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
495 replies to this topic

#241 J_Ozzy

J_Ozzy
  • participating member
  • 130 posts
  • Location:Montreal, Quebec

Posted 15 February 2010 - 10:03 PM

I have a bottle, but haven't opened it yet.
There's a thread over at the chanticleer society, if you care to take a look.
The reviews over there have been positive.
I'm hoping to track down the 16 yr old to do a comparison.

#242 filip

filip
  • participating member
  • 7 posts

Posted 16 February 2010 - 09:12 AM

I picked up a bottle myself, most places here in SF price it in the $50 range but I tracked it down for $40 and that seemed a good value given that malt advocate rated it 95 points, much higher then their 21yr and 16yr. I was intrigued by the high rye content, it's a majority blend of 6yr 95% rye with a bit of their 16yr 80% rye thrown in to add some more oak flavor.

I'd like to compare it to the Sazerac 6yr in a blind test and see if it's worth the extra premium.

I also happened to pick up a bottle of the Thomas H Handy which made me very happy, soooo good.

#243 weinoo

weinoo
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 6,543 posts
  • Location:NYC

Posted 26 February 2010 - 08:49 AM

Here's a bottle I found in a liquor store at the Maryland - Delaware state line. In a Manhattan, I didn't like much.

IMG_2955.JPG
Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"
mweinstein@eGstaff.org
Tasty Travails - My Blog
My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs
Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

#244 slkinsey

slkinsey
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 11,109 posts
  • Location:New York, New York

Posted 26 February 2010 - 12:24 PM

Aged twelve whole months, I see...
Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

#245 weinoo

weinoo
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 6,543 posts
  • Location:NYC

Posted 26 February 2010 - 12:42 PM

Aged twelve whole months, I see...

I'm hoping it was 12 whole months! It's certainly a bit rougher than Overholt and the like, which I figure might be an advantage in certain cocktails. Not my Manhattan, however.
Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"
mweinstein@eGstaff.org
Tasty Travails - My Blog
My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs
Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

#246 filip

filip
  • participating member
  • 7 posts

Posted 26 February 2010 - 11:16 PM

I looked into Copper Fox, and I haven't tasted it but given the price point and young age I decided to skip it. I opted for the High West and have no regrets.

#247 scratchline

scratchline
  • participating member
  • 90 posts
  • Location:NYC

Posted 26 April 2010 - 11:36 AM

In the 60's, people were lucky enough to be drinking something like this:

Posted Image

Draper had it good.

Dave, is your 80's PA Overholt 100 proof or lower? I've had some 86 proof from that era that was very nice. I also have some 86 proof Pikesville that was distilled in PA that is one of the best ryes I've ever tasted.

-Mike

Edited by scratchline, 26 April 2010 - 11:46 AM.


#248 thirtyoneknots

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

Posted 26 April 2010 - 11:44 AM

My God, that's beautiful. I shed a tear for those missing 20 degrees of proof and 4 years of age.
Andy Arrington

Journeyman Drinksmith

Twitter--@LoneStarBarman

#249 scratchline

scratchline
  • participating member
  • 90 posts
  • Location:NYC

Posted 29 April 2010 - 04:32 PM

Here's one to keep an eye out for:

http://chuckcowdery....-tastes-of.html

Chuck Cowdery knows his whiskey and his endorsement is highly regarded. I find Canadian rye (read Hirsch 8 and 12, Lot 40) to be light compared to most American ryes so the fact that Whistlepig is a potent flavoring whiskey piques my interest. The 10 years in wood helps too. Sometimes there are advantages to being in NYC, Chicago, or LA.

-Mike

#250 Splificator

Splificator
  • participating member
  • 527 posts
  • Location:Brooklyn

Posted 30 April 2010 - 07:27 AM

Mike--
My bottle is still 100 proof, but has alas lost the age statement. They were lucky indeed back when 8 to 10-year-old rye was readily available. Perhaps the best rye I ever had was some 10-year-old Rittenhouse, bottled at 100 proof for the Paris/Tokyo collectors markets. Mmmmmmmmmmm.
aka David Wondrich

There are, according to recent statistics, 147 female bartenders in the United States. In the United Kingdom the barmaid is a feature of the wayside inn, and is a young woman of intelligence and rare sagacity. --The Syracuse Standard, 1895

#251 Chris Amirault

Chris Amirault
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 19,626 posts
  • Location:Rhode Island

Posted 17 May 2010 - 06:23 PM

Can someone explain to me why I spent double the money I'd have spent on Rittenhouse for this milque-toasty Russell's Reserve 6 year rye? Jeepers.
Chris Amirault
camirault@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics Signatory
Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

#252 Katie Meadow

Katie Meadow
  • participating member
  • 1,340 posts
  • Location:Bay Area / East Bay

