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La Strada del Vino Rosso “The Road to Red Wine”

Taste Testing Maryland Whiskeys

Whiskey is deeply rooted in the history of Maryland, which trailed only Kentucky and Pennsylvania in the spirit’s production post-Civil War. But after Prohibition, Maryland whiskey fell out of favor, and appeared destined to remain in the past tense.

That is now far from the case. A new generation of Maryland liquor companies has set out to make local whiskey a topic relevant today… Read the full Baltimore Sun article.

About Fiore

Maryland Straight Rye Whiskey (90 proof; $25, available only at distillery)

In 2007, Mike Fiore began distilling grappa and limoncello in Harford County. Now, led by his 29-year-old grandson and distiller Tony Fiore, the small business debuted its whiskeys a decade later. Tony Fiore said his main motivation was simply to see if he could produce a whiskey. Once the current batch on sale at the distillery sells out, they won’t have more whiskey until next year, as the next batch ages until March 2018, he said.

WC: The law requires rye whiskey’s mash to contain at least 51 percent rye grain. This bottle from Fiore is 100 percent rye, sourced from New York.

RD: This smells really good. It’s got a thinner mouthfeel, but it’s pretty accessible. It doesn’t taste like 90 proof, I’ll give it that. It’s not smacking you in the face. The only thing I’d say is it’s a little light in body.

AL: It’s got some fire on the nose. I get caramel, too. It’s pretty smooth.

WC: It has enough of the spicy notes to distinguish it as a rye. I don’t think it’s announcing itself by kicking the door down. It’s a nice sip.

Maryland Straight Bourbon Whiskey (90 proof; $40, available only at distillery)

RD: There’s no spice in there at all — a lot more caramel and vanilla. Both of these were aged two years in new oak barrels. I think this tastes just a little young, in terms of how long it aged.

WC: This dives directly into the sweet attributes of bourbon that many tend to like. A really good bourbon, though, should still have a noticeable kick. This is a little bit one-note, but it’s not bad at all. I think I prefer the rye.


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Fiore Winery & Distillery