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All About Rye Whiskey


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#181 John the Barman

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Posted 13 January 2009 - 05:40 PM

True. Jim Beam is the only real disapointment of the 3. Overholt Manhattans with Antica are pretty amazing for the buck. I dig using a vermouth that's more expensive then the rye.

#182 Chris Amirault

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Posted 13 January 2009 - 06:01 PM

Overholt Manhattans with Antica are pretty amazing for the buck.

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Well, sure. Jack Damage Manhattans with Antica are pretty amazing for the buck.
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#183 eje

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 11:32 AM

True.  Jim Beam is the only real disapointment of the 3.  Overholt Manhattans with Antica are pretty amazing for the buck.  I dig using a vermouth that's more expensive then the rye.

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I dunno, calling the Jim Beam Rye a "disappointment" is kind of over stating it. It's a perfectly fine rye for Old-Fashioneds and Manhattans.

It's not my favorite, but in no way is it a poor quality spirit.

Actually, that's my favorite part about the Rye category, there really aren't any bad choices, and most are pretty fairly priced. I've not yet tried one of the bunch that can't make a perfectly good old-fashioned.
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#184 lancastermike

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Posted 22 March 2009 - 09:15 AM

In Pennsylvania the liquor is sold only in the state run LCB stores. I was in yesterday and I need a bottle or rye. My choices were exactly one: Jim Beam. There are many I like better but unless I want to travel 35 miles across the border it is what i can get.

My question is this: When you walk in to your local liquor store what sort of rye selection can you expect to see? And I do mean walk in and pick up, not a special order or a long trip to a special store.

Thanks

#185 John the Barman

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Posted 22 March 2009 - 10:27 AM

In Pennsylvania the liquor is sold only in the state run LCB stores. I was in yesterday and I need a bottle or rye. My choices were exactly one: Jim Beam. There are many I like better but unless I want to travel 35 miles across the border it is what i can get.

My question is this: When you walk in to your local liquor store what sort of rye selection can you expect to see? And I do mean walk in and pick up, not a special order or a long trip to a special store.

Thanks

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Most basic liquor stores in LA won't have any, but if they do it will be Wild Turkey 101 rye or Jim Beam. Better stores have Sazerac. The best only have obsurce rye's on the shelf long enough for someone who knows what they are too see them.

Rye is the new vodka. Execpt it takes years to make and tastes great..

#186 davicus

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Posted 22 March 2009 - 12:48 PM

Most of the liquor stores in Chicago have Wild Turkey Rye 101* and Jim Beam Rye 80* - the Wild Turkey is the better of the two IMO. The good stores carry Rittenhouse Bonded 100* which is my favorite for the money - around $13 if you can believe it. Old Olverholt 80* also works for a nice Sazerac (as does the Rittenhouse 80*) but I like a higher proof spirit for my old fashioneds and manhattans. Then there are a host of more expensive choices like Sazerac and Ri... these are fine spirits, but I can't help feeling like more money is being spent on the bottle than the contents. I know there are others out there, but these are the only ones I've purchased.
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#187 lostmyshape

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Posted 22 March 2009 - 05:01 PM

In Pennsylvania the liquor is sold only in the state run LCB stores. I was in yesterday and I need a bottle or rye. My choices were exactly one: Jim Beam. There are many I like better but unless I want to travel 35 miles across the border it is what i can get.

My question is this: When you walk in to your local liquor store what sort of rye selection can you expect to see? And I do mean walk in and pick up, not a special order or a long trip to a special store.

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Oh... I feel your pain. I just moved to CA from Pittsburgh. Going to the border wasn't even an option for me. I just had to deal with the PA LCB. Often I checked out their website inventory to see if there was a local store with Overholt or WT101, and then went there to buy 2-3 bottles (Beam Rye is ok, but my least favorite of the readily available ryes).

Here in CA, the local grocery store has Beam, Overholt, WT101 and both Rittenhouse 80 and 100 -- choice bliss. For me, I just like having one of the 100 proofs and then either Overholt or Rittenhouse 80 available. They're cheap and tasty.

I complained to PA about their rye selection (at the store and via email) for 3 years. They always told me that ryes other than Beam didn't sell very well. Then why did a shipment of Overholt or WT101 sell out in a week (and Beam sit on the shelf forever)? They just weren't even aware of what they were selling. (Actually, they probably don't know the difference between rye and Beam bourbon. I'm sure that Beam bourbon outsells Overholt and WT rye, but not Beam rye. They probably then just looked at the numbers for "Beam" compared to Wild Turkey, etc.)

