hint of cinnamon when I took that air into my mouth.


Palate: There was an almost airy texture to this whiskey, which, considering the proof, was totally unexpected. That first sip drenched my mouth and throat with bold, toasted oak. I gave it some time to fade away before trying the second sip.


On the front of my palate, I tasted brown sugar and more toasted oak. Midway through, I was introduced to very dark chocolate and black cherries. The back possessed a rather unique combination of cinnamon Red Hots and molasses.  


Finish: I clocked this finish at 2:04, throwing it into the very long category. What remained in my mouth and throat consisted of toasted oak, cinnamon Red Hots, cherries, and brown sugar.


Bottle, Bar, or Bust: I have a soft spot in my heart for charitable causes. However, I must also tell you the truth about each whiskey I taste, no matter where the proceeds go. In the case of the Bristlecone Ry3 Charity Barrel at The Bottle Shop of Grafton, I can see (and taste) why all of these participants selected it. The whiskey is full of flavor; it sticks in your mouth and throat for what seems to be an eternity and is, in a word, delicious.


If you can get out to Grafton, grab a Bottle. You won’t be disappointed – I promise. 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.