Old Elk “Ryemus Lupin” 6.5 Year Old Single Barrel Rye The Prime Barrel Pick #86



Reflecting on our Colorado barrel-picking adventure, we are convinced it was a jackpot trip. Remember the crowd-pleasers from Stranahan and Laws? Yep, those gems were unearthed there. And while we're buzzing about the upcoming Mile High treasures, let's remember the kickoff to that memorable journey: snagging not one but two stellar barrels from Old Elk. 

Old Elk's got a twist in its tale. Sure, the source, like many out there, is mainly from MGP. But here's the kicker: they have Greg Metzke, a whiskey wizard with a four-decade legacy in distilling. Greg's stint at MGP wasn't just a gig; Greg Metze was the Master Distiller at MGP who created the mash bills for Old Elk. When Gre retired from MGP after over 40 years, he joined Old Elk as Master Distiller. He oversees contract distillation from his former employer and barrel maturation and blending in this role. The relationship between the two companies results in Old Elk presenting their bourbon mashbills that MGP does not produce for others.

In a pure Prime Barrel style move, we roped Greg into our barrel-picking squad, expanding our lineup to a formidable nine. The hunt began with 12 barrels of bourbon,wheated bourbon, and rye. And guess what? We went blind. Trying to match each sample to its mash bill was like whiskey bingo, and we were surprisingly spot-on for most! 

Narrowing the field to three contenders was no small feat with so many palates at play. Cue the "spirited" debates (pun intended). Eventually, we landed on two favorites: wheat bourbon and rye—a delightful shocker. The team was torn but united in excitement. Fun fact: Old Elk Rye Single Barrels are as rare as hen's teeth, tipping the scales for us to snag both barrels. 

Post-selection, with our spirits high (and our sobriety the opposite), we celebrated the only way we knew—heading to a nearby bar for more drinks and a feast on Old Elk's dime. It was an epic experience through and through, and we can't wait for you to try them!

Tasting notes:

Do not let this bottle pass you if you are a rye drinker! We score his barrel very high for Nose, Palate, and Finish. For us, the finish on this rye scored the highest among the 12 barrels we sampled.

  • Fabulous traditional rye nose. Fresh, s y, wonderful.
  • The palate is bold but not in your face. A little peppermint mid-tongue, some caramel, maybe a little floral, and then a concentration of black pepper and cinnamon at the tip of the tongue. I keep going back for more. 
  • A delightful finish accentuates the palate and picks up a slight oakiness. It goes for a long time and moves around on the palate with a nice Colorado cuddle, the Fort Collins version of a Kentucky hug.


Country USA
Region Colorado
Brand Old Elk
Distillery Old Elk
Product Subcategory Whiskey
Proof 118.6
Proof Range 100-119
Age 6
Age Range 4-6 Years
Mashbill Type Rye
Feature Single Barrel, The Prime Barrel Selection
Container Bottle
Container Size 750ml
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