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Joe Blowe

All About Rye Whiskey (Part 1)

498 posts in this topic

Has anyone else had McKenzie Rye from Finger Lakes Distilling? It is completely unlike other ryes that I've had (Russel, Wild Turkey, Baby Sazerac). It has an extremely spicy, dry rye presentation. I enjoy it neat, but haven't had much luck mixing with it so far. (And when I'm in the mood for something neat, it's likely to be Scotch.)

http://www.fingerlakesdistilling.com/index.php/our-products

I like that Rye quite a lot, and I've had no trouble getting good results mixing it - I found it makes a delicious Manhattan with Carpano Antica (but then, what doesn't? so maybe that's not a good test...) and was also quite happy with it in a Sazerac with Herbsaint Original.

But I'll agree that it's got an interesting enough flavor that I like it straight too. I think it might be the sherry barrels they use for finishing that gives it an unusual twist. I look forward to seeing what they come up with when they can leave it a little longer to age, it's a little young, but surprisingly complex for its youth.

I recently noticed that Fingerlakes has released a bourbon as well, but I haven't had a chance to taste that yet.

I have tasted both in their tasting room a couple times (I live in the region and work in the industry.) They recently released a nice wheat whisky as well. I haven't splurged for a bottle of their whisky yet, so I haven't played with mixing. I've been very happy with the gin and fruit liqueurs I have purchased though.


Corinna Heinz, aka Corinna

Check out my adventures, culinary and otherwise at http://corinnawith2ns.blogspot.com/

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Grabbed a bottle of Bulleit rye this week and have been playing around with it. Made a great Improved OF with homemade bitters, maraschino, and Marteau absinthe. Lovely stuff.

I just did a tasting of Rittenhouse BIB and the Bulleit. I think that the Bulleit has a more pronounced rye flavor and is significantly drier than the RIttenhouse. Don't prefer one or the other; both have a nice place in my cabinet. Unlike, say, Redemption rye, which I was glad to finish off and not replace.


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

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Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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Chris -- have you tried the High West Rendezvous Rye yet? I find it delicious for sipping, and the best rye I've had in a Sazerac.

Dan

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Grabbed a bottle of Bulleit rye this week and have been playing around with it. Made a great Improved OF with homemade bitters, maraschino, and Marteau absinthe. Lovely stuff.

I just did a tasting of Rittenhouse BIB and the Bulleit. I think that the Bulleit has a more pronounced rye flavor and is significantly drier than the RIttenhouse. Don't prefer one or the other; both have a nice place in my cabinet.

Is it widely available - sounds like a must have.

Chris -- have you tried the High West Rendezvous Rye yet? I find it delicious for sipping, and the best rye I've had in a Sazerac.

Agreed, good stuff.


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?

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The Rendezvous Rye is one of my absolute favorites. I need to pick some more up next time I'm somewhere I can get my hands on it. Maybe in Chicago next week.

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I'm curious to know if east coast prices are typically higher.

An old comment, but to weigh in - your midtown store was an anomaly! I picked up the bulleit rye near brooklyn heights for around $32. I'm also sure I saw their bourbon for a similar price around 23rd and 7th, so they're around!

Still, I'd love to be able to pick it up for $21.

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I'm curious to know if east coast prices are typically higher.

An old comment, but to weigh in - your midtown store was an anomaly! I picked up the bulleit rye near brooklyn heights for around $32. I'm also sure I saw their bourbon for a similar price around 23rd and 7th, so they're around!

Still, I'd love to be able to pick it up for $21.

As I mentioned in another thread, a friend of mine found Bulleit Rye for me somewhere in Maryland and reported that it was selling for $21.99.


Mike

"The mixing of whiskey, bitters, and sugar represents a turning point, as decisive for American drinking habits as the discovery of three-point perspective was for Renaissance painting." -- William Grimes

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I'm curious to know if east coast prices are typically higher.

