Cali Distillery is better known as Sukkah Hill who make some tasty liqueurs, but has recently made the move into the hard liquor market with several whiskey releases to their name; we’re trying their Riptide Rye Whiskey today. Currently the whiskey is contract distilled, not at MGP, with a 95/5 mash.

Riptide Rye Whiskey

Well aged cask strength rye whiskey is hard to come by these days and with this release, Cali is at least getting us 1/2 way there. It comes across young and a touch on the soft side, which we’ll talk about more in the review below, but it’s a sign of good things to come.

Riptide Rye Whiskey Review: Details and Tasting Notes

In Cali Distillery’s Words: Riptide Rye Whiskey

Riptide is CALI Distillery’s idea of a perfect Rye Whiskey. It is 95% rye with just enough malted barley to drive the fermentation process. We are so enamored of this mash bill, that we do our best to bottle it as purely as it comes out of the barrel. Cask Strength, this 118 proof spirit has a beautiful amber color and an earthy overtone. The rich butterscotch notes of oak complement the underlying spice of the Rye to make an incredibly smooth Rye Whiskey.

Riptide Rye Whiskey price, ABV, age and other details

Region: California, USA

Distiller: Cali Distillery
Mash Bill: 95% Rye, 5% Malted Barley
Cask: New Charred Oak
Age: NAS
ABV: 59%

Cask Strength | Non-Chill Filtered | Natural Color

Price: $33*

Riptide Rye is created by the Cali Distillery using a 95/5 mashbill

Riptide Rye Whiskey Tasting Notes


Rye, spice, fruit, butterscotch, vanilla, oak, char and a bit of Smarties and gummy orange candy.

Rye, spice, leather, pepper, herbal, grain, young oak and a bit of olde candy and fruit.

Medium -> Young oak, lemon-pepper, spice and olde candy.

Ok balance, medium body and a warm dry feel.

Riptide Rye Whiskey Review: OVERALL

Give this thing a few more years and it will be amazing, they’re just getting started and this… this is a good start. Right now the Riptide Rye Whiskey is young, brash and a tad rough, but a few more years in oak will bring the maturity and depth it needs; there is a rich base here for the oak to work with.

The aroma and palate are everything you’d expect from a young rye (I’m thinking 2ish years). It’s spicy from aroma to finish, but it’s a topical spice and not a deep complex spice that comes with oak and age, and a fruity candy sweetness throughout. It’ll be interesting to see how this one evolves over the coming years.

SCORE: 83/100 (B)

Riptide Rye Review

*Disclosure: This Riptide Rye Whiskey was graciously sent to me by the company for the purposes of this review. The views, opinions, and tasting notes are 100% my own.
Riptide Rye Whiskey Review
  • Nose - 84
  • Palate - 84
  • Finish - 83
  • Balance, Body & Feel - 83

Riptide Rye Whiskey Review Summary

Riptide Rye Whiskey is as good as you’d expect for young rye whiskey.

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Riptide Rye Label

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