Posted 17 May 2010 - 08:58 PM

I'm relatively new to rye, but I too felt the Russells Reserve was a waste of money. So far Old Overholt is my favorite, but it appears that the range of ryes is limited here. Rittenhouse isn't stocked by my local stores and I've never tasted it. How many different kinds of Rittenhouse are there? I will be back east next month, staying in midtown. What should I look for and do you know of a liquor store midtown with a good selection of rye? My mother is 92 and slowing down, so cocktail hour is now more than just an hour. Usually it involves lots of snacking on goat cheese or goldfish, and sometimes it just fades into ice cream hour. She routinely keeps scotch and vodka on hand, but never rye.

Edited by Katie Meadow, 17 May 2010 - 08:59 PM.


#253 thirtyoneknots

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

Posted 18 May 2010 - 08:58 AM

Can someone explain to me why I spent double the money I'd have spent on Rittenhouse for this milque-toasty Russell's Reserve 6 year rye? Jeepers.


I for one am extremely concerned with the trends in rye lately; it appears that the marketing people have figured out that rye is now big but was lacking in "premium" brands. The last few years have seen a relatively significant growth in available brands, but offhand I can't think of a single new mixing grade rye new to the market in the same time frame. On the contrary, they seem to be trying to dumb the style down. Exhibit A: ri1.
Andy Arrington

Journeyman Drinksmith

Twitter--@LoneStarBarman

#254 slkinsey

slkinsey
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 11,109 posts
  • Location:New York, New York

Posted 18 May 2010 - 09:39 AM

Some good news may be on the horizon in that respect. I had the opportunity yesterday to sample some Redemption Rye. This is a new brand which will be hitting the market within a few months. It's made with a 95% rye mash bill, in contrast to the usual 51% or so, resulting in a uniquely spicy rye character that is not unlike drinking an alcoholic glass of rye bread. I believe the plan is to release a bottling at 92 proof and a barrel proof. The 92 proof bottling should sell for around 25 bucks! Right now it's pretty young, clocking in at around 2.5 years. But I think there's the sense that they might as well start releasing some of it now, but continue holding some back to see how it develops with age and eventually figure out the sweet spot. So it will likely evolve somewhat over the next half-decade or more. In the meantime, they get to put the product out there, build some awareness, and make some money off their efforts without going the usual route of starting off with a vodka. I thought it was very promising, and definitely plan to purchase some when it is released. The unusually strong rye character will make for some very interesting mixing. I was also happy to hear that they are committed to offering a product at a price point appropriate for mixing and casual drinking rather than the usual route of releasing a super-expensive extra-age spirit.
Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

#255 philadining

philadining
  • participating member
  • 2,603 posts
  • Location:Philaburbia

Posted 18 May 2010 - 03:26 PM

Keep an eye out for the Finger Lakes Distilling McKenzie Rye. I don't know the exact percentage, but I seem to recall hearing that it's made from a pretty high proportion of rye grain, and it certainly tastes that way to me.

I've been looking forward to seeing how it mixes, but I've been enjoying it so much straight that I haven't been able to bring myself to make a cocktail with it yet. One can certainly taste the grain, as well as some nice sweet overtones from the sherry barrels they use for aging.

It retails for about $40 for a 750, which seems fair for what it is.

"Philadelphia’s premier soup dumpling blogger" - Foobooz

philadining.com

#256 slkinsey

slkinsey
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 11,109 posts
  • Location:New York, New York

Posted 18 May 2010 - 03:55 PM

It retails for about $40 for a 750, which seems fair for what it is.

For what it is? It's aged one year. One! For 40 dollars.

I mean, sure it's good. (80% rye, by the way). But 40 bucks is not a "mixing and everyday drinking" spirit, and it seems comparable to other whiskies priced at a bit more than half as much. Okay, bump it up a bit for dumping it into a sherry barrel for the last three months (whence the color and body comes). But too many distilleries are coming out with $40-$60 spirits. They are rarely worth that price given the age and quality versus what's already available at a substantially lower price point. Is this stuff really that much better than Old Overholt? Or Rittenhouse? It's a bit like the Cornelius Applejack, which at $40 a bottle doesn't approach the quality of Laird's bonded. So why is it double the price? I can spot a company 5 or even 10 bucks due to the economies of scale. But who mixes regularly with $40 spirits? Not me. That's what I like so much about Redemption Rye. Finally, a new rye whiskey that can be a staple rather than a treat.
Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

#257 philadining

philadining
  • participating member
  • 2,603 posts
  • Location:Philaburbia

Posted 18 May 2010 - 08:10 PM

For what it is? It's aged one year. One! For 40 dollars.

