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All About Rye Whiskey


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#481 tanstaafl2

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Posted 01 August 2014 - 01:33 PM

That's very true in theory, but the intersection of people who don't care where their rye is made and the people willing to do a blind tasting to determine their favorite has to be awfully small. I would wager that very few people proclaiming they drink Templeton for the taste are making that proclamation from a place that involves choosing it blind, in which case the quasi-deceptive marketing is clearly an influence.

 

In most cases I'm a live and let live person, but the thing that bugs me about the instant case is when uneducated consumers (or dishonest marketing) lump distillers like Todd Leopold who are actually making the effort to craft a special rye into the same group as the folks who only know how to buy and market mass-produced product. It's exceedingly irksome.

 

Preaching to the choir here! I suppose when I said that "I do agree that if the consumer doesn't care about this information and likes to drink what is in the bottle more power to him" I suppose what really meant was that if they are dumb enough to buy the hype and not learn a bit about what they are drinking then I don't feel at all sorry for them if they pay way too much for whiskey they could get elsewhere for less. In fact I would just as soon they buy "spirit" whiskey/vodka and leave the real whiskey alone! But I absolutely agree that that the label should clearly indicate what is in the bottle. But I can't make John Q. Public read it or even care.

 

I also wouldn't have a problem if there was some kind of practical way to take action against BS advertising. Of course that is needed for a lot more than whiskey and I don't see it happening anytime soon. 

 

After all, as everyone knows, us "guvmint" types can't find our ass with a both hands and a map pointing the way!

 

:blink:


If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man. ~Mark Twain

Some people are like a Slinky. They are not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs...
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#482 FrogPrincesse

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Posted 01 September 2014 - 11:06 PM

Mini Willet rye tasting from a few nights ago, 5 year vs. 2 year. The 2-year is the first Willet-distilled rye in years, so it's pretty exciting stuff.

14882047828_742dbdee38_z.jpg

2 year (right)
Nose: vanilla, orange.
Tastes quite hot at first. It takes a few sips to get past this, but then it's great: vanilla, orange, leather, mint. A bit all over the place, but in a good way. Pretty fiery and almost immature at first, and then surprisingly deep and interesting. A very cool mix.

5 year
The nose is pretty faint. Mostly caramel.
Much more approachable. Tastes more sweet, much more tame. Develops into beautiful butterscotch and spice. Sadly for me this one has an acetone aftertaste, so it's not my favorite (I prefer the 4). Still, it's pretty solid.

A few nights later I tried to sip on Bulleit rye neat, just to see. But I could not finish my glass. I still love it for mixing, though.

14922313508_046b5336dc_z.jpg

Edited by FrogPrincesse, 02 September 2014 - 12:59 AM.

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#483 tanstaafl2

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Posted 02 September 2014 - 01:09 PM

Mini Willet rye tasting from a few nights ago, 5 year vs. 2 year. The 2-year is the first Willet-distilled rye in years, so it's pretty exciting stuff.

14882047828_742dbdee38_z.jpg

2 year (right)
Nose: vanilla, orange.
Tastes quite hot at first. It takes a few sips to get past this, but then it's great: vanilla, orange, leather, mint. A bit all over the place, but in a good way. Pretty fiery and almost immature at first, and then surprisingly deep and interesting. A very cool mix.

5 year
The nose is pretty faint. Mostly caramel.
Much more approachable. Tastes more sweet, much more tame. Develops into beautiful butterscotch and spice. Sadly for me this one has an acetone aftertaste, so it's not my favorite (I prefer the 4). Still, it's pretty solid.

A few nights later I tried to sip on Bulleit rye neat, just to see. But I could not finish my glass. I still love it for mixing, though.

14922313508_046b5336dc_z.jpg

 

I put a pretty standard 4yo against the new 2yo rye early on and found much the same thing. I find that young green grainy notes tends to persist a bit more in the 2yo then you noted. The 2yo does has some intriguing potential but it needs some more time in the oven. Don't recall and acetone note on the 5yo Willett but it has been awhile so I guess I need to revisit. Of course they are all different barrels so it may not have any similarity to the one you have. I think the only 5yo I have left has never been opened as I tend to turn to the 4yo more often as it is generally easier to acquire.


If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man. ~Mark Twain

Some people are like a Slinky. They are not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs...
~tanstaafl2

#484 FrogPrincesse

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Posted 02 September 2014 - 01:31 PM

 I think the only 5yo I have left has never been opened as I tend to turn to the 4yo more often as it is generally easier to acquire.

They are both quite hard to find these days, at least in my area.



#485 pto

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Posted 07 October 2014 - 06:42 AM

Trying to decide if I should try a bottle of Rittenhouse(100 proof).

