Jump to content


Welcome to the eG Forums!

These forums are a service of the Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to advancement of the culinary arts. Anyone can read the forums, however if you would like to participate in active discussions please join the society.

Photo

All About Rye Whiskey


  • Please log in to reply
496 replies to this topic

#121 Kent Wang

Kent Wang
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 2,395 posts
  • Location:London

Posted 31 May 2008 - 02:06 AM

WT 101 rye is the only rye  I have had.

I don't think I ever saw Rittenhouse in my normal liquor store, but I didn't always look hard.    But they do also carry Jim Beam Rye, Old Overholt, and Sazerac.  If I wanted to get something other than WT 101 rye,  just to change things up, what would you all suggest?

View Post

Assuming that Spec's has everything that you can possibly get in Texas, I'd say you don't have a lot of options. I actually rather like Old Overholt and it's way cheap, but I feel that all the other ones are not good values. I only stock WT 101 and OO at home.

#122 thirtyoneknots

thirtyoneknots
  • participating member
  • 1,968 posts
  • Location:Texas

Posted 31 May 2008 - 09:47 AM

WT 101 rye is the only rye  I have had.

I don't think I ever saw Rittenhouse in my normal liquor store, but I didn't always look hard.    But they do also carry Jim Beam Rye, Old Overholt, and Sazerac.   If I wanted to get something other than WT 101 rye,  just to change things up, what would you all suggest?

View Post

Assuming that Spec's has everything that you can possibly get in Texas, I'd say you don't have a lot of options. I actually rather like Old Overholt and it's way cheap, but I feel that all the other ones are not good values. I only stock WT 101 and OO at home.

View Post


Yes, Rittenhouse 80 and BIB are not distributed in Texas (the 23 yr is though). I had asked a bigshot for the distributor about it some time back and he indicated something along the lines of the production wasn't large enough to get to "smaller" markets (meaning smaller rye markets, you know Texans and their Crown Royal :wacko: ). I guess we now know how true that is.

That said, I stock WT Rye, which is about $20, and Sazerac 6, which is about $23 and I find them to be mostly useful in complementary situations (these are also what we carry at work). I have some Rittenhouse BIB a regular picked up for me in Chicago, and I guess it's all what you're used to but I didn't find it any better than the other two. I guess the slightly lower price is appealing, but I wasn't quite blown away by it the way I was expecting to be (that is no to say I didn't like it, I think it's wonderful, I just don't think it's significantly better than the other ones I mentioned). Old Overholt I find ok, and I usually have some around, but I don't drink it very much. Now if they made a bonded version maybe we'd talk. The other mixing-grade ryes I've tried (Jim Beam, Russel's Reserve, etc) are all ok to decent, but not as versatile in my opinion as the WT and Saz.
Andy Arrington

Journeyman Drinksmith

Twitter--@LoneStarBarman

#123 Bricktop

Bricktop
  • participating member
  • 217 posts

Posted 31 May 2008 - 10:20 AM

WT 101 rye is the only rye  I have had.

I don't think I ever saw Rittenhouse in my normal liquor store, but I didn't always look hard.    But they do also carry Jim Beam Rye, Old Overholt, and Sazerac.  If I wanted to get something other than WT 101 rye,  just to change things up, what would you all suggest?

View Post

Only in the interests of helping my on-line friend and the pursuit of knowledge, I just did a side-by-side straight sipping of the ryes I have on hand to see which one I'd pick. (yes, I'm a rye slut. I didn't include my Saz 18 YO which is a different animal entirely).

Jim Beam (80)
Pikesville (80)
Old Overholt (80)
Sazerac (90)
Rittenhouse (100)
Wild Turkey (101)

Remember, this was the straight rye, with just a sip of water between tastes. There was a clear winner and a clear loser. Winner = Pikesville. Nicely smooth, balanced and rounded. Loser = Old Overholt. Very grassy tasting. I'm not even sure how I'd use it in cocktails. Maybe a mint julep? Not surprisingly, the Rittenhouse and the WT were the "hottest", noticeably more alcoholic, and very good, but you have one and likely can't get the other.

