Traverse City North Coast Rye Review

The Traverse City North Coast Rye is a blend of two different rye whiskey products. One a standard straight rye (at least 51% rye) and the other a 100% rye whiskey. Both of which were distilled by  TCW and effectively makes this a super-high rye.

Traverse City North Coast Rye Review

Unless the 100% rye whiskey is just a dash, and it sure doesn’t taste like it, this is likely a 65%+ rye and it shows. This is a spice bomb, which we’ll talk about more below, and I’m happy to see… and smell… and tste. We need more bold ryes like these showing up.


Traverse City North Coast Rye – Details and Tasting Notes


Whiskey Details

Region: Michigan, USA

Distiller: Traverse City Whiskey Co.
Mash Bill: At least 51% Rye + Malted Barley
Cask: New Charred Oak
Age: 3 Years
ABV: 45%

Price: $45*

White background tasting shot with the Traverse City North Coast Rye bottle and a glass of whiskey next to it.
“Crafted with a sturdy northern backbone and tough American heartbeat, our North Coast Rye is a tribute to the water and lakes that surround us. This unique blend of rye whiskies gives off a classic spice on the taste buds and leaves you with a smooth, buttery finish.” – Traverse City Whiskey Co.

Tasting Notes


Butterscotch, copper, dill, lemon pledge, oak, rye spice and bits of fruit and floral notes.

Dilly spice, caramel, orange peels, pepper, oak, copper and bits of fruit and lemongrass.

Medium-short -> Lemongrass, copper, oil, wood and some fruity notes.

Not fully, med-full, warm and tad dry.

Traverse City North Coast Rye – Overall

Aroma has a light chemical/cleaner note to it and comes through sharply with coppery, dilly, spicy rye notes and a rather light oak; Palate is a bit sweeter and less sharp, but still carries a bit of an edge with a dilly, coppery, lemongrass essence that cuts through till it dovetails into the finish; Finish starts sharply lemongrass and softly, though quickly, fades to a coppery fruit.

I’m conflicted on this one. It’s unique, it’s quirky, not horrible but seems to clash a bit.

Traverse City North Coast Rye – Final Thoughts and Score

I don’t get a cohesive feeling from this whiskey, it feels like it’s missing something and that something could just be maturity. The oak is super light and these odd tannic pops happen that make it feel a bit drying. Though that lemongrass note is quite nice.

On one hand this Traverse City North Coast Rye reminds me of some of the 3 yo Willet Rye I’ve had. There is a definite youth to this, but that’s not wholly a bad thing in this instance. It brings something slightly different to the shelf and I can’t wait to see how it does in cocktails. Though, what I’m really excited for is to see how it matures and what happens with the spirit and the oak fully integrate.

SCORE: 2.5/5

*Disclosure: The sample for this rye whiskey review was graciously sent to me by the company without obligation. The views, opinions, and tasting notes are 100% my own.

Traverse City North Coast Rye Back Label

Traverse City North Coast Rye Review


This is decent, I’m pleasantly surprised by how much spice and sweetness is in this. Once this gets a bit more oak and maturity there’s no reason it couldn’t become one of the best craft ryes on the market.


  • Nose


  • Palate


  • Finish


  • BBF



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