 

Currently, I mostly mix with Sazerac 6 yr old or Jim Beam Rye. I also have a bottle Willet single barrel 110 proof(4 or 5yr) and a couple high rye bourbons(Fighting Cock, Bulleit)

 

Thing is it seems the Rittenhouse is quite a budget bottle in the states, while here it aint cheap at $62 Comparitively:. Saz=$65, Beam=$20, Willet=$65

 

How different is the Rittenhouse from the others? Worth getting a bottle at that price, relative to the other bottles? Other ryes available are High West double rye=$82, High West Son of Bourye=$90, Town Branch=$62, Templeton Small Batch=$95

 

Mainly use for cocktails-Manhattans, Sazeracs, Old Pal, so on and so forth.



#486 JoNorvelleWalker

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Posted 07 October 2014 - 09:10 AM

Most people here are quite fond of Rittenhouse but unfortunately Rittenhouse does not do much for me, and I won't even mention marshmallows.  My favorite rye is Colonel E.H. Taylor, and I also like Whistlepig although Whistlepig is lighter (and something, maybe fruitier?) than the Taylor.

 

I have not tasted any of the other ryes you mention.



#487 FrogPrincesse

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Posted 07 October 2014 - 04:18 PM

Trying to decide if I should try a bottle of Rittenhouse(100 proof).

 

Currently, I mostly mix with Sazerac 6 yr old or Jim Beam Rye. I also have a bottle Willet single barrel 110 proof(4 or 5yr) and a couple high rye bourbons(Fighting Cock, Bulleit)

 

Thing is it seems the Rittenhouse is quite a budget bottle in the states, while here it aint cheap at $62 Comparitively:. Saz=$65, Beam=$20, Willet=$65

 

How different is the Rittenhouse from the others? Worth getting a bottle at that price, relative to the other bottles? Other ryes available are High West double rye=$82, High West Son of Bourye=$90, Town Branch=$62, Templeton Small Batch=$95

 

Mainly use for cocktails-Manhattans, Sazeracs, Old Pal, so on and so forth.

 

I like Rittenhouse better than Sazerac 6, but it's highly subjective and they are both excellent.

 

In your list, Willet 4 is my favorite and a great value compared to the rest. So I would stock up before it disappears. It's become very scarce here, so I reserve it for sipping.

 

High West double rye is great too. Compared to Rittenhouse, it feels less sweet and has more heat. It's fun for mixing as it has a lot of character. 

 

Bourye is good, but is much more bourbon than rye.

 

Lastly, I would not bother with Templeton "small batch" given the (current) price.  I am sure that the label (and price) will change after this lawsuit.


Edited by FrogPrincesse, 07 October 2014 - 04:18 PM.


#488 Czequershuus

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Posted 08 October 2014 - 06:57 AM

Trying to decide if I should try a bottle of Rittenhouse(100 proof).

 

Currently, I mostly mix with Sazerac 6 yr old or Jim Beam Rye. I also have a bottle Willet single barrel 110 proof(4 or 5yr) and a couple high rye bourbons(Fighting Cock, Bulleit)

 

Thing is it seems the Rittenhouse is quite a budget bottle in the states, while here it aint cheap at $62 Comparitively:. Saz=$65, Beam=$20, Willet=$65

 

How different is the Rittenhouse from the others? Worth getting a bottle at that price, relative to the other bottles? Other ryes available are High West double rye=$82, High West Son of Bourye=$90, Town Branch=$62, Templeton Small Batch=$95

 

Mainly use for cocktails-Manhattans, Sazeracs, Old Pal, so on and so forth.

If you can get Willett for roughly the same price as Rittenhouse, then I would go for the Willett.



#489 scubadoo97

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Posted 08 October 2014 - 02:20 PM

Two new acquisitions. High West ryes. One aged in a Four Roses bourbon barrel and the other in a manhattan barrel

3c926b9d771f429d442ecbf92227395e.jpg
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#490 pto

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Posted 08 October 2014 - 04:41 PM

Two new acquisitions. High West ryes. One aged in a Four Roses bourbon barrel and the other in a manhattan barrel

 

What's a "manhattan barrel"?



#491 scubadoo97

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Posted 08 October 2014 - 06:20 PM

What's a "manhattan barrel"?


A barrel used to store barrel aged Manhattans

#492 haresfur

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Posted 08 October 2014 - 06:47 PM

Trying to decide if I should try a bottle of Rittenhouse(100 proof).

