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ChrisTaylor

All About Rye Whiskey (Part 2)

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On ‎12‎/‎3‎/‎2016 at 11:59 PM, JoNorvelleWalker said:

Since it wasn't clear, according to the Times article, $2400 was for 13 year old Pappy van Winkle's.  Me, I must make do with Whistlepig.

 

 

If somebody really wanted to cough up $2400 for my PVWFRR bottles then I might have to think about it!

 

At retail, which you can't buy it for unless you know someone in the industry who is feeling incredibly generous, it is still listed at around $100 (all the Van Winkle is still priced at a retail cost that has changed relatively little. And it is now at least partly (and possibly mostly) made by Buffalo Trace anyway. Although there is some confusion about what is really in this years "Z" bottling. It has some of the original old tanked whiskey but I don't think it is clear if it is ALL tanked whiskey or if it is blended with BT made whiskey. Oh well, not that it matters. I haven't seen one for purchase at a price I would pay for several years now.

 

On ‎12‎/‎4‎/‎2016 at 1:52 AM, FrogPrincesse said:

Here is a link to the article.

 

I agree with Michter's and Bulleit being better than Rittenhouse for sipping. However Rittenhouse is great in cocktails (I prefer it to Bulleit, for sure), plus it's reasonably priced, so it definitely has a spot in my home bar. I tried Few for the first time a few weeks ago and felt that it had an unusual flavor profile, but was very good too. I had Knob Creek once or twice but never on its own, so I can't really rate it in relationship to the others, but it makes a great Manhattan. What I note is that all their selections vary between 2 and 3 stars, so it's not much of a spread. Nothing got the maximum of 4 stars, maybe because the tasting focused on "young ryes". They mention Redemption and Dickel; it'd be interesting to know what else they tried in the tasting that didn't make the top 10...

 

I would be curious to know what they tried but didn't make the top ten as well. (ri)1 is a real oddity to me. It was an attempt by Beam a few years ago to create a "premium rye" that largely seemed to fall flat. I wasn't even aware they were still making it. And there is no Wild Turkey 101 here either. Is that really worse than (ri)1, Bulleit or some of the small distiller stuff?

 

Other MGPs include the much derided Templeton, Smooth Ambler (although it tends to be older) and Willett, both their own make and the one they source (or used to source?) from MGP. I am not all that surprised the Knob Creek won, it was probably the oldest of the bunch, at least that they mention, by at least a couple of years (maybe 6 or so years old).

 

I also think those prices might reflect a NYC cost to some degree.


Edited by tanstaafl2 (log)
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I need some advice from my fellow eGers.

 

I was enticed into a booze shop today (I was just walking past, honest) by a sign saying 'Pikesville, the world's best rye'.  As it turned out they'd run out, but is it sufficiently good I should take myself to their other branch with some urgency?  Bear in mind ryes are very scarce here.  We can get Rittenhouse, Jim Beam, Sazerac (sometimes) and not much else.

 

While I was in there I noticed a couple of different bottles of Pendleton rye from Canada.  Can anybody tell me anything about that?  From memory they had the 'ordinary' 40% and perhaps the Directors' Reserve.

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I haven't  found it locally but friends, (whisky nerds) who live elsewhere like it.  

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My favorite East Bay liquor store recommended the following for a a gift, which I gave to my husband for xmas: Traverse City Whiskey Co. North Coast Rye. That would be Michigan, but the north coast of which lake escapes me, since I'm geographically challenged. I told him Bulleit was our house rye, which I mostly sip, and that we liked a smooth rye, not too raw, not too spicy. It is delicious. 90 proof. 

 

Have no idea where this is available; there are so many ryes I hear about that are simply not available here. I never heard of it before, but if it makes its way to the left coast, maybe it can be found on other coasts. I often read alluring tidbits about Pikesville but have never seen it in these parts.

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Until recently, Pikesville was a legacy product, one of the few surviving such ryes in the wild, a whiskey enjoyed by working class people in Baltimore, Maryland (where the brand originated some hundred+ years ago) and unheard of by just about everyone else.

 

Now that product's been discontinued, and the brand has migrated up the shelves to where it currently sits, as the 6 year old, 110-proof older sibling of Rittenhouse Rye.

 

Nothing wrong with such a product, of course, but it's a shame that one of the last reliably very affordable ryes on the market had to perish so we could have another $30+ 'premium' rye.


I haven't tried the new one, but I've heard good things. 

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On 06/01/2017 at 7:14 PM, lesliec said:

I need some advice from my fellow eGers.

 

I was enticed into a booze shop today (I was just walking past, honest) by a sign saying 'Pikesville, the world's best rye'.  As it turned out they'd run out, but is it sufficiently good I should take myself to their other branch with some urgency?  Bear in mind ryes are very scarce here.  We can get Rittenhouse, Jim Beam, Sazerac (sometimes) and not much else.

 

While I was in there I noticed a couple of different bottles of Pendleton rye from Canada.  Can anybody tell me anything about that?  From memory they had the 'ordinary' 40% and perhaps the Directors' Reserve.

