Never Say Die, the trailblazing independent whiskey brand known for its innovative barrel aging techniques, is launching its ‘sweet mash’ Rye Whiskey in the US this April.

Never Say Die Rye Whiskey (70cl, 52.5% ABV, RRP $84.95) follows the same unique trans-Atlantic aging process as the brand’s award-winning Bourbons. Distilled in Kentucky, the rye rests in its original casks for at least five years before embarking on a six-week voyage across the Atlantic to the UK for further aging and maturation at White Peak Distillery.

Fresh off its Double Gold Win at the San Francisco Awards and “Master” win at the Global Spirit Masters Competition, Never Say Die Rye Whiskey boasts a pioneering “sweet mash” bill, deviating from the traditional sour mash method common in Kentucky. This, along with the unique aging process, results in a distinctive flavor profile that belies its age.

Never Say Die’s unique trans-Atlantic aging process follows in the hoofsteps of the legendary Kentucky-born racehorse that was saved at birth by a lucky shot of Bourbon and then went on to win the Epsom Derby at odds of 33-1, triggering a sequence of events that led to the formation of The Beatles.

Never Say Die Rye Whiskey Tasting Notes:

Nose: Inviting aromas of baked savoury oak and toffee caramel balanced with lively notes of orange essence 

Palate: Rich butterscotch and honeycomb lead into invigorating orange zest, layered with a herbaceous melody of sage, oregano and mint with complex notes of coriander and dill. 

Finish: A heated finish of rye, clove and anise with lingering notes of freshly cracked pepper and refreshing notes of mint that last beyond each sip

Never Say Die co-founder, Brian Luftman, says: “The contrasting climatic conditions during this journey, coupled with the liquid getting a good shake-up as it crosses the Atlantic, really gives our whiskey a flavor that’s way beyond its years. In our proprietary mash bill, we’ve got 56% rye, 33% corn, and 11% malted barley, creating this perfectly balanced profile. You’ll catch hints of citrus, green herbs, and this lovely dance between punchy spice and buttery richness. We take pride in custom-producing all our barrels and put a lot of heart into crafting these whiskeys using nothing but 100% KY Proud®-sourced ingredients.  Never Say Die Rye Whiskey is a “Kentucky-style” rye with all of the spice and character of a rye whiskey, layered with the unmistakably sweet and smooth complexity of a Kentucky whiskey.”

Never Say Die Rye will be available in the USA from April 2024. It can be found on store shelves in Kentucky and Illinois, with more states to follow, and it is available to buy from Seelbach’s for $84.95.


About Never Say Die 

The idea for Never Say Die was born at the Kentucky Derby when old friends David Wild and Pat Madden were talking about racing, and Pat told the story of Never Say Die, the horse that was born at Hamburg Place, his family’s farm. After a few mint juleps, they decided to build a team and create a premium bourbon that would travel as a world’s first, in barrels, to the UK to be further matured and bottled, following in the hoofsteps of its namesake, Never Say Die – the first American racehorse to win an English derby in 70 years. In 2017, Pat and David founded Never Say Die Bourbon alongside Brian Luftman, Shane Baker, Pat Heist, Martha Dalton, and Fran O’Leary.

Fast-forward five years, and the first batch of Never Say Die Bourbon made its maiden voyage from Kentucky to Derbyshire’s White Peak Distillery, landing on English shores in July 2022. Never Say Die is produced using proprietary mash bills and yeast strains at a partner distillery 30 miles south of Lexington. It is made using only the finest ingredients, with a custom mash bill designed to highlight the essence of the small grains with consistency, using local seed-grade grains. It is cut with mineral-rich, Mesozoic Era limestone-filtered water sourced from the deepest aquifer in Kentucky and then added to virgin air-dried #4 char American Oak barrels and matured for up to seven years in Kentucky before embarking on the final leg of its journey across the ocean to the White Peaks Distillery in Derbyshire to finish.


Never Say Die Barrel Strength: DBSB Spring Tasting 2023 (Master)

Never Say Die Barrel Strength: American Masters 2023 (Gold)

Never Say Die Barrel Strength: Luxury Masters 2023 (Gold)

Never Say Die Small Batch: American Masters 2023 (Gold)

Never Say Die Small Batch: DBSB Autumn Tasting 2023 (Gold)

Never Say Die Small Batch: Luxury Masters 2023 (Gold)

Never Say Die Rye Whiskey: DBSB Spring Tasting 2024 (Master)


The story of Never Say Die (the racehorse) 

In 1951, on Hamburg Farm in Lexington, KY, a foal had a rough birth, and its life was in danger due to poor breathing. Legendary horseman John A. Bell III was on site and poured a shot of whiskey down the throat of the struggling foal. During the night, the young horse made a dramatic recovery and was aptly named Never Say Die.

Three years later, after experiencing some success in England, Never Say Die was entered into the biggest race in the world, the 175th running of the Derby Stakes at Epsom Downs (aka the Epsom Derby). In front of an incredible 250K spectators, including Queen Elizabeth II and Sir Winston Churchill, Never Say Die, at 33-1 odds, beat out 22 other horses to become the first American-born horse to win the race in over 70 years.

Meanwhile, on the other side of England, a woman in Liverpool named Mona Best had fallen in love with the name and story of Never Say Die. On a daring leap of faith, she pawned all of her jewelry to bet on Never Say Die. With her new fortune, she purchased a historic Victorian home in Liverpool to transform it into a music venue. The basement was a low-key stage for up-and-coming musicians called the Casbah Coffee Club.

The opening night of the Casbah Coffee Club featured a band called The Quarrymen. The band members, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, and George Harrison, were each paid 3 pounds for a weekly gig. The Quarrymen hired Mona Best’s son, Peter Best, to be their next full-time drummer (he was eventually replaced by Ringo Starr). Rock and roll history was forever changed by a band’s humble beginnings in the Casbah Coffee Club and the shocking upset victory of Never Say Die, a horse

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