Of the three options you have, I would go with the Jim Beam. Remember it's an 80 proof compared to a 101 though, but that's not a bad thing. However, if you have any friends in the Baltimore area who can send you some, Pikesville is the way to go. It's absurdly cheap too. I bought a 750 for $11, and a 1.75 for $18!!!

#124 lostmyshape

lostmyshape
  • participating member
  • 156 posts
  • Location:Davis, CA

Posted 02 June 2008 - 07:08 AM

Winner = Pikesville.  Nicely smooth, balanced and rounded.  Loser = Old Overholt.  Very grassy tasting.  I'm not even sure how I'd use it in cocktails.  Maybe a mint julep?  Not surprisingly, the Rittenhouse and the WT were the "hottest", noticeably more alcoholic, and very good, but you have one and likely can't get the other.

View Post

funny... i like Overholt over Beam by far. which might be odd as i think they're both made in the same distillery (Beam makes Overholt). i think the Beam is a bit boring and on the sweet side. i like the Overholt because of the spicy grassiness. i think it asserts itself in mixing better, too. so, as always, to each his own. they're all good products. of the three, i think i might like Saz the best, but it's 40% more expensive in these here parts.

#125 slkinsey

slkinsey
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 11,117 posts
  • Location:New York, New York

Posted 02 June 2008 - 07:32 AM

I agree. I think Old Overholt is a wonderful rye. I keep on hearing that they're going to come out with a new version of OOH, and I really hope it's simply a bump up to 100 proof (i.e., use the same old base spirit as always and just put less water in the bottle). If they did that, I'd probably go over to using OOH as my primary mixing rye over Rittenhouse. An interesting experiment is to try the low proof Rittenhouse versus Old Overholt (which comparison is won by OOH in my opinion). You can understand just how much is gained by the higher proof of Rittenhouse BIB.

It's worthy of note that there are two different styles of rye whiskey, Monongahela and Maryland -- Rittenhouse and Old Overholt being the former and Pikesville being the latter.
Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

#126 lancastermike

lancastermike
  • legacy participant
  • 1,354 posts

Posted 02 June 2008 - 08:08 AM

I agree.  I think Old Overholt is a wonderful rye.  I keep on hearing that they're going to come out with a new version of OOH, and I really hope it's simply a bump up to 100 proof (i.e., use the same old base spirit as always and just put less water in the bottle).  If they did that, I'd probably go over to using OOH as my primary mixing rye over Rittenhouse.  An interesting experiment is to try the low proof Rittenhouse versus Old Overholt (which comparison is won by OOH in my opinion).  You can understand just how much is gained by the higher proof of Rittenhouse BIB.

It's worthy of note that there are two different styles of rye whiskey, Monongahela and Maryland -- Rittenhouse and Old Overholt being the former and Pikesville being the latter.

View Post


I must be partial to the maryland style as I the Pikesville is my favorite rye

#127 lostmyshape

lostmyshape
  • participating member
  • 156 posts
  • Location:Davis, CA

Posted 02 June 2008 - 01:12 PM

It's worthy of note that there are two different styles of rye whiskey, Monongahela and Maryland -- Rittenhouse and Old Overholt being the former and Pikesville being the latter.

View Post

ah... interesting. can you define the styles? and what makes them different?

hmm, i've never seen Pikesville in PA. any other maryland styles?

#128 Robin Meredith

Robin Meredith
  • participating member
  • 154 posts
  • Location:New York

Posted 30 June 2008 - 11:31 AM

FWIW, Astor Wines in NYC just confirmed my online order for four bottles of Rittenhouse BIB. I am not actually in posession of the bottles yet, but assuming they arrive tomorrow this could mean that Rittenhouse is back (in NYC at least). I'm a happy guy.