Thank goodness I'm in a state with privatized liquor sales...

Edited by lostmyshape, 22 March 2009 - 05:04 PM.


#188 CincyCraig

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Posted 22 March 2009 - 08:43 PM

In Pennsylvania the liquor is sold only in the state run LCB stores. I was in yesterday and I need a bottle or rye. My choices were exactly one: Jim Beam. There are many I like better but unless I want to travel 35 miles across the border it is what i can get.

My question is this: When you walk in to your local liquor store what sort of rye selection can you expect to see? And I do mean walk in and pick up, not a special order or a long trip to a special store.

Thanks

View Post



Here in Ohio we have a similar situation, the State of Ohio controls the sale of spirits. The Rye situation has gotten a little better, with Old Overholt & Beam having been available for some time, and Wild Turkey's Russel Reserve & Beam's new Ri now available. Ohio prices are ridiculously expensive too boot.

Fortunately, I live in Cincinnati and the Northern Kentucky suburbs are part of our metropolitan area. At the two larger stores in Kentucky I can find both Rittenhouse bottelings (80 & 100), Wild Turkey 101, Russel's Reserve Rye, Beam & Overholt, Beam's Ri, Sazerac 6 yr & 18 yr, Templeton Rye, Kentucky Bourbon Distiller's 23 yr Rye, Michters 8, 10 & 12 yr, Hirsch 21 & 22 yr, Black Maple Hill 18 & 23 yr, Hudson Manhattan Rye, Van Winkle’s Family Reserve Rye (when it's in stock) and Pikesville Maryland Rye. And Kentucky has good prices as well!

Edited by CincyCraig, 22 March 2009 - 08:46 PM.

During lunch with the Arab leader Ibn Saud, when he heard that the king’s religion forbade smoking and alcohol, Winston Churchill said: "I must point out that my rule of life prescribed as an absolutely sacred rite the smoking of cigars and also the drinking of alcohol before, after, and if need be during all meals and in the intervals between them." Ibn Saud relented and the lunch went on with both alcohol & cigars.

#189 John the Barman

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 11:31 AM

I'm currently on a quest to find the whiskey bars in the US with the largest rye selections. At Seven Grand we now have 23 different bottlings, and we are always looking for new ones. What are some places with comparible numbers? If i'm ever in a city that gets mentioned, I know where i'm heading after i get off the plane.

#190 campus five

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 11:36 AM

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#191 slkinsey

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 11:40 AM

I'm currently on a quest to find the whiskey bars in the US with the largest rye selections.  At Seven Grand we now have 23 different bottlings, and  we are always looking for new ones.

What's your list? I admit to being somewhat surprised that there are as many as 23 different bottlings of rye whiskey. I assume most of these are of the high-end expensive sipping variety?

Really, what we lack is more variety in mixing ryes.
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#192 John the Barman

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 12:18 PM

I'm currently on a quest to find the whiskey bars in the US with the largest rye selections.  At Seven Grand we now have 23 different bottlings, and  we are always looking for new ones.

What's your list? I admit to being somewhat surprised that there are as many as 23 different bottlings of rye whiskey. I assume most of these are of the high-end expensive sipping variety?

Really, what we lack is more variety in mixing ryes.

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Jim Beam
Old Overholt
Pikesville
Wild Turkey 101
Rittenhouse 80
Rittenhouse 101
Sazerac
Ri 1
WT Russels Reserve 6yr
Michters Small Batch
Van Winkle 13yr
Thomas H. Handy Sazerac Cask Strength
Sazerac 18yr
Hudson Manhattan Rye
Old Potrero 18th Century Spirit
Old Potrero Straight Rye
Michters 10yr
Kentucky Vintage 21yr
Kentucky Vintage 23yr
Hirsh 22yr
Black Maple Hill 23yr
Old Potrero Hotalings
Rittenhouse 23yr

#193 TVC

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 12:27 PM

Southwark in Philly has these Ryes listed on their website, which looks like it hasn't been updated in a while.

http://www.southwark...fm?id=cocktails

Black Maple Hill 23 year
Hirsch 12 year Canadian
Isaiah Morgan unaged
Michter's 10 year
Old Overholt
Old Potrero Hotalings
Sazerac 18 year
Thomas H. Handy
Wild Turkey
Black Maple Hill 18 year
Hirsch 10 year Canadian
Hirsch 13 year
Hirsch 21 year
Jim Beam
Michter's US-1
Old Potrero 18th Century
Pikesville Supreme
Rittenhouse 100º
Rittenhouse 21 year
Rittenhouse 23 year
Russell's Reserve
Rye One
Sazerac 6 year
Tuthilltown Manhattan Rye
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#194 John the Barman

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 12:44 PM

That's a great list. I'll be there if i'm ever in Philly, thats for sure. Is the Hirsh Canadian rye series straight rye or is it like other Canadian whisky, lacking a majority grain? We've thought about getting them but i assumed they didn't contain 51% rye. How's the flavor?

