The high-proof rye benefits from a splash of water. (photo by Peter Zimmerman for Wine and Whiskey Globe)

On a recent visit to my local market, I was reminded of a movie quote from Cameron Crowe’s “Almost Famous.” Kate Hudson’s groupie (ahem, “band aid”) character Penny Lane says, “I always tell the girls…if you ever get lonely, just go to the record store and visit your friends.” The reason this quote popped into my head was because I realized I was staring at a familiar bottle on the shelf in the whiskey aisle. Wasn’t this a bottle I received from a friend last summer? In fact, it was. And I always like to visit friends.

The Senator was distilled by MGP in Indiana and bottled by Dave Schmier’s Proof  and Wood Ventures in Bardstown, Kentucky. The brand belongs to their limited “DC Collection” series; special releases that honor the traditions of the American political system. Other releases include: The Presidential Dram, The Justice, The Representative, and The Ambassador.

The Senator is a straight rye whiskey, which means that it is aged for at least two years and has not been blended with other spirits. Showcasing the classic 95% rye, 5% barley mashbill that MGP is known for, it is aged at least six years in new charred American oak barrels. This barrel proof rye also flaunts a hefty 58% ABV.

Amber and copper hues radiantly shine through the glass. On the nose, hints of cinnamon, citrus, and mint come forth immediately while notes of burnished sugar and cocoa linger. The earthy, dry mouthfeel has all the signature characteristics of a full-bodied rye. Warming and slightly stringent, this barrel proof rye is perfect straight from the glass but softens ever so slightly with the addition of a few drops of water or a cooling cube of ice. Oak and caramel flavors accompany the long, rich finish while the warmth on the tongue pleasantly dissipates. This is the perfect rye for fans of dark chocolate desserts or for casual sipping while sitting around the back yard fire pit.

When asked about the bottle’s distinct wax seal and patriotic label, Schmier commented that “all the labels feature red, white and blue. We can all celebrate in peace!” Bipartisanship never tasted better.