The Perfect Rye Whiskey to Pair with Pancakes?

Reviewing Tap 357 Maple Rye Whiskey

If you’re tired of sipping the same old Starbucks dark roast with your morning stack of pancakes, Van Gogh Imports has a treat for you.

Van Gogh, known for its palette of palate-pleasing flavored vodkas, has gone north of the border to bring back Tap 357, a maple-flavored blended rye whiskey with an 81-proof caffeine-surpassing jolt that will bring sunshine to your morning and sweet dreams to your nightcap.

The idea was this: Add a dollop of high-grade maple syrup to the smooth butteriness of barrel-aged rye whiskey to create a drink that kicks whiseky up a notch on that maple tree tap. Tap 357 starts with a blend of Canadian rye that has been aged for three, five, or seven years in bourbon casks. Then master blender Michel Marcil adds a dollop or two of pure "Canada 1/Grade A Light" maple syrup, one of Canada’s more-famous culinary exports.

The result is a potent but pleasurable cascade of flavors — sugary maple, toasty grain, buttery wood toast  that tastes good either neat, on the rocks, or in cocktails. It’s a tad sweeter than regular rye, and its mouthfeel is more substantial and silkier.  But there is no mistaking the barrel bite of true whiskey in the finish.

Suggested retail price is $29.99 (the penny back can go for your thoughts) for a standard 750-ml bottle.