Empire Rye is the brainchild of six local distillers who banded together at Cardiff Giant, right down the street from Gnarly, to create a distinctive style of NY State Whiskey that’s true to our heritage. In order to qualify, the mash bill must be at least 75% NY State grown Rye, it may be distilled to no more than 160 proof, aged for a minimum of two years in charred, new oak barrels at no more than 115 proof at time of entry, made entirely at one distillery over the course of one season. Kings Country’s edition is made from 80% New York grown Danko rye and 20% malted English barley. Bottled at a modest 102 proof (coincidentally the same number of floors as the Empire State Building…or not?), it has enticing aromas of baking spice and maple. On the first sip notes of maple, cinnamon, and warm bread cover the palate with a little bit of spice on the strong, yet smooth, finish. Drink neat, with a single large rock or in a very high end Brooklyn - better than a Manhattan in so many ways.