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All About Rye Whiskey


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#301 Tri2Cook

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Posted 09 November 2010 - 11:39 AM

The SIX YEAR is $45/fifth? That's outrageous.

That's the LCBO. Some common examples of the craziness...

Maker's Mark - $38/750ml
Knob Creek - $46/750ml
Jim Beam (white!) - $26/750ml
Sauza Silver - $30/750ml

...and you'll really like this one: Bacardi 151 - $43/750ml
It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

#302 haresfur

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Posted 10 November 2010 - 01:00 AM

The SIX YEAR is $45/fifth? That's outrageous. (For comparison, click here.)

Could be worse - try $82 and our currency is about parity click and shed a tear for me.
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#303 KD1191

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Posted 22 November 2010 - 02:43 PM

Has anyone seen custom bottlings of Rittenhouse before? Looking for a place to pick up a few things in Paris next week, I came across this...
True rye and true bourbon wake delight like any great wine...dignify man as possessing a palate that responds to them and ennoble his soul as shimmering with the response.

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#304 slkinsey

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Posted 22 November 2010 - 06:23 PM

That looks like regular old Rittenhouse BIB to me, with a differently colored label.
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#305 KD1191

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Posted 22 November 2010 - 06:52 PM

That looks like regular old Rittenhouse BIB to me, with a differently colored label.


Sure, that's what it looks like...and even if that's all, I guess it'd be somewhat interesting (don't see a lot of other examples of odd-color labeled Rittenhouse), but what about the "selected by" and the part on the site where it says it's limited to 530 bottles? It makes me think this may be single-barrel (or a couple single-barrel bottlings). And, while it's getting more and more common for a bar or store to select a barrel or two of bourbon, I haven't seen many single barrel ryes (outside the ultra-high end such as the Rittenhouse Very Rare).

Edited by KD1191, 22 November 2010 - 06:56 PM.

True rye and true bourbon wake delight like any great wine...dignify man as possessing a palate that responds to them and ennoble his soul as shimmering with the response.

DeVoto, The Hour

#306 Splificator

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Posted 22 November 2010 - 07:07 PM

Funny--that bottling now appears to be the regular age for Rittenhouse, although as it says assembled from a small batch of two barrels. The first time I had Rittenhouse was when I requested that they send me some for an Esquire piece and two bottles arrived in the mail. Two 700 ml bottles, each with a neck band that said "10 years old." It turned out, they sent me their Maison du Whisky bottling by mistake. But that was some seven years ago. I don't think there's any 10-year-old rye left. Pity. It was the best rye I've ever had.
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#307 KD1191

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Posted 22 November 2010 - 08:13 PM

It turned out, they sent me their Maison du Whisky bottling by mistake. But that was some seven years ago. I don't think there's any 10-year-old rye left. Pity. It was the best rye I've ever had.


Do you know if anyone has checked La Maison's slightly less convenient location?
True rye and true bourbon wake delight like any great wine...dignify man as possessing a palate that responds to them and ennoble his soul as shimmering with the response.

DeVoto, The Hour

#308 haresfur

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Posted 27 November 2010 - 12:41 AM

haresfur, I'd get the Wild Turkey. JB's not awful, but almost everything else is better.

But it's too bad you can't get the Rittenhouse. I just made my first Sazerac in a while, and I am reminded that Rittenhouse 100 is one of those increasingly rare alcoholic products that is both inexpensive and really good. Of course, this probably means it'll be a US$60 bottle in 5 yrs, but meanwhile, it's quite a value.

(2.25 oz rye, 3 dashes Peychaud's, about 1 tsp 2:1 simple, a few drops of Lucid to rinse.)


Joy! The local Dan Murphy's liquor store now has Wild Turkey 101 rye ($50). I'm so enjoying my Sazerac.
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#309 Tri2Cook

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Posted 06 December 2010 - 01:45 PM

Managed to get a couple bottles of the Sazerac 6 year through the local LCBO. I realize it's not the top of the pile for the rye aficionados but it's not a bad score for remote northwest Ontario Canada. I'm happy to have it in the cabinet.
It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

#310 Chris Amirault

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Posted 06 December 2010 - 09:19 PM

About to pop open a bottle of Redemption rye. Any thoughts?
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#311 slkinsey

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Posted 07 December 2010 - 07:08 AM

I think it's interesting. The strong rye character is nice (the mash bill is around 95% rye). But it's still too young, and thus not sufficiently assertive for most cocktails with strongly flavored ingredients. My understanding of their thinking is that they decided they would rather start releasing some of it a bit too young while waiting for the rest to age up than go the usual route of entering the market with a vodka or gin. I'll be interested to see what their product tastes like at 6-8 years in the barrel.
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#312 campus five

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Posted 07 December 2010 - 09:24 AM

I've used it in half-brandy Sazeracs. The raw, young quality of the rye was tempered nicely by some decent armagnac.
I wish I could remember it more clearly, but it's been a couple months since I was experimenting. I remember the drink falling into the interesting category, at least experimentally. Maybe I'll try one of those tonight.