#129 slkinsey

slkinsey
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 11,117 posts
  • Location:New York, New York

Posted 30 June 2008 - 11:53 AM

Rittenhouse has actually never been out (yet!) at any of my usual retail places (Astor, Park Avenue, Warehouse).
Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

#130 Chris Amirault

Chris Amirault
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 19,628 posts
  • Location:Rhode Island

Posted 30 June 2008 - 12:12 PM

Our main supplier of things Rittenhouse, Joyal's in West Warwick, still doesn't have any on the shelf. However, the distributor was in the store when I called and claims that a full shipment is coming in September.
Chris Amirault
camirault@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics Signatory
Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

#131 Robin Meredith

Robin Meredith
  • participating member
  • 154 posts
  • Location:New York

Posted 30 June 2008 - 03:13 PM

Rittenhouse has actually never been out (yet!) at any of my usual retail places (Astor, Park Avenue, Warehouse).

View Post


It was MIA on my last two or three visits to Warehouse - maybe I just had bad timing.

#132 Harrison Moore

Harrison Moore
  • participating member
  • 6 posts

Posted 30 June 2008 - 09:11 PM

My neighborhood liquor store, Spec's in downtown Houston, has fewer ryes for sale now than they used to have. I was there Saturday and their offerings consisted of:

Wild Turkey Rye 101
Rittenhouse Rye 23 Years Old
Sazerac Rye 90
Old Overholt Rye 80 (in its new label)
Jim Beam Rye 80 (in its new package)
Russell's Reserve Rye 90

Gone were the Handy and Sazerac 18 that were offered last summer.

I currently have Wild Turkey 101, Jim Beam, Old Overholt, and two unopened bottles of the Handy. Of course, I really prefer the Handy, but of the others my favorite really has to be the Wild Turkey--I've been drinking it off and on for at least 20 years. I want to try the Sazerac 90 next week. But I really want that 100 proof Old Overholt to come out this year!

#133 thirtyoneknots

thirtyoneknots
  • participating member
  • 1,968 posts
  • Location:Texas

Posted 30 June 2008 - 10:58 PM

My neighborhood liquor store, Spec's in downtown Houston, has fewer ryes for sale now than they used to have.  I was there Saturday and their offerings consisted of:

Wild Turkey Rye 101
Rittenhouse Rye 23 Years Old
Sazerac Rye 90
Old Overholt Rye 80 (in its new label)
Jim Beam Rye 80 (in its new package)
Russell's Reserve Rye 90

Gone were the Handy and Sazerac 18 that were offered last summer. 

I currently have Wild Turkey 101, Jim Beam, Old Overholt, and two unopened bottles of the Handy.  Of course, I really prefer the Handy, but of the others my favorite really has to be the Wild Turkey--I've been drinking it off and on for at least 20 years.  I want to try the Sazerac 90 next week.  But I really want that 100 proof Old Overholt to come out this year!

View Post


Saz 18 and Handy are both allocated, limited-release bottlings from Buffalo Trace, so they aren't going to be on the shelf year-round. I highly suspect that even the big Spec's gets no more than maybe 6 bottles of each (I've actually never seen the Saz 18 there) per year (or at least that's about what they make available for retail purchase). I thnk I may have bought all the 2006 allocation myself and am hoarding what remains of it.
Andy Arrington

Journeyman Drinksmith

Twitter--@LoneStarBarman

#134 Harrison Moore

Harrison Moore
  • participating member
  • 6 posts

Posted 01 July 2008 - 04:21 PM

Yes, I understand that the BTAC is a once a year deal, so that's why I bought a couple of bottles of everything last year; and I plan to do it again this year. Hopefully I can get the Saz 18 and Handy again.

#135 Troy Sidle

Troy Sidle
  • participating member
  • 77 posts
  • Location:Chicago, Illinois

Posted 07 July 2008 - 03:09 AM

Where can I get more information about the law concerning rye? When was the law passed? What are all the restrictions?

Are those laws published online somewhere?