An old comment, but to weigh in - your midtown store was an anomaly! I picked up the bulleit rye near brooklyn heights for around $32. I'm also sure I saw their bourbon for a similar price around 23rd and 7th, so they're around!

Still, I'd love to be able to pick it up for $21.

As I mentioned in another thread, a friend of mine found Bulleit Rye for me somewhere in Maryland and reported that it was selling for $21.99.

Yesterday I bought Bulleit Rye in Austin TX (specs on airport) for ~$23. It was about $1 more than Rittenhouse BiB, and $2 more than Wild Turkey. I sipped some and compared with Rittenhouse BiB. It is different than the Rittenhouse, but not hugely so, and I don't think I really have a preference for one over the other - both make a tasty Manhattan. It is less aromatic than Rittenhouse. My next project is to make a side by side comparison of Manhattans and Old Fashioneds made with each.

Interestingly, they also were selling (ri)1 for ~$20 - a far cry from what it was priced the first time I ever saw any. At $20, (ri)1 isn't a bad buy at all.

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Interestingly, they also were selling (ri)1 for ~$20 - a far cry from what it was priced the first time I ever saw any. At $20, (ri)1 isn't a bad buy at all.

For $20, I might be tempted.


Mike

"The mixing of whiskey, bitters, and sugar represents a turning point, as decisive for American drinking habits as the discovery of three-point perspective was for Renaissance painting." -- William Grimes

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Hosting a gather for about a dozen friends next weekend as a belated U.S. Independence Day celebration that will have rye whiskey as the theme in "honor" of the forefathers of the U.S. since rye whiskey presumably was one of the main spirits of choice at the time. The recent production of "George Washington Rye" sort of inspired me (I don't have any since it not likely easy to get, probably not all that good and most importantly ridiculously expensive!).

I have been collecting some rye coctail recipes mostly using the Vintage Spirits and PDT cocktail books (listed below) and Kindred Cocktails. Was curious if anyone had any other good or "must try" rye based cocktails to suggest. Or perhaps there is one on the list I should avoid?

Don't really have the time or inclination to do infusions and I don't have some of the more unusal ingredients that I might have to get just for a single drink but I do have moderately well stocked liquor cabinet. I have pretty much everything found in the drinks on this list. Rittenhouse BIB will likely be my primary mixing rye unless a drink makes a good case for using something else (and I happen to have the something else).

Here is the list so far. It will have to be pared down to about 10-12 cocktails to put on the drink menu and I plan to select a "signature" cocktail (or two...) for the evening. Currently leaning towards two cocktails for featured billing, the Diamondback and the Rattlesnake. Nothing has a really good "Fourth of July" kind of name so these two stuck out.

The Manhattan and the Final Ward are both front runners for the menu. The Blinker and Scofflaw are ones I like as well. I will have to also give some thought to ease of construction as well which tends to work against the Rattlesnake and egg white drinks in general even though I generally like them.

A Moment of Silence

Blinker

Brooklyn

Cooper’s Cocktail

De La Louisiane

Deshler

Diamondback

Duboudreau Cocktail

Final Ward

Fred Collins Fiz

Greenpoint

Harvest Moon (sans Abbott’s bitters, have to use some other bitters)

Improved Whiskey Cocktail

Japalac

Junior

L.E.S. Globetrotter

Manhattan

Old-Fashioned Whiskey Cocktail

Old Pal

Racketeer

Rack & Rye

Rattlesnake

Remember the Maine

Red Hook

Sazerac

Scofflaw

Silver Lining

Solstice

The Blonde Wood

Triborough

Up To Date

Vieux Carré

Ward Eight

Whiskey Sour

Any suggestions welcome!


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 happen to like the Algonquin, and it's a pretty accesible rye cocktail for those who think they don't like cocktails:

2 rye, 1 pineapple juice, 1 dry vermouth - shaken and strained

and you really can't beat a Manhattan.

Why do you need 10 - 12 cocktails on your drink menu for a dozen guests? Make 2 or 3 good ones, and enjoy your party.


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?