 

Currently, I mostly mix with Sazerac 6 yr old or Jim Beam Rye. I also have a bottle Willet single barrel 110 proof(4 or 5yr) and a couple high rye bourbons(Fighting Cock, Bulleit)

 

Thing is it seems the Rittenhouse is quite a budget bottle in the states, while here it aint cheap at $62 Comparitively:. Saz=$65, Beam=$20, Willet=$65

 

How different is the Rittenhouse from the others? Worth getting a bottle at that price, relative to the other bottles? Other ryes available are High West double rye=$82, High West Son of Bourye=$90, Town Branch=$62, Templeton Small Batch=$95

 

Mainly use for cocktails-Manhattans, Sazeracs, Old Pal, so on and so forth.

Bottle of each + friends = taste, learn, have fun

 

ETA: I think Rittenhouse is the benchmark so well worth experiencing a bottle even if you decide you prefer something else.


Edited by haresfur, 08 October 2014 - 06:48 PM.

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#493 pto

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Posted 10 October 2014 - 07:23 PM

I like Rittenhouse better than Sazerac 6, but it's highly subjective and they are both excellent.

 

In your list, Willet 4 is my favorite and a great value compared to the rest. So I would stock up before it disappears. It's become very scarce here, so I reserve it for sipping.

 

High West double rye is great too. Compared to Rittenhouse, it feels less sweet and has more heat. It's fun for mixing as it has a lot of character. 

 

Bourye is good, but is much more bourbon than rye.

 

Lastly, I would not bother with Templeton "small batch" given the (current) price.  I am sure that the label (and price) will change after this lawsuit.

 

If you can get Willett for roughly the same price as Rittenhouse, then I would go for the Willett.

 

Yeah the Willett does seem to be the best relative value, so Im gonna get a few bottles to stash away while I can. The Templeton story is interesting, Im sure I wouldn't have shelled out the 95 anyway. Will put the High West on my wishlist.

 

 

 

 

Bottle of each + friends = taste, learn, have fun

 

ETA: I think Rittenhouse is the benchmark so well worth experiencing a bottle even if you decide you prefer something else.

 

From everything I read, that seems the case... I want to get a bottle. Good news for me is that I will have a local credit card next week that will allow me to shop on Taobao(aka Alibaba). I can get the Rittenhouse 10 bucks cheaper AND all booze across the board is around 20% cheaper AND there's a wider selection than at the nearby stores. Can't wait.


Edited by pto, 10 October 2014 - 07:23 PM.


#494 lindag

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Posted 11 October 2014 - 12:32 PM

I buy Rittenhouse to use exclusively in my winter hot drinks.  I mix it with either rum or with brandy.



#495 Hassouni

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Posted 11 October 2014 - 04:49 PM

Pikesville all the way home. Can't beat $11 for a younger, 80 proof Rittenhouse

#496 pto

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Posted 12 October 2014 - 01:57 AM


 

In your list, Willet 4 is my favorite and a great value compared to the rest. So I would stock up before it disappears. It's become very scarce here, so I reserve it for sipping.

 

 

Picked up another bottle of Willett, this one is 6yr / 115 proof.
 



#497 FrogPrincesse

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Posted 25 November 2014 - 12:01 PM

Someone who knows me well gave me an extravagant gift - a bottle of Willet 8-year rye.

It's pretty great. Caramel, spice, vanilla, and a very long finish.

 

15250921124_9c8fc90849_z.jpg


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#498 Katie Meadow

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Posted 26 December 2014 - 03:09 PM

What a nice gift, the Willett. We were invited to cocktail hour on xmas eve at some friends where the food and drink is always fabulous. We finished off a bottle of Van Winkle Family Rye--I didn't look very hard at the label, but it just said Van Winkle, not Pappy Van Winkle. Apparently when the bottle was getting low our friend checked in with his favorite liquor guy, who just started laughing. Anyway, it was smooth and very delicious. I'm sure I've never had it before. I love rye! (Not relevant, but just singing his praises, he also gifted me with a bottle of Nocino, which I also swoon over.)

#499 ChrisTaylor

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Posted 04 March 2015 - 01:48 AM

I tried the Millstone 100 expression today. Stunning. A bit sweet on entry and then SPICE. Everything you know and love about rye squeezed into a single bottle.


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#500 tanstaafl2

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Posted 05 March 2015 - 12:09 PM

I tried the Millstone 100 expression today. Stunning. A bit sweet on entry and then SPICE. Everything you know and love about rye squeezed into a single bottle.

 

Indeed, marvelous stuff. And if you think that is good imagine the same rye at 10 years old and barrel proof at 117.2 proof!

 

 

Millstone barrel proof.jpg

 

A single barrel exclusive bottling from The Whisky Exchange. Unfortunately very spendy, especially when you add the expensive shipping to the US and I don't know if they have any left but it was everything the Millstone 100 was and a whole lot more!