#136 slkinsey

slkinsey
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 11,117 posts
  • Location:New York, New York

Posted 07 July 2008 - 06:06 AM

27 C.F.R. § 5.22 The standards of identity.

(b) Class 2; whisky. “Whisky” is an alcoholic distillate from a fermented mash of grain produced at less than 190° proof in such manner that the distillate possesses the taste, aroma, and characteristics generally attributed to whisky, stored in oak containers (except that corn whisky need not be so stored), and bottled at not less than 80° proof, and also includes mixtures of such distillates for which no specific standards of identity are prescribed.

(1)(i) “Bourbon whisky”, “rye whisky”, “wheat whisky”, “malt whisky”, or “rye malt whisky” is whisky produced at not exceeding 160° proof from a fermented mash of not less than 51 percent corn, rye, wheat, malted barley, or malted rye grain, respectively, and stored at not more than 125° proof in charred new oak containers; and also includes mixtures of such whiskies of the same type.

(ii) “Corn whisky” is whisky produced at not exceeding 160° proof from a fermented mash of not less than 80 percent corn grain, and if stored in oak containers stored at not more than 125° proof in used or uncharred new oak containers and not subjected in any manner to treatment with charred wood; and also includes mixtures of such whisky.

(iii) Whiskies conforming to the standards prescribed in paragraphs (b)(1)(i) and (ii) of this section, which have been stored in the type of oak containers prescribed, for a period of 2 years or more shall be further designated as “straight”; for example, “straight bourbon whisky”, “straight corn whisky”, and whisky conforming to the standards prescribed in paragraph (b)(1)(i) of this section, except that it was produced from a fermented mash of less than 51 percent of any one type of grain, and stored for a period of 2 years or more in charred new oak containers shall be designated merely as “straight whisky”. No other whiskies may be designated “straight”. “Straight whisky” includes mixtures of straight whiskies of the same type produced in the same State.

(2) “Whisky distilled from bourbon (rye, wheat, malt, or rye malt) mash” is whisky produced in the United States at not exceeding 160° proof from a fermented mash of not less than 51 percent corn, rye, wheat, malted barley, or malted rye grain, respectively, and stored in used oak containers; and also includes mixtures of such whiskies of the same type. Whisky conforming to the standard of identity for corn whisky must be designated corn whisky.

(3) “Light whisky” is whisky produced in the United States at more than 160° proof, on or after January 26, 1968, and stored in used or uncharred new oak containers; and also includes mixtures of such whiskies. If “light whisky” is mixed with less than 20 percent of straight whisky on a proof gallon basis, the mixture shall be designated “blended light whisky” (light whisky—a blend).

(4) “Blended whisky” (whisky—a blend) is a mixture which contains straight whisky or a blend of straight whiskies at not less than 20 percent on a proof gallon basis, excluding alcohol derived from added harmless coloring, flavoring or blending materials, and, separately, or in combination, whisky or neutral spirits. A blended whisky containing not less than 51 percent on a proof gallon basis of one of the types of straight whisky shall be further designated by that specific type of straight whisky; for example, “blended rye whisky” (rye whisky—a blend).

(5)(i) “A blend of straight whiskies” (blended straight whiskies) is a mixture of straight whiskies which does not conform to the standard of identify for “straight whisky.” Products so designated may contain harmless coloring, flavoring, or blending materials as set forth in 27 CFR 5.23(a).

(ii) “A blend of straight whiskies” (blended straight whiskies) consisting entirely of one of the types of straight whisky, and not conforming to the standard for straight whisky, shall be further designated by that specific type of straight whisky; for example, “a blend of straight rye whiskies” (blended straight rye whiskies). “A blend of straight whiskies” consisting entirely of one of the types of straight whisky shall include straight whisky of the same type which was produced in the same State or by the same proprietor within the same State, provided that such whisky contains harmless coloring, flavoring, or blending materials as stated in 27 CFR 5.23(a).