#195 slkinsey

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 12:58 PM

Interesting lists. In the sub-$25/bottle range that is appropriate for mixology, we have something like:

Jim Beam
Old Overholt
Pikesville
Wild Turkey
Rittenhouse

I only count Rittenhouse once, since the two proofs are the same product with different amounts of water. Discounting Jim Beam rye, which I don't think is very good, that leaves us with 4. In NYC, it's three since we can't get Pikesville (which doesn't seem to be distributed very widely),

Just above that at around $30/bottle are:
Sazerac
Michter's US1

I sure wish we had a couple more quality ryes at around 20 bucks a fifth.
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#196 thirtyoneknots

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 01:15 PM

Interesting lists.  In the sub-$25/bottle range that is appropriate for mixology, we have something like:

Jim Beam
Old Overholt
Pikesville
Wild Turkey
Rittenhouse

I only count Rittenhouse once, since the two proofs are the same product with different amounts of water.  Discounting Jim Beam rye, which I don't think is very good, that leaves us with 4.  In NYC, it's three since we can't get Pikesville (which doesn't seem to be distributed very widely),

Just above that at around $30/bottle are:
Sazerac
Michter's US1

I sure wish we had a couple more quality ryes at around 20 bucks a fifth.

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Around here the Sazerac hovers around $25 so it's still priced for mixing but I've been thinking about this lately; when it comes to Bourbon in the under $30 range, there are only a handful of different ones that are commonly mentioned on this board as cocktail spirits, though there are at least 100 different bottlings on the market. It seems the ratio of quality 'mixing' ryes to all ryes is about the same as quality 'mixing' bourbon to all bourbon. It's just that there are a lot fewer ryes to begin with. That said, I think it's sad and unfortunate that the spirits producers think that focusing on high priced sippers is the way to go, at the exclusion of something cocktail-appropriate. The refrain of Bonded Overholt hardly needs repeating, but the fact that it still doesn't exist and Ri1 does is highly indicative of the pattern that appears to be developing (especially in light of the fact that Bonded Overholt would require nothing more than a reprint of the label and a change in setting on the bottling apparatus). Similarly, the joke that 'Rye is the new vodka' suddenly isn't so funny anymore when Beam releases overpriced and underwhelming whiskey in a slick bottle with lots of ad press about how 'superpremium' it is. To me, both of these trends sort of go against what attracted the cocktail crowd to rye to begin with.

Not trying to hate on Ri1 or Jim Beam, but it's something that has been on my mind lately.
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#197 slkinsey

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 01:27 PM

You may be right that the number of mixing ryes is proportional the number of total ryes. Although I don't get the impression that the vast majority of bourbons are in the high-priced category. Perhaps the opposite. With bourbon, I get the impression that many of them are "extra aged" or "premium" versions of lower priced bourbons that the distiller already makes, rather than being designed from the ground up as higher priced/extra aged spirits.

In NYC at $30 or under in retail and at reasonable quality for mixing we have Jim Beam, Wild Turkey, Maker's Mark, Four Roses, Buffalo Trace, Knob Creek, Woodford Reserve, Bulleit, Old Grand Dad, Elijah Craig, Elmer T. Lee, Old Forester, Evan Williams, W. L. Weller, etc.
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#198 thirtyoneknots

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 01:42 PM

You may be right that the number of mixing ryes is proportional the number of total ryes. Although I don't get the impression that the vast majority of bourbons are in the high-priced category.

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Sorry I didn't mean to imply that at all, merely that they weren't "quality mixing spirits". Wether that means that it is too pricey or too bland, distinctive, sweet, or crappy to make cocktails with differs on a case-by-case basis. And this doesn't mean that the whiskey doesn't have other merits, even if it's a low-end one, merely that one of it's merits is not that it makes great cocktails. Jim Beam Rye is the same way in some regard; it is not awful, and can be pleasant by itself or in simple highballs, it just doesn't have the presence to work well in cocktails. Being priced similarly to Overholt makes the choice an easy one. Many Bourbons fall into this same category.