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If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man. ~Mark Twain

Some people are like a Slinky. They are not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs...
~tanstaafl2

#501 ChrisTaylor

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Posted 06 March 2015 - 02:05 AM

Indeed, marvelous stuff. And if you think that is good imagine the same rye at 10 years old and barrel proof at 117.2 proof!

 

 

attachicon.gifMillstone barrel proof.jpg

 

A single barrel exclusive bottling from The Whisky Exchange. Unfortunately very spendy, especially when you add the expensive shipping to the US and I don't know if they have any left but it was everything the Millstone 100 was and a whole lot more!

 

I didn't pick up a bottle when I had a chance yesterday and regret it. Will correct this misstep over the weekend. I think it was one of the best rye whiskies I've ever tasted. 


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#502 donk79

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Posted 15 June 2015 - 06:19 PM

Just picked up my first bottle of Pikesville.  Not at $11.  $16 instead, but I am not complaining.  Quite nice!  I will not claim to be a connoisseur, but this hits the spot.  I will advise that my usual preferences run to Bourbons with high rye content rather than that which is normally classed as rye.



#503 JoNorvelleWalker

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Posted 15 June 2015 - 09:44 PM

Not having to do with much of anything I'm having a glass of Whistlepig at the moment.  This is following a bowl of fresh pineapple.  Goes remarkably well.



#504 tanstaafl2

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Posted 16 June 2015 - 03:00 PM

Just picked up my first bottle of Pikesville.  Not at $11.  $16 instead, but I am not complaining.  Quite nice!  I will not claim to be a connoisseur, but this hits the spot.  I will advise that my usual preferences run to Bourbons with high rye content rather than that which is normally classed as rye.

 

Did your bottle look like the one in this blog post? As you probably saw it is a young 3yo 80 proof rye (although I agree with the blog that for the price it was pretty decent). As Heaven Hill makes only one rye mashbill this is a younger lower proof version of Rittenhouse Rye BIB.

 

But Heaven Hill is about to make a big change in Pikesville Rye! It will soon become a swanky looking 6 year old rye that is bottled at 110 proof. Basically the older higher proof version of Rittenhouse BIB. Pretty much perfect for cocktails!

 

Of course it will now cost about $50... :angry:


If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man. ~Mark Twain

Some people are like a Slinky. They are not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs...
~tanstaafl2

#505 donk79

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Posted 16 June 2015 - 06:24 PM

Did your bottle look like the one in this blog post? As you probably saw it is a young 3yo 80 proof rye (although I agree with the blog that for the price it was pretty decent). As Heaven Hill makes only one rye mashbill this is a younger lower proof version of Rittenhouse Rye BIB.

 

But Heaven Hill is about to make a big change in Pikesville Rye! It will soon become a swanky looking 6 year old rye that is bottled at 110 proof. Basically the older higher proof version of Rittenhouse BIB. Pretty much perfect for cocktails!

 

Of course it will now cost about $50... :angry:

 

Yes!  That's the bottle!

 

And that is very sad news....

 

Don't suppose anyone has any suggestions for a replacement?



#506 tanstaafl2

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Posted 19 June 2015 - 08:43 AM

Yes!  That's the bottle!

 

And that is very sad news....

 

Don't suppose anyone has any suggestions for a replacement?

 

I am told from fairly reliable sources that a final decision on the fate of the original 3yo Pikesville rye has not been made yet by HH. I would be a little surprised if it hangs around but these days who knows? But if you like it I might think about stocking up if you can!


If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man. ~Mark Twain

Some people are like a Slinky. They are not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs...
~tanstaafl2

#507 tanstaafl2

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Posted 19 June 2015 - 08:47 AM

Yes!  That's the bottle!

 

And that is very sad news....

 

Don't suppose anyone has any suggestions for a replacement?

 

If you are looking for a young inexpensive rye as a replacement you might try Old Overholt. Also now a three year old rye, this one is from Beam. But they aren't exactly the same in taste. Maybe the 2yo Willett would suit you as well but it is typically more expensive at around $35 last time I looked.


If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man. ~Mark Twain

Some people are like a Slinky. They are not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs...
~tanstaafl2

#508 weinoo

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Posted 19 June 2015 - 02:08 PM

And I really think the quality of the new, younger Overholt isn't near as good as the previous, older iteration of Overholt (4 year).


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#509 tanstaafl2

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Posted 20 June 2015 - 06:49 PM

And I really think the quality of the new, younger Overholt isn't near as good as the previous, older iteration of Overholt (4 year).

 

I agree with that as well. Just doesn't seem to deal with its youth as well as the Pikesville Rye does. Or rather did?


If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man. ~Mark Twain

Some people are like a Slinky. They are not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs...
~tanstaafl2