(iii) The harmless coloring, flavoring, or blending materials allowed under this section shall not include neutral spirits or alcohol in their original state. Neutral spirits or alcohol may only appear in a “blend of straight whiskies” or in a “blend of straight whiskies consisting entirely of one of the types of straight whisky” as a vehicle for recognized flavoring of blending material.

(6) “Spirit whisky” is a mixture of neutral spirits and not less than 5 percent on a proof gallon basis of whisky, or straight whisky, or straight whisky and whisky, if the straight whisky component is less than 20 percent on a proof gallon basis.

(7) “Scotch whisky” is whisky which is a distinctive product of Scotland, manufactured in Scotland in compliance with the laws of the United Kingdom regulating the manufacture of Scotch whisky for consumption in the United Kingdom: Provided, That if such product is a mixture of whiskies, such mixture is “blended Scotch whisky” (Scotch whisky—a blend).

(8) “Irish whisky” is whisky which is a distinctive product of Ireland, manufactured either in the Republic of Ireland or in Northern Ireland, in compliance with their laws regulating the manufacture of Irish whisky for home consumption: Provided, That if such product is a mixture of whiskies, such mixture is “blended Irish whisky” (Irish whisky—a blend).

(9) “Canadian whisky” is whisky which is a distinctive product of Canada, manufactured in Canada in compliance with the laws of Canada regulating the manufacture of Canadian whisky for consumption in Canada: Provided, That if such product is a mixture of whiskies, such mixture is “blended Canadian whisky” (Canadian whisky—a blend).

Edited by slkinsey, 07 July 2008 - 06:07 AM.

Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

#137 Troy Sidle

Troy Sidle
  • participating member
  • 77 posts
  • Location:Chicago, Illinois

Posted 07 July 2008 - 07:34 AM

Thanks, Sam.

Any idea as to when that standard was set? I've read that the standard for bourbon was set in 1964, but haven't seen anything like that for rye whisky (or the rest of naming standards, for that matter).

#138 Chris Amirault

Chris Amirault
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 19,628 posts
  • Location:Rhode Island

Posted 22 August 2008 - 08:54 AM

LeNell's has gotten some of the new Rittenhouse BIB. I haven't tried it yet so no report on its state, but I was glad to see it at $18.
Chris Amirault
camirault@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics Signatory
Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

#139 slkinsey

slkinsey
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 11,117 posts
  • Location:New York, New York

Posted 22 August 2008 - 09:22 AM

What do you mean by "new" Rittenhouse BIB? As far as I know, they haven't changed anything.
Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

#140 Chris Amirault

Chris Amirault
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 19,628 posts
  • Location:Rhode Island

Posted 22 August 2008 - 02:12 PM

Rittenhouse has been out of hooch for months, and several of us have been waiting for the new shipment. S'all.
Chris Amirault
camirault@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics Signatory
Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

#141 slkinsey

slkinsey
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 11,117 posts
  • Location:New York, New York

Posted 22 August 2008 - 02:29 PM

Oh! When you said "new" and "report on its state" I got the impression you were worried it would be reformulated or different somehow.
Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

#142 Scotttos

Scotttos
  • participating member
  • 81 posts
  • Location:Brooklyn, NY

Posted 26 August 2008 - 08:15 AM

LeNell's has gotten some of the new Rittenhouse BIB. I haven't tried it yet so no report on its state, but I was glad to see it at $18.

View Post


I think Rittenhouse has to have the most up and down pricing scheme I've ever seen, haha.

When it was first "rediscovered" you could routinely find it for around $12 dollars even going as low as $10 for places that wanted to clear stock (I bought a case for $10/per at one point).

When people started gobbling it up the price continued climbing at a steady clip stopping at $13, $15, $18 on the way to (the highest I've seen it at) $22.

My local liquor store has about 6 bottles in stock and two weeks ago they were priced at $18 but when I walked in the other day all 6 were still there and the price was lowered to $16.50.

It's hilarious.