Sure, I'd be happier if it were 10 or 15 bucks cheaper. But it's the product of a new, small, independent distillery, which I'd like to support. I assume it's tough to get a business like this up and running, and I think the liquid landscape is better for these new small projects. I'm willing to drop another buck or so per cocktail to encourage these guys.

"Philadelphia’s premier soup dumpling blogger" - Foobooz

philadining.com

#258 thirtyoneknots

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

Posted 18 May 2010 - 08:17 PM

Agreed about the prices. To keep our perspective here, buffalo trace's antique collection goes for about $60/btl and just a few years ago was under 50. These are, imo, some of the world's finest whiskies. I'm all about supporting small distilleries on principle but let's be real here, it is highly improbable that these new guys are offering even half the quality of the antique collection.
Andy Arrington

Journeyman Drinksmith

Twitter--@LoneStarBarman

#259 haresfur

haresfur
  • participating member
  • 1,155 posts
  • Location:Bendigo Australia

Posted 28 May 2010 - 04:37 PM

Aged twelve whole months, I see...


Maybe this is just for the cash flow and in a few years they will release product that is aged longer. The trouble is the risk of getting written off because the young stuff isn't up to standard.
It's almost never bad to feed someone.

#260 Chris Amirault

Chris Amirault
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 19,626 posts
  • Location:Rhode Island

Posted 01 July 2010 - 04:14 AM

Anyone else (besides Matt Kayahara) have experience with the Alberta Springs rye? I had it in a Manhattan at Tender Bar in Tokyo and I'm wondering what it's like straight. The reviews I've read here and there suggest a sweeter, less spicy rye than the US bottles, which my tasting of Tender's cocktail would bear out.

ETA Matt, please weigh in as well!

Edited by Chris Amirault, 01 July 2010 - 04:15 AM.
Accidental faux pas -- CA

Chris Amirault
camirault@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics Signatory
Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

#261 mkayahara

mkayahara
  • participating member
  • 1,851 posts
  • Location:Guelph, Ontario

Posted 06 July 2010 - 07:51 AM

Don't know how useful this is to you now that you're back from Japan, Chris, but my take on Alberta Springs is this: while it's one of my favourite Canadian whiskies, is not comparable to U.S. straight rye whiskey, despite its 100% rye mash bill. As you note, it's sweeter and less spicy than American rye... yet I think of it as being one of the spicier Canadian whiskies available. Worth acquiring if you need to fill the "Canadian whisky" slot on your bingo card, but not a substitute for US rye; it's still a blended whisky.
Matthew Kayahara
Kayahara.ca
@mtkayahara

#262 Chris Amirault

Chris Amirault
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 19,626 posts
  • Location:Rhode Island

Posted 13 September 2010 - 09:12 AM

That sounds pretty accurate, Matt, given that drink. Hrm.

On a very different note, thanks to the generous Alon Munzer at Hungry Mother, I had the great fortune to try the Templeton Prohibition rye. Without question, it has the most pronounced rye aroma and flavor of any rye I've never tried. I loved it -- and longed for some Katz's pastrami....

Anyone else try this?
Chris Amirault
camirault@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics Signatory
Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

#263 Dan Perrigan

Dan Perrigan
  • participating member
  • 88 posts
  • Location:Northern New Jersey

Posted 13 September 2010 - 10:28 AM

...Templeton Prohibition rye...

Anyone else try this?


Hi Chris. I just got back from Chicago, and one of the bottles of interesting booze I brought back with me was a bottle of Templeton Rye.

I agree on the flavor -- it's delicious. But I've gotten used to the bold (and 100 Proof) flavor of Rittenhouse Bonded so I'm wondering if I'll enjoy the (80 Proof) Templeton in cocktails as much I enjoy the Rittenhouse. I suppose that means my (our?) next project is to mix up some Sazeracs and/or Old Fashioneds using each rye and do a side by side comparison.

I'll be reporting back..

Dan

#264 Chris Amirault

Chris Amirault
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 19,626 posts
  • Location:Rhode Island

Posted 13 September 2010 - 10:32 AM

Very eager to hear back, Dan.
Chris Amirault
camirault@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics Signatory
Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

#265 KD1191

KD1191
  • participating member
  • 941 posts
  • Location:New York

Posted 13 September 2010 - 10:58 AM

Templeton Sazeracs are amazingly smooth. Shortly after its Chicago release, I went through a bottle in about two weeks just making Sazeracs. It's probably good for my wallet and sobriety that I concluded I can't really get behind 80-proof whiskey.

Edited by KD1191, 13 September 2010 - 11:00 AM.

