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Joe Blowe

All About Rye Whiskey (Part 1)

498 posts in this topic

hah, funny you mentioned Georgia Moon mbanu. I noticed te liqour store around the corner from me stocks it, is it worth picking up a bottle just to try? Would it be mixable? or not worth it? I hadnt seen it befor and could help but laugh at the "bottling." for anyone who hasnt seen it, it comes in this...

http://www.sixthseal.com/images/shine_on_g...orn_whiskey.jpg

peace,

B

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I hope this isn't a one off for Anchor, because, I believe they have created a new American classic.

Just tried this myself and am inclined to agree. The cool thing about it is that it's 100% rye malt (rather than the usual rye-corn-barley malt mashbill), aged in used oak barrels (rather than the standard new oak) in a climate closer to Scotland than to Kentucky--in other words, it breaks the mold in many ways. I'd love to see more whiskies doing that (Heaven Hill's excellent Bernheim wheat whiskey is another).


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

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What's Hotaling's going for at retail?


Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

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Sam,

It's the same price as Anchor's other whiskies, around $60 US.

~Erik


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Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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Just a fair warning kind of post.

If you've tried Anchor's other whiskies and don't like them, you probably won't like the Hotaling's Whiskey either.

A friend tried it, and even though I had warned him about the whiskey's pugilistic nose and initial impression, he was still was a bit put off. He did eventually enjoy it after adding a bit of water.

In any case, this whiskey was reserved from the first batch of whiskey that Anchor distilled, so perhaps future releases, (cross your fingers,) will be more subtle.

It was also released to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the great earthquake.

Hotaling's was a brand of whiskey made in San Francisco, whose warehouses inexplicably survived the quake and subsequent fire.

I particularly like the poem quoted on the back of the bottle:

'If, as they say, God spanked the town

For being over frisky,

Why did He burn the churches down

And save Hotaling's whiskey?'


---

Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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I gave Anchor Distilling's Old Potrero Single Malt Hotaling's Whiskey a small taste last night.

Another tidbit: Hotaling's should hit NYC around September/October.


Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

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Should you have any money left after purchasing the Rittenhouse 21 Year old rye, Sazerac will be releasing a new uncut, unfiltered Rye Whiskey as part of their Antique Collection at the end of September

It will be named Thomas H. Handy Sazerac after the bartender who allegedly first used Rye Whiskey in a Sazerac Cocktail.

Oh, by the way, the price for this should be in line with the rest of the Antique Collection, in the range of $50-60.


Edited by eje (log)

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Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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Another tidbit:  Hotaling's should hit NYC around September/October.

Hotaling's is already here in at LeNell's.

Also LeNell is going to be doing a private bottling of a 23 year old barrel proof rye sometime this fall once the label gets approved by the proper authorities.

Disclosure note: I don't work for LeNell but I wish I did. :biggrin:

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Should you have any money left after purchasing the Rittenhouse 21 Year old rye, Sazerac will be releasing a new uncut, unfiltered Rye Whiskey as part of their Antique Collection at the end of September

It will be named Thomas H. Handy Sazerac after the bartender who allegedly first used Rye Whiskey in a Sazerac Cocktail.

Oh, by the way, the price for this should be in line with the rest of the Antique Collection, in the range of $50-60.

Erik, do you know if that's going to be separate from the Sazerac 18 yr that they put out previously?

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Erik, do you know if that's going to be separate from the Sazerac 18 yr that they put out previously?

I asked the guy at Binny's specifically, and he said the Handy will be an addition to the line, and they will continue releasing the 18 year old as well.

When I asked about the age of the Handy, he replied he's heard that it will be a 10 to 12 year old Rye.


Edited by eje (log)

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Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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i like [Rittenhouse BIB] a lot too.  if only we could get it in PA...  come to think of it, if only i could get it in NJ or DE, either.  i haven't seen it either place.  where is this stuff sold?

This is now available by SLO in Pennsylvania. I called last week and there is a one case minimum order.