#143 MattJohnson

MattJohnson
  • participating member
  • 323 posts

Posted 29 August 2008 - 07:33 AM

The only place that has it in the milwaukee area had it for 24 if I recall correctly. I thought that was a bit expensive and opted for Old Overholt.

#144 maks_p

maks_p
  • legacy participant
  • 14 posts

Posted 29 August 2008 - 08:57 AM

Its amazing how volatile those prices were - i assume liquor stores only make something like 30% gross margins on liquor - a range from $10 to $22 is out of control!

What does a bottle of Rittenhouse cost a typical liquor store?

Edited by maks_p, 29 August 2008 - 08:57 AM.


#145 slkinsey

slkinsey
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 11,117 posts
  • Location:New York, New York

Posted 29 August 2008 - 09:26 AM

In NYC these days, I'd say that around 16 bucks for a fifth is an average retail price.
Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

#146 eje

eje
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 4,359 posts
  • Location:San Francisco, CA

Posted 29 August 2008 - 09:34 AM

I don't quite get the Rittenhouse pricing either.

Binny's sells it for $14.99 in Chicago.

At retail in San Francisco, it usually costs somewhere in the mid-20s (when I can find it).

At least Hi-Times stocks it for the more sensible $16.99.

Certainly makes it easy to justify the shipping costs to myself!
---
Erik Ellestad
If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...
Bernal Heights, SF, CA

#147 jmfangio

jmfangio
  • participating member
  • 319 posts
  • Location:Los Angeles

Posted 29 August 2008 - 04:41 PM

$16.99 is pretty standard here in Los Angeles for the Rittenhouse 101, but they rarely have it in stock at my local BevMo.

Erik - you should also check out Beverage Warehouse (sorry for you out of state folks, but they only ship within California).
"Martinis should always be stirred, not shaken, so that the molecules lie sensuously one on top of the other." - W. Somerset Maugham

#148 Dave the Cook

Dave the Cook

    Executive Director

  • manager
  • 7,369 posts
  • Location:Atlanta

Posted 29 August 2008 - 06:52 PM

After being missing for a couple of months, Rittenhouse BIB showed up here in Atlanta last week. I paid about $17.50 for a fifth; it would have been less if I'd had real money on me instead of just plastic (it's common in ATL liquor stores to have one price for credit and another for cash -- there's usually about a 2.5% difference).

Dave Scantland
Executive director
dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.


#149 eje

eje
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 4,359 posts
  • Location:San Francisco, CA

Posted 27 September 2008 - 09:10 AM

Last night my wife and I went over to some friends' house to watch the presidential debates.

My friend is a whiskey aficionado, collecting vintage Bourbons and similar (my god, some of that vintage Dickel Tennessee Whiskey astoundingly good).

Anyway, he said he had two mystery whiskeys he wanted the assembled to try and tell him what we thought.

The first one we tried was a little rough around the edges. It just sort of sat in your mouth without much length or depth. The second was a beautiful whiskey, almost Cognac-like in it's ethereal flavor and evaporation from your tongue.

When he revealed that the whiskeys were the 2006 and the 2008 bottling of Anchor's Hotaling's Whiskey, my jaw dropped.

Amazing! There was a familial resemblance, and certainly some similarity in the nose and smell left in the glass, but we were astounded just how different the flavors were. I don't know if it is the additional two years in the barrel, or if the 2008 is just a particularly sweet barrel... If you thought the 2006 Hotaling's was a little rough (and who didn't) check out the 2008. It is an incredibly nice American Whiskey!

Edited by eje, 27 September 2008 - 10:58 AM.

---
Erik Ellestad
If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...
Bernal Heights, SF, CA

#150 MattJohnson

MattJohnson
  • participating member
  • 323 posts

Posted 24 November 2008 - 12:53 PM

Has anyone tried a rye call Ri one. Saw it on the shelf last weekend. Really fancy, modern packaging. Any good? Really fancy packaging always makes me wary - I'd rather pay for good booze over than expensive marketing.

http://press.ri1whiskey.com/lpa