To say that Milam & Greene is a Texas-based whiskey brand is factually true, but it does the young label little justice. Founded in 2019 by entrepreneur Marsha Milam and whiskey author and blender Heather Greene, Milam & Greene seems to pursue any path that leads to good whiskey. They distill their own juice in copper pot stills in Texas and column stills in Kentucky, and they also source whiskeys from across the country to age, batch, or release as single barrel expressions.
The Port Finished Straight Rye Whiskey is one of those sourced expressions. On its website, Milam & Greene transparently states that it began life as an Indiana rye, which was brought to their Texas warehouse to age in Port wine casks.
The spirit pours medium-amber in color and has a rich nose featuring cereal, warm vanilla, leather, oak, and dark cherries. The grains lead from the start, with initial flavors of dry cereal, nuts, and a malty vegetal note. The cherry comes back at the center, now a wild, dark cherry accompanied by a hint of wood and vanilla. The cherry note holds through the finish where it sweetens and darkens—like a good Luxardo cherry in syrup—complemented by the dry, light touch of Nilla wafers and a wisp of oak spice that carries on to its relaxed yet spicy finish. Throughout it all, there’s a rich, velvety texture on the tongue that’s somewhat surprising for a 94-proof spirit but more than welcome.
This rye is a great slow sipper, although it also became my go-to cocktail rye for about a month (which is all it lasted), where it saw action in everything from Scofflaws to Boulevardiers. It performed admirably in every case, thanks to its considerable presence of spice, flavor, and texture.
— 47% ABV