At one time , I would have considered a case of whiskey a good start to a weekend, but those days are gone. I am still looking to score a bottle of this and I know it is available in MD. I guess a trip south of the Mason Dixon Line is in order

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At one time , I would have considered a case of whiskey a good start to a weekend, but those days are gone.

Slacker.


Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

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Tried the Thomas H. Handy rye with a friend over last weekend.

Can't say I'm entirely convinced.

It's a very "hot" rye.

My friend suggested it might be nice, as it is like buying a bottle and a half of whiskey.

I dunno. At the same price point, I prefer the pre-diluted 18 year old Sazerac. Or at half the price the Sazerac Junior.

More detailed analysis is needed and a close comparison to the Saz Jr.


---

Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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I grabbed up a bottle of the Sazerac 18 year old 2006 edition at State Line Liquors in Elkton, MD. I also found Peychauds bitters there, the first place I have run across them despite looking for many moons. I picked up 3 bottles, then the very next day I found them in Baltimore. :rolleyes:

Back on topic, the Sazerac 18 is simply yummy, but at over $50 a bottle, it is not going to be my base rye. I did use it in a kick-ass Manhattan with Vya sweet vermouth though, just for S&G.

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Tried the Thomas H. Handy rye with a friend over last weekend.

Can't say I'm entirely convinced.

About two months ago I hosted a blind tasting of 18 different rye whiskies, including all three Sazerac bottlings. Details will be published in January, and I'll post additional info on my site, but for our panel at least, the Handy ranked quite high--three of the four panelists placed it among the top four whiskies, and I believe I ranked it second on my list (other brands and bottlings sampled included Hirsch, Rittenhouse 21-year, Black Maple Hill 23-year and two Old Potrero bottlings, along with standards like Old Overholt, Jim Beam, Rittenhouse 80- and 100-proof, Van Winkle, etc.). The Handy also ranked surprisingly higher than the Sazerac 18-year and the 6-year. Hot, yes, (for those unfamiliar with the bottling, it's cask strength), but sometimes it's nice to taste a whiskey that comes in like a fastball; it makes me respect the distiller a bit more, and whacks my humility back into its proper position. Plus, I can cut the whiskey to fit with a dribble of ice water.

Anyway, details to come in January, but the point of the whole post here is that, in a liquor cabinet stocked with leftovers from the tasting panel, the Handy is one of my favorites.


Paul Clarke

Seattle

The Cocktail Chronicles

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[...]

Hot, yes, (for those unfamiliar with the bottling, it's cask strength), but sometimes it's nice to taste a whiskey that comes in like a fastball; it makes me respect the distiller a bit more, and whacks my humility back into its proper position. Plus, I can cut the whiskey to fit with a dribble of ice water.

Anyway, details to come in January, but the point of the whole post here is that, in a liquor cabinet stocked with leftovers from the tasting panel, the Handy is one of my favorites.

At least it isn't the George T. Stagg Bourbon! If you really want a whack, give that one a try. It is over 140 proof this year.

But, yeah, I wonder if my initial reaction wasn't more about context. It was a bit early in the day for whiskey drinking. At least for me. Will definitely be going back to try it along with several other ryes.

I'll also look forward to your writeup on Cocktail Chronicles in January.

PS. You didn't say; but, did your tasting include any of the Kentucky Bourbon Distillers Vintage Ryes? I'm curious about them.


---

Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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Would be interested in trying the Handy if I can track it down. My current bottle is the Sazerac six year old. And I must say I was sort of underwhelmed by it.

I usually just have one bottle at a time of rye. The bottle I finished was one that does not seem to get a lot of respect but that I liked a lot. That is Pikesville.

I used the Sazerac to make a sazarac cocktail. Nothing special there.

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I thought I read somewhere that the laws defining Bourbon required it to be bottled at between 80 and 125 proof. Is this correct? If so, then how can this Stagg stuff have been bottled at 140 proof?

