Peerless Kentucky Straight Rye Whisky Review

A wonderful example of a classic Kentucky Straight Whisky, Peerless Rye Whiskey is excellent and has a past stretching back to 1880.

The Brand

Today their Peerless Rye Whiskey is well loved and they have a long history. Peerless have existed since the 1880s, when they were first born as Worsham Distilling Company. They were originally owned by Elijah Worsham, but when he died, it was bought by banker Henry Kraver.

Kraver had incredible business sense and increased production from eight barrels to an amazing 200, in only a few years.

As things like the first world war and Prohibition made Bourbon production difficult, Kraver made the decision to cease production. He sold his machinery to save corn for the war effort, and managed to sell the remainder of his barrels for medicinal use during Prohibition.

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Bringing it back to life

A few decades later and Corky Taylor, great-grandson of Kraver, decided it was time to revive the distillery. He had a wealth of archive material to glean for information and from this, Peerless was born again.

Together with his son Carson, Corky reinvigorated Peerless. They bought an old tobacco factory and got to work kitting it out to make Kentucky Bourbon.

Carson did most of the work himself and they were able to start distilling in March of 2015. In the four years since then they have increased production to 12 barrels a day and have a number of different bottlings under their belt.

Peerless Corky Taylor in front of photos of L R his great grandfather Henry Krane grandparents and father e1455047195882

The Kentucky Straight Rye Whisky

One of the bottlings is their Kentucky Straight Rye Whisky. This single barrel expression is the embodiment of just how wonderful their malt is.

Each barrel has been chosen by Caleb Kilburn, Head Distiller at Peerless, at the exact right time for bottling.

Tasting notes for Peerless Kentucky Straight Rye Whisky

The nose opens with pepper spice and earthy tones of fresh cut grass and oak wood.

Vanilla, caramel and spicy cinnamon also appear, alongside some really interesting herbal tones.

The palate is warming and gentle, with sweet notes of caramel and treacle. The sweetness is mellow and fairly easy going, allowing the heat to come through really well.

Cinnamon, nutmeg and white pepper come through. They tie in well with the sweetness and add depth to the herbal notes of mint and basil.

There is a refreshing quality to this dram. It is light bodied but full of flavour and really shows the quality and consideration that has gone into making it.

The finish is soft and brimming with oak wood and spice, with lots of warmth.

Peerless Kentucky Straight Rye Whisky lives up to its successful history and does it’s founder, and it’s new founder, proud.

It is a classic Kentucky Rye that will delight any American Whisky fan.

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Tags: FeaturedKentuckyPeerlessStraight Rye WhiskyWorsham Distilling Company


My name is Greg, and I’m a brand strategy consultant, writer, speaker, host and judge specialising in premium spirits. My mission is to experience, share and inspire with everything great about whisky, whiskey, gin, beer and fine dining through my writing, my brand building and my whisky tastings.

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