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I happen to like the Algonquin, and it's a pretty accesible rye cocktail for those who think they don't like cocktails:

2 rye, 1 pineapple juice, 1 dry vermouth - shaken and strained

and you really can't beat a Manhattan.

Why do you need 10 - 12 cocktails on your drink menu for a dozen guests? Make 2 or 3 good ones, and enjoy your party.

Yes, that one is in VS&FC, PDT and the KC website. Never had it though as I am not a big pineapple fan so I just have to decide if I want to get pineapple juice. Hard for me to find a good one in smallish quantities since I am unlikely to drink what is left myself after the party. Then again a bottle is not all that expensive I suppose.

As for the number of different drinks I often will make a drink, or perhaps a double size drink, and then everyone gets a little taste. That way I can go through a number of different drinks in the same evening. So I aim for 10-12 although I rarely get past about 6 or 8 before silly distractions like food and conversation intervene.

For me the enjoyment of the party is about making (and tasting) the different drinks!

And that way I can avoid having to make all that annoying small talk...


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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Had also contemplated the Prince of Wales from the August issue of Imbibe. It had an article that featured three drinks with pineapple. The Prince (In this case it was Prince Albert who is credited with the drink recipe) calls for rye, maraschino liqueur, superfine sugar (which I have) or simple syrup, Angostura bitters, pineapple chunks and brut sparkling wine.

Sounds like it might be a good drink for warm (as in scorching, currently 102+ in the shade here) summer evening. But it has 2 things going against it, pineapple chunks and champagne. Could probably get a mixed fruit bowl and pull the pineapple chunks out of it (not all that fresh I would guess) but the champagne is annoying because if I open a bottle I want to try to be able to finish it rather than waste half of it (or more). Since it calls for only 1 oz per drink it means making a lot of drinks to use it up. And I hate pouring perfectly good booze down the drain, even if it wasn't all that expensive.

I know, picky, picky, picky.


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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Pineapple juice comes in 6 packs of 6 oz. cans (about $3) - and Dole's is not from concentrate. Probably as close as you can come to freshly juiced.

Then you'll have some leftover for tiki drinks at your next get-together.


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?

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Pineapple juice comes in 6 packs of 6 oz. cans (about $3) - and Dole's is not from concentrate. Probably as close as you can come to freshly juiced.

Then you'll have some leftover for tiki drinks at your next get-together.

I looked before my Tiki party last month but didn't see any (found grapefruit juice in small cans but not pineapple). I probably didn't look too hard. But you are right. It would be good to have a few available and leftovers can be saved for Tiki time! I will look again this week.


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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You have quite an impressive list already. The Rattlesnake is a little involved to prepare but it's really an amazing drink (maybe more wintery though?). In your list I also really like the Manhattan (who doesn't), the Brooklyn, the Final Ward, the Red Hook, and Remember the Maine.

To go with your American theme I would offer an American trilogy. It's a wonderful twist on the old-fashioned.

You may want to add a few lighter/fizzy options into the mix, which would be welcome with the warm weather.

Rye and ginger (with a good quality or homemade ginger beer)

Ross Collins (rye, lemon, orange, angostura bitters)

A punch would be also a good option. The Chatham Artillery Punch comes to mind but you said you were trying to avoid using champagne. In David Wondrich's Punch book there are a few other rye-based punch recipes that look good.

Otherwise there are a ton of excellent Manhattan and Brooklyn variations. Here are a few that I really like and were not in your list.

Bensonhurst: rye, dry vermouth, maraschino, cynar

Bushwick: rye, sweet vermouth, amer picon, maraschino

Cobble Hill: rye, dry vermouth, amaro montenegro, slices cucumber

Little Italy: rye, sweet vermouth, cynar

The Slope: rye, punt e mes, apricot liqueur, angostura bitters

Sunset Park cocktail: rye, dry vermouth, apricot liqueur, angostura bitters

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You have quite an impressive list already. The Rattlesnake is a little involved to prepare but it's really an amazing drink (maybe more wintery though?). In your list I also really like the Manhattan (who doesn't), the Brooklyn, the Final Ward, the Red Hook, and Remember the Maine.