-Andy


Andy Arrington

Journeyman Drinksmith

Twitter--@LoneStarBarman

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Would be interested in trying the Handy if I can track it down. My current bottle is the Sazerac six year old. And I must say I was sort of underwhelmed by it.

I usually just have one bottle at a time of rye. The bottle I finished was one that does not seem to get a lot of respect but that I liked a lot. That is Pikesville.

I used the Sazerac to make a sazarac cocktail.  Nothing special there.

Bummer.

Are you a Manhattan drinker?

I really like the Sazerac 6 in a Manhattan. Also makes a mean old-fashioned.

To me, all the Buffalo Trace Ryes have similar flavor profiles. If you don't like the Sazerac 6, I wouldn't spend the $50 on the Handy.

But, you're right, Pikesville is a great rye, especially for the money. Its limited distribution makes it kind of easy to overlook, however. As far as I know, it is really only available in some limited pockets on the East Coast of the US.


---

Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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I was just in Baltimore last weekend, and saw, and to my shame passed over the Pikesville rye.

As I remember, it was a real bargain price. I will not make that mistake again.

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The New York Times Dining section this week is a drinks special, and included an article on experimental but unpopular drinks, and one on rye. The rye article is nice - Dave Wondrich was one of the tasters - and it discusses tasting notes of several aged ryes. Now, the article does mention that the rye staples (Old Overholt and Jim Beam) were good, but did not make the top ten. In fact, only the top 10 were listed. I was wondering if the esteemed Mr. Wondrich could release the tasting notes for the bottom five. I ask, because the prices on those preium boys are a bit rich for my blood, and the Rittenhouse, Sazerac, and Wild Turkey are not available to me. At any rate, the articles are quite good - check them out!

(Although I must admit, I felt a pang of fear, as hard to find ryes may become harder to find. However, hopefully it also means not so hard to find ryes that I can't get will become easier to find!)

Rye Article

Experiment Article

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It was a fascinating article...didn't realize that Ryes were that rare.

One pedantic caveat: my understanding was that the original Sazerac (cognac) was in fact made with cognac. However, within about 20 years (1880 or so) rye became standard in the drink.

(btw, cognac does make a damn fine Sazerac)


Edited by Nathan (log)

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[...]In fact, only the top 10 were listed.  I was wondering if the esteemed Mr. Wondrich could release the tasting notes for the bottom five.  I ask, because the prices on those preium boys are a bit rich for my blood, and the Rittenhouse, Sazerac, and Wild Turkey are not available to me.

They mention the Old Potrero 18th Century, (although, technically not a rye whiskey,) the Beam, and the Old Overholt as whiskeys that didn't make the top 10. Be interesting to know what the other 2 were. I would guess one of the others might have been the 80 proof Rittenhouse?

If they couldn't get the Sazerac 18, I doubt they would have been able to get the Thomas Handy.


---

Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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Pikesville is only avalable in Maryland. I bought 3 cases of it when I was there last time. The Sazeracs are all exelent the Handy Is 8 years old. Unfortunatley the 18 year old gives me some horrible allergic reaction. I like the older ryes and I like the young ryes. I'm a slut for rye. I have so many ryes in my collection I have all listed in the NY Times article. I find the bigest difference between older and younger wiskies is the amount of oak in the flavor the older the whiskey the more reaction there has been with the char and the oak more tannins and more creasotes from the char which creates more sweetness and woodsy phenolic flavors, and more lactones are created which give a creamy toffee flavor. I hope that all these companies will make more ryes. Ryes are comming back and are on the verge of a major comeback. I think It is high time that the distillers start expanding there distribution channells and start making more Rye! :biggrin:

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Pikesville is only avalable in Maryland.   

and London !

As I type I'm enjoying a Pikesville/Punt e Mes Manhattan (with Regans OB , a tiny splash of Maraschino and a slightly larger splash of Triple Sec) - I can't recollect whose suggestion the last two ingredients were , but they really add something.

Your certainly right about the creamy backtaste to the Rye - quite different to the Bourbon I've been mainly using for Manhattans.

Gethin

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