Edited by thirtyoneknots, 23 March 2009 - 01:42 PM.

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#199 lancastermike

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 01:54 PM

Interesting lists.  In the sub-$25/bottle range that is appropriate for mixology, we have something like:

Jim Beam
Old Overholt
Pikesville
Wild Turkey
Rittenhouse

I only count Rittenhouse once, since the two proofs are the same product with different amounts of water.  Discounting Jim Beam rye, which I don't think is very good, that leaves us with 4.  In NYC, it's three since we can't get Pikesville (which doesn't seem to be distributed very widely),

Just above that at around $30/bottle are:
Sazerac
Michter's US1

I sure wish we had a couple more quality ryes at around 20 bucks a fifth.

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The 5 in Sam's first list is what I would LOVE to see on the shelf of my PA LCB store when I walk in. We don't get Pikesville or Rittenhouse distributed in PA. That leaves us with three, which I could live with for my mixing rye selection. I can easily get Pikesville in Maryland, and it is perhaps my favorite of the bunch. I like Overholt and the Wild Turkey has the advantage of being 101 proof. Rittenhouse is a tough get even at the places I go to south of the border. All the real high end sipping stuff is great and one of those once in a while would be a treat, I just want something that I can make a good Manhattan with.

#200 Ari Pappas

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 05:44 PM

The refrain of Bonded Overholt hardly needs repeating, but the fact that it still doesn't exist and Ri1 does is highly indicative of the pattern that appears to be developing (especially in light of the fact that Bonded Overholt would require nothing more than a reprint of the label and a change in setting on the bottling apparatus). Similarly, the joke that 'Rye is the new vodka' suddenly isn't so funny anymore when Beam releases overpriced and underwhelming whiskey in a slick bottle with lots of ad press about how 'superpremium' it is. To me, both of these trends sort of go against what attracted the cocktail crowd to rye to begin with.

Not trying to hate on Ri1 or Jim Beam, but it's something that has been on my mind lately.

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So wait, is Bonded Old Overholt no longer being produced? My local stores have quite a bit, so I'd consider grabbing a few bottles.

#201 slkinsey

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 05:51 PM

So wait, is Bonded Old Overholt no longer being produced? My local stores have quite a bit, so I'd consider grabbing a few bottles.

There never has been bonded Old Overholt. It's sold at 80 proof. We're saying that we'd like to see it at 100 proof ("bottled in bond"). And, as Andy points out, it's literally a matter of changing the labeling and reconfiguring the process to add less water (I'm sure there are also some minor legal hoops to jump through with respect to introducing a "new" product).

In my opinion, if they brought out Overholt at 100 proof, it would take the place of Rittenhouse as the mixing rye of preference. I've been thinking of ways to make a 100 proof version out of the 80 proof stuff, either by fractional freezing or using a rotavap.

Edited by slkinsey, 23 March 2009 - 05:52 PM.

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#202 Ari Pappas

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 06:47 PM

So wait, is Bonded Old Overholt no longer being produced? My local stores have quite a bit, so I'd consider grabbing a few bottles.

There never has been bonded Old Overholt. It's sold at 80 proof. We're saying that we'd like to see it at 100 proof ("bottled in bond"). And, as Andy points out, it's literally a matter of changing the labeling and reconfiguring the process to add less water (I'm sure there are also some minor legal hoops to jump through with respect to introducing a "new" product).

In my opinion, if they brought out Overholt at 100 proof, it would take the place of Rittenhouse as the mixing rye of preference. I've been thinking of ways to make a 100 proof version out of the 80 proof stuff, either by fractional freezing or using a rotavap.

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My mistake, I just confused it for Rittenhouse. Oops!

#203 thirtyoneknots

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 10:15 PM

So wait, is Bonded Old Overholt no longer being produced? My local stores have quite a bit, so I'd consider grabbing a few bottles.

There never has been bonded Old Overholt. It's sold at 80 proof. We're saying that we'd like to see it at 100 proof ("bottled in bond"). And, as Andy points out, it's literally a matter of changing the labeling and reconfiguring the process to add less water (I'm sure there are also some minor legal hoops to jump through with respect to introducing a "new" product).

In my opinion, if they brought out Overholt at 100 proof, it would take the place of Rittenhouse as the mixing rye of preference. I've been thinking of ways to make a 100 proof version out of the 80 proof stuff, either by fractional freezing or using a rotavap.