To go with your American theme I would offer an American trilogy. It's a wonderful twist on the old-fashioned.

You may want to add a few lighter/fizzy options into the mix, which would be welcome with the warm weather.

Rye and ginger (with a good quality or homemade ginger beer)

Ross Collins (rye, lemon, orange, angostura bitters)

A punch would be also a good option. The Chatham Artillery Punch comes to mind but you said you were trying to avoid using champagne. In David Wondrich's Punch book there are a few other rye-based punch recipes that look good.

Otherwise there are a ton of excellent Manhattan and Brooklyn variations. Here are a few that I really like and were not in your list.

Bensonhurst: rye, dry vermouth, maraschino, cynar

Bushwick: rye, sweet vermouth, amer picon, maraschino

Cobble Hill: rye, dry vermouth, amaro montenegro, slices cucumber

Little Italy: rye, sweet vermouth, cynar

The Slope: rye, punt e mes, apricot liqueur, angostura bitters

Sunset Park cocktail: rye, dry vermouth, apricot liqueur, angostura bitters

Thanks! Great suggestions. The American Trilogy sounds interesting (The Conference also sounds quite interesting on that page but not one for this occasion I think).

I recall you writing about the Little Italy variation so I may add that one too.

Don't mind breaking open champagne to make a punch so much but I like to try a variety of drinks as much for me as my guests so if there is a punch people drink that instead and I don't have as good of an excuse to make people try a bunch of different cocktails! I just don't like opening a bottle of champagne to make a drink or two and not have a good way to use the rest of it in a timely manner.


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've been trying some of the recipes from last Friday's WSJ article, Summer-ize Your Spirits and thoroughly enjoyed Awry One, credited to Greg Best of Holeman & Finch, Atlanta.

It's 1.5 oz rye whiskey (I used Rittenhouse BIB), 0.5 oz Luxardo Bitter (I subbed Campari), 0.5 oz lemon juice, 0.25 oz simple syrup and 2 dashes orange bitters, served up and garnished with mint.

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I've been trying some of the recipes from last Friday's WSJ article, Summer-ize Your Spirits and thoroughly enjoyed Awry One, credited to Greg Best of Holeman & Finch, Atlanta.

It's 1.5 oz rye whiskey (I used Rittenhouse BIB), 0.5 oz Luxardo Bitter (I subbed Campari), 0.5 oz lemon juice, 0.25 oz simple syrup and 2 dashes orange bitters, served up and garnished with mint.

Sounds like I need to take a look at this article. Might have to see if I can track Greg or Andy down at H&F for some additional ideas. The August edition of Imbibe is also full of summer cocktails such as the Prince of Wales I noted above.

So many drinks, so little time.


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 quite like a Boulevardier made with Rye instead of Bourbon. Or a Negroni made with Rye instead of gin, however you want to look at this!

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Some more excellent suggestions. Paring this down to even 10 drinks is going to be tough! Will have to try to find drinks that are reasonable distinct from one another and use that as a primary criteria.


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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Not so much on the thread of lists of rye-based drinks, although I'm definitely going to be clipping this list and keeping it handy, but has anyone noticed what they did to our dear friend, Wild Turkey Rye?

It's now 80 proof. Goddamit. Leave it to the major labels to screw up a great product.

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Is it still a Red Hook if you use Carpano instead of Punt e Mes? I have Carpano open (as well as a bottle of Dolin Rouge) but the bottle of Punt e Mes is not and I am hoping to avoid opening yet another vermouth until I use up the Dolin and the Carpano (which will likely serve as the primary "house" sweet vermouth for the evening). Can I add a dash of bitters to help balance it out if I use Carpano. Or is it "close enough"?

In addition to the Manhattan I am planning on the Greenpoint and Little Italy in addition to the Red Hook that also call for sweet vermouth. Any reason NOT to use Carpano in any of them?


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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