 

On 07/01/2017 at 2:46 PM, scubadoo97 said:

I haven't  found it locally but friends, (whisky nerds) who live elsewhere like it.  

 

I am likely one of those! Although bear in mind that it is basically Rittenhouse rye at a little higher proof (110 as compared to 100) and a little more age 6 years versus 4 years). That said a little can go a long way and both the proof and age help! Worth seeking out but perhaps only a modest level of urgency.

 

Pendleton is an Oregon company that sources rye from Canada, presumably Alberta Distillers, which is the same source as WhistlePig, Lock Stock and Barrel and at the Jefferson 10yo rye (at least the early bottles that clearly said it was from Canada. Who knows what it might be now given that Jefferson doesn't have the best reputation for being straight forward with where they source whiskey). The basic Pendleton is a sweeter typical Canadian blended whisky but the Pendleton 1910 is supposedly a 12yo 100% Rye. it's biggest shortcoming for me is a thin low 80 proof. But not bad presuming it is still a true 100% rye and not a more typical blended Canadian whisky if you can get it for a decent price. I have no idea what a decent price would be in NZ. Here it goes for maybe $40.

 

Director's Reserve is new to me. Supposedly 20yo but still 80 proof. I would guess it is a blended Canadian whiskey. A bit spendy at around $125 here in the US with a swanky leather wrapping. Swanky wrappings always make me a bit suspicious... :hmmm:

 

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On 08/01/2017 at 7:59 AM, Rafa said:

Nothing wrong with such a product, of course, but it's a shame that one of the last reliably very affordable ryes on the market had to perish so we could have another $30+ 'premium' rye.

 

$30+, you say?

Pikesville_2.png

 

Call that around USD110.  But it was the last bottle and I've got it home and tried it with just a touch of water, and it's really good.

 

Thanks for your help, people.  I might give the Pendleton a miss for now, but I'm going to enjoy the Pikesville.  Slowly.  Over many months.

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On ‎1‎/‎7‎/‎2017 at 1:59 PM, Rafa said:

Until recently, Pikesville was a legacy product, one of the few surviving such ryes in the wild, a whiskey enjoyed by working class people in Baltimore, Maryland (where the brand originated some hundred+ years ago) and unheard of by just about everyone else.

 

Now that product's been discontinued, and the brand has migrated up the shelves to where it currently sits, as the 6 year old, 110-proof older sibling of Rittenhouse Rye.

 

Nothing wrong with such a product, of course, but it's a shame that one of the last reliably very affordable ryes on the market had to perish so we could have another $30+ 'premium' rye.


I haven't tried the new one, but I've heard good things. 

 

But the Pikesville Rye of which you speak, a rye truly made in Maryland and considered a Maryland style rye, hasn't been made for a long time. The Pikesville version that existed before this new iteration came along, which has now largely disappeared, was also made by Heaven Hill in Kentucky (I don't think Heaven Hill has ever confirmed it is gone for good. But it probably is.).

 

As I recall was basically the same thing as Rittenhouse only at 3yo and lower proof. Although it was surprisingly good for a young, inexpensive bottom shelf rye.


Edited by tanstaafl2 (log)
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Right, ditto Old Overholt as Pennsylvania rye, as Wondrich detailed in a two-parter last year. 

 

It was still enjoyed in that market, though, and one wonders what the well rye of Baltimore's dives will be now. 

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Has anyone tried Masterson's Rye?  It's a 90 proof, 100% rye from Canada that I saw it at TJ's the other day.  I am wondering if I should try this or Pikesville 110 ($50 locally)

IMG_1063.jpg

 

Like Pendleton, it's distilled in Canada, branded and sold by a US company.  The reviews I read were mostly a few years old and said it was good, but not worth the price, generally cited in the $70-80 range.  It's bottled and sold by 35 Maple St. Spirits, a venture out of Sonoma, CA headed by August Sebastiani of the jug wine world. Edited to add that the name of the venture has changed from 35 Maple to 3 Badge Mixology.

They is also behind a few spirits I've seen recently at TJ's, the Bib & Tucker Small Batch Bourbon and the cucumber-y Uncle Val's Botanical Gin that @FrogPrincesse mentioned picking up there a few months ago.

Not sure if the fact they are dumping stock to TJ's is indicative of the health of the venture or the quality of the product or maybe they want to get rid of product labeled with the old name.

Curious if anyone here has tried it.

Any opinions?


Edited by blue_dolphin To add link to 3 Badge (log)

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@blue_dolphinI haven't tried it. This is more pricey than what I use for mixing (there are a lot of good options below $50 or even below $40), and I rarely buy ryes strictly for sipping.

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19 minutes ago, FrogPrincesse said:

@blue_dolphinI haven't tried it. This is more pricey than what I use for mixing (there are a lot of good options below $50 or even below $40), and I rarely buy ryes strictly for sipping.

 

Good point.  I should probably just replace the usual Rittenhouse as I'll be using it almost entirely for mixing.  I've already got a bottle of Angel's Envy rye that's for sipping and I rarely pull it out.