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Actually as far as I am aware, Overholt was sold as a Bonded product for much if not most of it's history (or at least the part of that history where distinctions like that existed). I'd be curious to know when the proof was lowered, but my hunch is that it correlates with the acquisition of the brand by Jim Beam. I know for sure I've seen a picture of a label somewhere that proudly states "100 Proof", "Bottled in Bond" or some similar legend.
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#204 organicmatter

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Posted 24 March 2009 - 08:06 AM

So wait, is Bonded Old Overholt no longer being produced? My local stores have quite a bit, so I'd consider grabbing a few bottles.

There never has been bonded Old Overholt. It's sold at 80 proof. We're saying that we'd like to see it at 100 proof ("bottled in bond"). And, as Andy points out, it's literally a matter of changing the labeling and reconfiguring the process to add less water (I'm sure there are also some minor legal hoops to jump through with respect to introducing a "new" product).

In my opinion, if they brought out Overholt at 100 proof, it would take the place of Rittenhouse as the mixing rye of preference. I've been thinking of ways to make a 100 proof version out of the 80 proof stuff, either by fractional freezing or using a rotavap.

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My mistake, I just confused it for Rittenhouse. Oops!

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#205 thirtyoneknots

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Posted 24 March 2009 - 08:44 AM

"The taste of this whiskey will never change"

How depressing. Anyone have any idea when the proof was lowered?
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#206 slkinsey

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Posted 24 March 2009 - 09:19 AM

Yep, according this article with tasting notes, at least as recently as 1940 they were bottling Old Overholt bonded and five years old.

Interesting history of Old Overholt and the Overholt family here.

Really, I just. don't. understand. why they wouldn't make a bonded version.
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#207 brinza

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Posted 25 March 2009 - 09:26 AM

I'd like to see the makers of Bulleit Bourbon make a straight rye. The bourbon is already 30% rye, so doing a straight rye doesn't seem like it would that much of a departure for them. Even if bottled at 90 proof like the bourbon, I bet it would be a good product.
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#208 CincyCraig

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Posted 09 April 2009 - 10:20 PM

I know that many fellow Egullet members share my great interest in Rye Whiskey. I thought that some of you might be interested in this article from Malt Advocate Magazine, where they conducted a Rye Roundtable, and brought together every significant personality in the modern Rye distilling industry in one room to talk about the state if the rye business. The roundtable included such notables as Julian Van Winkle, Fritz Maytag, Jimmy Russell and many others.

Here's the link to this article. It's a google cache of the original as MA no longer has the article posted.

I hope that you enjoy the article.

Cheers,

Craig
During lunch with the Arab leader Ibn Saud, when he heard that the king’s religion forbade smoking and alcohol, Winston Churchill said: "I must point out that my rule of life prescribed as an absolutely sacred rite the smoking of cigars and also the drinking of alcohol before, after, and if need be during all meals and in the intervals between them." Ibn Saud relented and the lunch went on with both alcohol & cigars.

#209 JimJMeeker

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Posted 10 April 2009 - 06:15 AM

Great article. I found the comment by Heaven Hill (the makers of Rittenhouse & Pikesville Ryes) interesting, that because of the great interest in Rye whiskey they had to double production of their rye's. They now distill rye two days per year. They literally spill more bourbon than they sell rye every year! I guess it is still a niche product in the grand scheme of things, even with all of the growth of and interest in rye these days.

#210 NadyaDuke

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Posted 10 April 2009 - 07:12 AM

I'm currently on a quest to find the whiskey bars in the US with the largest rye selections.  At Seven Grand we now have 23 different bottlings, and  we are always looking for new ones.  What are some places with comparible numbers?  If i'm ever in a city that gets mentioned, I know where i'm heading after i get off the plane.

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Clyde Common in Portland, OR has the biggest Rye list I've run into. Their web site menu only seems to list about 9, but in the bar they have a chalkboard with them all listed and I seem to remember more .... Sounds like I'll need to do some field research!
http://www.clydecommon.com/drinks.pdf

It was a bar tender there who first turned me on to Rye. We were asking about it, given their list, and he made us a small Manhattan with Bourbon, and a small one with Rye (Sazerac I believe). The Rye was a revelation and won hands down. I'd never liked Manhattans, but a 3: 1 Rye:Carpano Antica Manhattan with a dash or Regans orange bitters has won me over.

I found the Rittenhouse bonded at one liquor store in Portland, but found we prefer the Sazerac.