Wednesday, November 15, 2023. Restaurant Marc Forgione , Tribeca, Manhattan. — You wouldn’t believe this but, The Knockturnal was cordially invited to attend an exclusive Whiskey tasting event for the “Old Overholt® Extra Aged Cask Strength Kentucky Rye Dinner and Tasting” at Restaurant Marc Forgione in Tribeca. How exciting that a ten year aged beverage, special edition at that, is ready to be unveiled; and trust me when I say, it is good to the last drop.
The Whiskey Tasting and Dinner was centered around the grand introduction and celebration of Old Overholt’s unveiling their latest limited-edition offering: Old Overholt® Extra Aged Cask Strength Kentucky Rye, an all new, Ultra Premium asseveration of the oldest continually produced and maintained whiskey brand in America. This is the first cask strength made readily available to the public from the Old Overholt brand since the mid 20th century.
What makes this unveiling so exciting is that the Old Overholt® Cask Strength Straight Rye was aged for 10 years in a single and unique escalator-style warehouse before being bottled cask strength and unfiltered. In other words, it was extremely potent, flavorful and robust in taste and scent. This special release provides rye whiskey enthusiasts and collectors the rare opportunity to experience Old Overholt’s distinct spice and depth in a more robust, cask strength expression. The release of this beverage, aged for 10 years, serves as a bold testament to the resilient spirit that has kept Overholt at the Forefront of American Rye for over 200 years.
Before my very first Old Overholt® Whiskey tasting started, the evening opened with conversations centered around the rye based beverage; lessons on the texture, tasting and wafting techniques to take in its aromatic scent, water droplet techniques that release the flavor, along with recommended food pairings with the high proof beverage. Guests enjoyed Appetizers of BBQ Baked oysters pancetta; chicory Salad of delicata squash, Goat cheese and maple vinaigrette; and Green Market Bounty, blended with ricotta Cavatelli all courtesy of the innovative, yet approachable contemporary New American cuisine offered at the Restaurant Marc Forgione’s. While indulging in a few delicacies, the guests sipped from the in-house designed cocktails,
Smoked Perfect Manhattan, a spin on the traditional ‘Manhattan’ which consisted of Old Overholt® Straight Rye Whiskey, Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth, Dolin Dry Vermouth, Angostura Bitters and Cedar Smoke; or The Bad Apple, a stout glass of Old Overholt’s® Bottle-In-Bond, Vecchio Amaro del Capo, Aperol Apple Tea, Lemon Juice and a fresh orange twist.
We took our seats, and we listened attentively as our gracious host and Old Overholt® Brand Ambassador, Tim Heuisler, who made us all feel at home (which was perfect because the entrees were served family style). Tim spoke of the legacy, the pride and resilience of the Old Overholt® Extra Aged Cask Strength Rye; from its preparation of being barreled in the Winter and Autumn seasons of 2012 and laid down in one of the few remaining escalator warehouses in Clermont Kentucky, Warehouse V. We learned about this tried and true warehousing style that it was specifically revisited to age this small batch of barrels curated for this special release because of the warehouses’ incredible consistency in producing a gentle mellowing of the beverage.
In front of us sat three samples consumed from left to right: (1) Old Overholt® Straight Rye Whiskey, (2) Old Overholt® Bottled-In-Bond, and (3) Old Overholt® Extra Aged Cask Strength, the star of the whiskey tasting event.
Not to anyone’s surprise, the Extra Aged Cask Strength Whiskey left the other two samples in the dust in terms of flavor and strength. A long finish lingers in this Rye. Its sweet corn, black pepper and cinnamon toast spice along with vanilla blend trails behind each sip, and yet for two extreme textures and flavorings, it is as balanced as it is complex in its flavor; it’s strong and distinctive taste curated and complimented by light ripe cherries, green peppercorn and sweet caramel. The taste of the whiskey also presents in it, brown sugar and honey anchored in charred oak. The cask strength for this proof meets 121 and is not for the faint of heart. Once on the market, the limited edition Old Overholt® Extra Aged Cask Strength Rye Whisky will sell for $99.99/750 ml a bottle.
To complement the robustness of the three Old Overholt Whiskeys, guest enjoyed savory entrees that included Chili lobster, served alongside Texas Toast; Snowdance Farms Chicken (under brick), Yukon Gold Potatoes, Broccoli Rabe with Pan drippings; Grass fed Cote de Boeuf (a corned beef and brussel kraut), accompanied with twice baked squash and Cauliflower steak with sauce proposal. The decadent dessert consisted of the infamous “Ten-Minute Chocolate Chip Cookies and Vanilla Anglaise”. As dinner came to a close, guests were presented free gift bags that included one complimentary special and special edition of the Old Overholt® Extra Aged Cask Strength Rye Whiskey of our very own.
As a newbie to the Whiskey tasting world, I can say I am a fan of this brand, and this special edition flavor piqued my interest in learning more about the whiskeys made in the USA, and the world. I highly recommend securing one of these Old Overholt® Whiskey Extra Aged Cask Strength Rye beverages and also checking out the amazing menu at Restaurant Marc Forgione’s located in Manhattan New York.