Kilbeggan Small Batch Rye

Thursday gone, the 18th of October, marked a momentous occasion in the world of Irish whiskey and in particular that of the Kilbeggan Distillery when a press release came out which saw the unveiling of the limited edition, Kilbeggan Small Batch Rye. It wasn’t just the a press release though, this was on the shelves in the distillery for purchase.

This was momentous for two reasons:

  • This is the first whiskey 100% distilled and matured at the Kilbeggan Distillery since they restored the facility in 2010
  • The make up of the mash being malt, barley and approximately 30% rye means it is the only modern day Irish Whiskey to use such a high content of rye
Kilbeggan Small Batch Rye

Now it just so happened that on the morning of the 18th of October I was getting in to the car to travel down to Castlepollard to see a man about a dog (trade some whiskey) and while enjoying my morning coffee I stumbled across the press release and thought to myself ‘I don’t think Kilbeggan is to far from Castlepollard’. A quick check of Google and I wasn’t far off. 39 minutes is all that’s between the two towns so I figured it would be rude not to pop in and pick up a bottle. On arrival I made straight for the gift shop and straight for the Small Batch Rye and this was met with a comment of ‘You know what you’re here for anyway’. I promptly purchased my two bottles (which is the limit per customer due to the limited availability) and off I went to Castlepollard. I really do need to pop back down for the tour and I’m sure my good friend Marc will assist me in that regard, add it the list Marc, eh??

All my social media platforms were buzzing with the news of this release. Some guys remembered how they had tasted it in 2017 at Whiskey Live and were excited about its general release and others were already panicking about how they’re going to get their hands on it!

Having competed my little road trip I got home and had planned on cracking open a bottle that evening but that didn’t happen. I finally got around to opening it last night and was really impressed by what I tasted.

Here are my thoughts on the Kilbeggan Small Batch Rye:

Glass used: Tuath

ABV: 43%

Nose: For me this is quite different on the nose to a lot of other Whiskeys I’ve tried. Should I assume this is due to the rye content? I get toffee and definitely some citrus notes like lemons. There is something else there to and I just can’t put my nose on it. My ability to identify the different notes seriously needs to improve!!

Palate: This to me tastes a lot younger then a lot of whiskey I’ve tried recently and I suppose it must be given that it was distilled within the last eight years. There is a lovely mouth feel to this and it’s really creamy. Lines the mouth really nicely. (Standby, just pouring another glass) There is a very nice spice element to this, I’m liking it!

Finish: The finish is excellent. The official tasting notes say ‘Immensely long’ and they’re not lying. The spice remains for quite some time and draws you back for another sip.

Overall: This is really good and when you think it’s retailing at only €55 it’s even better. Can my apprentice nose and palate notice the 30% Rye content? Maybe, maybe not. There is definitely something different, in a good way, about this Kilbeggan Small Batch Rye and once I hit ‘Publish’ on this blog I’ll be pouring a third glass. I think that says it all really!

Hope you enjoyed my tasting review of the Kilbeggan Small Batch Rye.

Thanks for reading.



*Official notes and the press release were referred to but all thoughts are my own.

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