#313 Roger le goéland

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Posted 21 December 2010 - 12:50 PM

Well, it's Fall 2010, so Sazerac 18 went back on the market. I am almost ashamed of the amount I paid to have the Whisky Exchange ship a bottle to me to Switzerland... probably three times as much as you guys over the pond. But it was worth it, since for two years I have been looking for this bottle and been completely unable to buy it.

Spectacular, especially the nose.

Still, call me mad, but I prefer the Thomas H. Handy. For me, both taste of everything that is great about America, but Handy takes it further, it is more extreme, more enveloping, more thoroughly satisfying. Cask strength helps...

#314 Chris Amirault

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Posted 21 December 2010 - 12:58 PM

You're right about that Handy. It's a blockbuster.

Sam, I agree about the Redemption. campus five, that's a great idea, and I've got a good armagnac on hand....
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#315 thirtyoneknots

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Posted 21 December 2010 - 01:53 PM

Well, it's Fall 2010, so Sazerac 18 went back on the market. I am almost ashamed of the amount I paid to have the Whisky Exchange ship a bottle to me to Switzerland... probably three times as much as you guys over the pond. But it was worth it, since for two years I have been looking for this bottle and been completely unable to buy it.

Spectacular, especially the nose.

Still, call me mad, but I prefer the Thomas H. Handy. For me, both taste of everything that is great about America, but Handy takes it further, it is more extreme, more enveloping, more thoroughly satisfying. Cask strength helps...


Better than either is a 50/50 mix of the two. Then proceed with Peychaud's, absinthe, etc.
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#316 Dan Perrigan

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Posted 21 December 2010 - 05:09 PM

What a coincidence... I just finished a Handy 2009 Sazerac about an hour ago. I haven't cracked my bottle of 2010 yet. Any opinions yet? Better/worse/same/apples-and-oranges?

Dan

#317 Roger le goéland

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Posted 21 December 2010 - 11:13 PM

Better than either is a 50/50 mix of the two. Then proceed with Peychaud's, absinthe, etc.

Ah, but at $200 a bottle and with it available only once a year for about three hours, this will have to remain sipping territory for me... maybe I'll add a touch of sherry to my PC8 instead ;)

#318 thirtyoneknots

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Posted 22 December 2010 - 11:15 AM

Better than either is a 50/50 mix of the two. Then proceed with Peychaud's, absinthe, etc.

Ah, but at $200 a bottle and with it available only once a year for about three hours, this will have to remain sipping territory for me... maybe I'll add a touch of sherry to my PC8 instead ;)


Don't limit yourself to thinking the more precious the spirit, the more "pure" your experience has to be...on the contrary, this is your rare opportunity to try a truly transcendent cocktail. These types of whiskies just beg to be mixed, though carefully. Minimal treatment is key. I wouldn't advocate this if the liquor couldn't hold up to it; we're not talking about old fashioneds made with AH Hirsch 16 here.
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#319 Kohai

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Posted 27 December 2010 - 01:28 PM

A coworker - who I am giving a raise, an extra shift, and a pony - just gave me a bottle of Willett 2-year rye as a present. I haven't opened it yet. But I am not familiar with Willett... can anyone help me find some info on this whiskey?
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#320 scubadoo97

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Posted 27 December 2010 - 02:07 PM

Willet is made by Kentucky Bourbon Distillers, Ltd.

http://www.kentuckyb...com/history.php

#321 kathryn

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Posted 27 December 2010 - 03:25 PM

Hi there. Does anyone know the exact proportions of PDT's Staggerac (Sazerac made with Thomas Handy Rye) and which sugar they use for it?. I just bought a bottle of the 129.0 proof one and don't want to waste a drop on a poorly mixed sazerac :)

Thanks,
Dan


Husband had one last night and it's:

2 oz George T. Stagg (141 proof was the one they were using)
1 lump demerara sugar, muddled with the bitters
3 dashes Peychaud's bitters
2 dashes Angostura bitters (possibly 3 dashes, this bit is fuzzy :)
St. George Absinthe, sprayed via an atomizer (really saturate the glass)

Edited by kathryn, 27 December 2010 - 03:26 PM.

