Drink of the Week: Frey Ranch’s Straight Rye Whiskey

In our Drink of the Week segment, we’ll showcase one unique type of beer, wine, cocktail — you name it — to try at one of the countless breweries, bars and restaurants from around the basin.

Hopefully I didn’t lose half of you right off the title card by going all in on whiskey this week. But, to be fair, this is a pretty special whiskey. Stay with me through this feature and I might just help you understand why.

Frey Ranch’s Straight Rye Whiskey.
Rob Galloway / Tahoe Daily Tribune

For those of you that have had the pleasure of sipping on nearby Frey Ranch Distillery’s whiskies, you already know what I’m about to tell you: this is one of the best hidden gems you’re going to find – and it’s essentially right in your back yard. Well, if you had a big back yard, anyway.

Now, if you’re not a whiskey fan, I understand. But I made my mother, who is also not a whiskey fan, a cocktail using Frey Ranch and the exact words she spoke were, “Maybe I do like whiskey.” So don’t be too quick to turn the page here.

To start, this rye is about as smooth as warm butter slip sliding on a silk sled. Don’t try to say that too fast, just take my word for it. Aged at a minimum of five years, it feels like it’s been around the block at least twice as many times. It’s complex, but in a simple way – meaning that the flavors are layered so well that they bleed into one another seamlessly.

It’s woody in the best way possible (but not overly oaky) and kicks out hints of caramel, vanilla, ginger, and cocoa. If you were to gauge on a scale of how harsh a whiskey was on your palette, this would register on the laying-a-baby-down-in-its-crib-for-bedtime side of the register – it’s that soft. Never does it bark and it finishes on the highest and cleanest of notes.

I’m not ashamed to gush over good whiskey. Sharing it with my friends (you) makes it that much more pleasurable. And full disclosure, no, I didn’t get paid by the distillery to feature this spirit. Although getting paid to drink good whiskey sounds like a job made in heaven. Here’s to dreams coming true!

Frey Ranch Distillery is located at 1045 Dodge Ln. in Fallon, NV and is available at many stores and restaurants throughout the Lake Tahoe Basin. For more information visit them online at

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