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ChrisTaylor

All About Rye Whiskey (Part 2)

61 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

Just now, abenc85 said:

 

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

I don't think so. I think it's just a matter of time if you enjoy bourbon already. :)

It's too bad that you didn't keep the Rittenhouse to experiment with it a bit more. I know that one of the first drinks that made me love rye was a Rattlesnake made with Rittenhouse. The egg white foam tempered things considerably and I was able to really enjoy the flavors of the rye. Another one was the Brooklyn because the sweetness from the maraschino liqueur balances out the spiciness of the rye very well. These were easier to love in the beginning compared to a rye Manhattan which I absolutely love now, but would consider an "advanced" drink because the rye is so front and center.


Edited by FrogPrincesse (log)

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2 hours ago, abenc85 said:

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. 

 

I do think Sazerac rye might be your best chance to find a rye you like. Doesn't get too much softer than that one. But if Rittenhouse BIB didn't work then I am not sure what to tell you!

 

1 hour 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 

 

Surprised that if you like bourbon-y ryes that Templeton and Bulleit are favorites given they are typical younger MGP 95% ryes.

 

As MGP (Former LDI) ryes get older (8-10 years and more) they do change in character as shown by High West and Smooth Ambler and lose a lot of the minty/dill character to me.

 

I can't imagine not liking a rye whiskey, whether neat or in a cocktail! Well, in my case I suppose that goes for just about any brown spirit... :B


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

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1 hour ago, scubadoo97 said:

MGP of Indiana 

 

59 minutes ago, scubadoo97 said:

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

 

Midwest Grain Products or MGP (formerly LDI, formerly one of the many Seagram's distilleries of the past) may well be the single largest producer of rye whiskey. Certainly the biggest producer in the US. But almost nothing is bottled in their name. Their current business plan with regard to the whiskey thy produce is to make whiskey that others buy and slap their own name on.


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

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I'm a big fan of ryes, and have found that a lot of the typical, readily-available ones in my area are not to my liking - I really dislike Bulleit & Knob Creek, for example. Typically our go-to house ryes for cocktails are, in order of preference, Old Overholt & Rittenhouse - both fairly cheap but packing the "spiciness" i like. I am also big fan of Willet 3 year for both cocktails and sips. Woodford will "do" if I'm ordering a cocktail out, but I probably wouldn't buy it for home.

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1 hour ago, tanstaafl2 said:

 

 

I do think Sazerac rye might be your best chance to find a rye you like. Doesn't get too much softer than that one. But if Rittenhouse BIB didn't work then I am not sure what to tell you!

 

 

Surprised that if you like bourbon-y ryes that Templeton and Bulleit are favorites given they are typical younger MGP 95% ryes.

 

As MGP (Former LDI) ryes get older (8-10 years and more) they do change in character as shown by High West and Smooth Ambler and lose a lot of the minty/dill character to me.

 

I can't imagine not liking a rye whiskey, whether neat or in a cocktail! Well, in my case I suppose that goes for just about any brown spirit... :B

Those weren't my favorites just the only ones so far revealed in the tasting.  Two per week, but I've sampled half of the samples so far.  Can't wait to find out what those bourbony ones were.  I pulled an open bottle of Van Winkle Family Reserve Rye from my bar as a reference,  A couple tasted similar and were in my wheelhouse

 

The Saz rye is a good one and priced well

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Thank you for the suggestions. I think the combined ideas of starting on 'taming' cocktails and opting for a mellower, more approachable rye; Sazerac, are a solid starting point. Sazerac particularly appeals as it comes from one my favourite Bourbon distillers. I think I will give this a try and work my way into the spirit with softer cocktails. 

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Currently 6 out of 20 ryes revealed in the tasting.  So far an OTS Wild Turkey Russel's Reserve Single Barrel Rye has score the highest rating at this time.  An over whelming score compared to the rest at this point. It was a "bourbonesk" rye in my opinion and I scored it high.  Two reveled per week.  An OTS Old Overholt  80pf was scored poorly 

 

since  it was a single barrel no chance of finding it but it was really tasty 

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OTS? Probably know what you mean but not coming to me!


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

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7 minutes ago, FrogPrincesse said:

I am guessing "off the shelf".

 

Ah! That could be. Thanks!


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

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Yes you got it 

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