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

#266 Dan Perrigan

Dan Perrigan
  • participating member
  • 88 posts
  • Location:Northern New Jersey

Posted 13 September 2010 - 03:20 PM

Ok. Here are the results of the great Sazerac taste-off.

First of all, here is my preferred Sazerac recipe:

2 1/2 oz Rittenhouse Bonded
1 tsp Simple
3 dashes Peychaud's
4 spritzes of Absinthe from an atomizer

(Stir, strain into absinthe-misted rocks glass with one large rock)

For this science experiment I divided the recipe by three (approximately) so I could do three Sazeracs: Rittenhouse Bonded, Templeton, and Sazerac 6. So it went:

1 oz Rye
1/2 tsp Simple
1 dash Peychaud's
1 spritz of Absinthe
(one large ice cube)

Rittenhouse: Strong rye scent and flavor. Smooth. Delicious.

Templeton: Smooth, but weaker than I'm used to. Perhaps too smooth. Almost seemed watery.

Saz 6: Good, but also weaker than I'm used to. The least assertive of the three.

After a few sips of each, I made a completely non-scientific move and mixed the contents of the Rittenhouse and the Templeton glasses. This was pretty good, and makes me think the next experiment should be a comparison of Rittenhouse to a half and half combination of Rittenhouse and Templeton's.

I have had a few sips of Thomas Handy neat, and have never had Michter's. Those are two that I'd love to try in a Sazerac. So far, though, the Rittenhouse is my favorite. Has anyone out there compared Handy or Michter's to Rittenhouse in a Sazerac? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Dan

#267 KD1191

KD1191
  • participating member
  • 941 posts
  • Location:New York

Posted 13 September 2010 - 04:22 PM

Templeton: Smooth, but weaker than I'm used to. Perhaps too smooth. Almost seemed watery.

Saz 6: Good, but also weaker than I'm used to. The least assertive of the three.

After a few sips of each, I made a completely non-scientific move and mixed the contents of the Rittenhouse and the Templeton glasses. This was pretty good, and makes me think the next experiment should be a comparison of Rittenhouse to a half and half combination of Rittenhouse and Templeton's.

Completely agree. Templeton alone just doesn't have enough kick, and compared to Rittenhouse the Sazerac 6 is boring. Half-and-half Rittenhouse & Templeton would be a noble experiment, though. I've dreamt of a 100 proof Templeton, but I don't think it's likely to ever happen.

I have had a few sips of Thomas Handy neat, and have never had Michter's. Those are two that I'd love to try in a Sazerac. So far, though, the Rittenhouse is my favorite. Has anyone out there compared Handy or Michter's to Rittenhouse in a Sazerac? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Handy Sazerac's are certainly the best I've had...felt a bit like gilding the lily, but some Elixir Vegetal added to the rinse (hat tip: Troy Sidle) was phenomenal. About the only thing that's widely available that I could imagine topping Handy in the Sazerac would be some of the very old Rittenhouse, but I haven't tried it.
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

#268 Chris Amirault

Chris Amirault
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 19,626 posts
  • Location:Rhode Island

Posted 13 September 2010 - 05:06 PM

Nice job -- though the Sazerac taste-off to end all taste-offs has to be Erik Ellestad's over at Underhill Lounge (starting here), as part of his Savoy project.
Chris Amirault
camirault@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics Signatory
Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

#269 thirtyoneknots

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

Posted 13 September 2010 - 07:29 PM

I've still got some of the 2006 Handy I reserve for special Sazeracs, though my go-to for 'everyday' purposes is Wild Turkey Rye; next to it Rittenhouse just doesn't seem all that assertive.

I generally eschew the Sazerac Rye in Sazerac Cocktails but while in New Orleans last weekend I had one at the Sazerac Bar in the Roosevelt Hotel made thusly, and I don't know if it was the beautiful environs, the great friends, or the air conditioning, but it tickled me in a way that that whiskey has rarely tickled me before.
Andy Arrington

Journeyman Drinksmith

Twitter--@LoneStarBarman

#270 haresfur

haresfur
  • participating member
  • 1,155 posts
  • Location:Bendigo Australia

Posted 23 September 2010 - 12:59 PM

What would you do: Choices are pretty limited here and as I keep whinging, prices are high. Looking for something for mixing.

In the local stores my only rye choice is Jim Beam for $35. They also have Blanton's special reserve single barrel bourbon for $50. The Blanton's is only 80 proof btw (for export only). Mail order, Wild Turkey Rye is $57 + shipping. Other rye whiskey mail order is totally out of my price range.

I bought the Blanton's because I was into instant gratification. Just couldn't bring myself to pay that much for Jim Beam. But I am interested in your thoughts on a high rye bourbon vs. Jim Beam rye, or if I just need to suck it up and get the WT.
It's almost never bad to feed someone.