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#322 C. sapidus

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Posted 27 December 2010 - 04:49 PM

I like Rittenhouse bonded and Wild Turkey in my Manhattans, but it is difficult not to choose Pikesville Rye at $13 for 750 mL. Every once in a while I hit the perfect proportions on a Manahattan, and the angels sing (even when I only have one :wink: ).

#323 Chris Amirault

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Posted 18 January 2011 - 06:15 PM

Found a good use for this Redemption rye: a Scofflaw.

1 1/2 oz Redemption rye
1 1/2 oz M&R extra dry vermouth
1/2 oz lemon
dash grenadine (homemade)
dash orange bitters (half Regan's, half Fee's)

Shake; strain; fat lemon twist.

The lightness of the vermouth and the flicks of flavor from the bitters and grenadine are a good foil for the Redemption. I'm not sure I'll buy bottle #2, but at least this is a workable use for the stuff.

ETA: Dave the Cook just asked about this version, and I realized my receipt is from Paul Harrington's essential Cocktail: The Drinks Bible for the 21st Century. Checking Gary Regan's Joy of Mixology, I see a tweak that might redeem the Redemption further:

2 oz rye
1 oz dry vermouth
1/2 oz lemon
1/4 oz grenadine
"orange bitters to taste"
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#324 weinoo

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Posted 18 January 2011 - 07:38 PM

A coworker - who I am giving a raise, an extra shift, and a pony - just gave me a bottle of Willett 2-year rye as a present. I haven't opened it yet. But I am not familiar with Willett... can anyone help me find some info on this whiskey?

It's good stuff. I got to sample a whole bunch of Willett's not too long ago; the 2 year rye is really excellent.
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#325 Chris Amirault

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Posted 22 January 2011 - 04:24 PM

Is anyone else picking up a slight apple-y note in the Redemption? Makes me wonder how it'd fare in applejack drinks....
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#326 campus five

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Posted 24 January 2011 - 01:54 PM

Last saturday a friend organized a blind tasting of 24 ryes. I'm sure he or I will post some more complete results.

They were:
Thomas Handy - 2 vintages
Sazerac 18 - 2 vintages
Van Winkle Rye
High West Rendezvous
High West 16 year
High West Bou-Rye
Rittenhouse 100
Rittenhouse 80
Wild Turkey 101
Wild Turkey Russell's Reserve
Whistle Pig
Redemption Rye
Pikesville
Old Overholt
Sazerac 6 yr
Old Potrero (can't remember which one)
Vintage Rye 23yr
Jim Beam Rye
(Ri)1
Michters US*1
and a couple more that are escaping me at the moment.

Across the board, the favorites were two vintage each of Sax 18 and Handy, as well as the High West 16 yr, Vintage Rye 23 and Van Winkle Rye. Rittenhouse 100 and Russell's also did well on the second tier.
Whistle Pig was not well liked, generally. Also, the particular Old Potrero we have was so distinct that it stood out immediately, but it was not well liked either.
There was also a vast difference in the amount of "rye-ness", with several whiskeys being noticeably corn-heavy.

Also it should be noted the everything was tasted straight, and things that are good straight may not work as well in cocktails. In a previous tasting, I vastly preferred Vintage Rye 21 over Van Winkle (which has always been one of my favorites) when tasted neat. Surprised, i then tried Manhattans, and the Van Winkle made the better cocktail.
My feeling was at the time, that there were some odd notes in the Van Winkle neat that I didn't like which were covered in the cocktail, and it allowed all of the other amazing notes to come through. The wonderfully balanced Vintage 21 was lost in the cocktail - it was balanced all by itself, and the rounding off effects of the ice, vermouth and bitters just drowned out the spirit.

#327 lancastermike

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Posted 24 January 2011 - 02:20 PM

The think that amazes me is that you were able to get all these rye's in one spot. As is well stated in this thread many of us find it hard to find more than one or two at retail in our areas.

#328 Chris Amirault

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Posted 24 January 2011 - 02:30 PM

Interesting Russell's scored so high. I would rate it lower than WT 101, based on memory. Maybe I gotta get another one...
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#329 vice

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Posted 24 January 2011 - 08:26 PM

Interesting Russell's scored so high. I would rate it lower than WT 101, based on memory.

Agreed, my memory--some 2 years ago now--was that it wasn't particularly distinctive as a *rye* whiskey.

campus five, I'm deeply and personally offended that I wasn't invited to this event :wink: (that's an awesome list!)
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#330 campus five

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Posted 25 January 2011 - 11:32 PM

Bear in mind that when tasting 24 samples, there's bound to be a ton of subtlety lost.
That being said, I've always dug the rye-ness of Russell's, but not dug the lower proof.
My notes indicated that the 101 seemed "corn-y."