Always curious when I see something different at TJ's 9_9

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On 1/11/2017 at 1:11 PM, blue_dolphin said:

Has anyone tried Masterson's Rye?  It's a 90 proof, 100% rye from Canada that I saw it at TJ's the other day.  I am wondering if I should try this or Pikesville 110 ($50 locally)

IMG_1063.jpg

 

Like Pendleton, it's distilled in Canada, branded and sold by a US company.  The reviews I read were mostly a few years old and said it was good, but not worth the price, generally cited in the $70-80 range.  It's bottled and sold by 35 Maple St. Spirits, a venture out of Sonoma, CA headed by August Sebastiani of the jug wine world. Edited to add that the name of the venture has changed from 35 Maple to 3 Badge Mixology.

They is also behind a few spirits I've seen recently at TJ's, the Bib & Tucker Small Batch Bourbon and the cucumber-y Uncle Val's Botanical Gin that @FrogPrincesse mentioned picking up there a few months ago.

Not sure if the fact they are dumping stock to TJ's is indicative of the health of the venture or the quality of the product or maybe they want to get rid of product labeled with the old name.

Curious if anyone here has tried it.

Any opinions?

 

 

Same source as WhistlePig and other 100% ryes (Alberta Distillers) by all reports. I have had the occasional single barrel that was pretty good over the years (The Party Source did a couple including one that had a funky orange jolly rancher type note that I rather enjoyed but was certainly distinctive!) but generally it is a bit too pricey for what you get. WP is 100 proof for typically a similar price or even lower price for example. Pretty bottle though...

 

I would likely go for the Pikesville 110 between the two even if the price were the same but certainly if the price was $15- $20 more.

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4 hours ago, tanstaafl2 said:

WP is 100 proof for typically a similar price or even lower price for example. Pretty bottle though...

 

'Pends which Whistlepig you're sippin'.

 

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The obvious answer is, don't drink Rye Whiskey, but hear me out!

 

I am a huge cocktail fan and I can usually gauge whether or not I will like a drink based on the recipe. I thoroughly enjoy mixed drinks using Bourbon, Irish whiskey, Scotch & Islay Scotch in fact it is safe to say many of my favourites come from the whisky category. On paper, I really like the sound of Rye cocktails and so I picked up a bottle of Rittenhouse Rye. I immediately tried a Manhattan, a favourite drink with Bourbon (Manhattan sweet) and I find it far too dry and spicy and couldn't finish it. I've found that same incredible dryness and spice comes through in other drinks I've tried and I can't get past it, so I've given up on Rittenhouse and got rid of the bottle.

 

I was thinking, perhaps it's not for me but then I considered the possibility it was to do with how much rye was in the drink. I was not surprised to learn my favourite bourbon for mixing, Buffalo Trace, is one of the lowest in content @ 10%. I was however surprised to find other bourbons I enjoyed are amongst the highest in rye content, being Bulleit Bourbon and Four Roses. I found myself also surprised Rittenhouse contains the legal minimum for a rye coming in at 51%. I am wondering if it's more to do with the production than the rye. I was hoping to tap into the experience of people here for suggestions as to what to try next. The way I see it, I can either give up on rye, try a high-rye bourbon or a rye known for being soft. 

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Ryes do vary quite a lot. 

 

I'm currently half way through a blind tasting of 20 different ryes.  Some more minty than some others.  LDI ryes have varied a lot.  My favorites have been those that are more bourbon like although only 4 have been revealed to date.  Michters, Templeton, Rit and Bulliet so far 

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Just now, abenc85 said:

On paper, I really like the sound of Rye cocktails and so I picked up a bottle of Rittenhouse Rye. I immediately tried a Manhattan, a favourite drink with Bourbon (Manhattan sweet) and I find it far too dry and spicy and couldn't finish it. I've found that same incredible dryness and spice comes through in other drinks I've tried and I can't get past it, so I've given up on Rittenhouse and got rid of the bottle.

 

Which Rittenhouse was this, the 40% or the bottled in bond (50%)? I use the 50% all the time and I don't find it overly dry or spicy. Actually I find that it is quite lush and rich for a rye.

Sazerac rye is a great one if you'd like something sweeter/softer. Given that you are a bourbon fan you should like it.

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For me bonded Rittenhouse tastes like marshmallows.  Far too sweet and lacking spice.  But then I don't drink Bourbon.

 

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22 minutes ago, FrogPrincesse said:

Which Rittenhouse was this, the 40% or the bottled in bond (50%)? I use the 50% all the time and I don't find it overly dry or spicy. Actually I find that it is quite lush and rich for a rye.

Sazerac rye is a great one if you'd like something sweeter/softer. Given that you are a bourbon fan you should like it.

 

It was in fact the bottled in bond - maybe my palate has a problem with Rye then!

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25 minutes ago, scubadoo97 said:

Ryes do vary quite a lot. 

 

I'm currently half way through a blind tasting of 20 different ryes.  Some more minty than some others.  LDI ryes have varied a lot.  My favorites have been those that are more bourbon like although only 4 have been revealed to date.  Michters, Templeton, Rit and Bulliet so far 

 

LDI Ryes? Be interested to see your top 5 when you're done!

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They make a lot of the "craft" whiskey on the market 

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