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Joe Blowe

All About Rye Whiskey (Part 1)

498 posts in this topic

I do agree that if the consumer doesn't care about this information and likes to drink what is in the bottle more power to him.

 

I don't know...especially with all the research that shows our perceptions of taste are heavily influenced by our preconceptions about cost, etc. I guess to test it we'd need to find someone out there who prefers Templeton to non-watered down MGP, and who's never heard the whole 'Made in Iowa for Capone' shtick.


Edited by KD1191 (log)

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

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I don't know...especially with all the research that shows our perceptions of taste are heavily influenced by our preconceptions about cost, etc. I guess to test it we'd need to find someone out there who prefers Templeton to non-watered down MGP, and who's never heard the whole 'Made in Iowa for Capone' shtick.

 

Tasting blind, whatever the spirit is, is always the best indicator to me. While I fancy myself as someone who is reasonably knowledgeable about spirits and who has at least started to develop an appreciation of spirits based on what is in the bottle that is not influenced by labels, cost and other markers of what is "good" and "bad" the truth is I am regularly wrong when it comes to identifying specific spirits (and sometimes even styles of spirits, such as a bourbon versus rye, a large distiller versus small distiller, even bottom shelf versus "top" shelf for example) when tasting blind.

 

It can be a truly humbling experience!


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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Tasting blind, whatever the spirit is, is always the best indicator to me. While I fancy myself as someone who is reasonably knowledgeable about spirits and who has at least started to develop an appreciation of spirits based on what is in the bottle that is not influenced by labels, cost and other markers of what is "good" and "bad" the truth is I am regularly wrong when it comes to identifying specific spirits (and sometimes even styles of spirits, such as a bourbon versus rye, a large distiller versus small distiller, even bottom shelf versus "top" shelf for example) when tasting blind.

 

It can be a truly humbling experience!

 

I agree that blind tasting is useful but IMO there is quite a difference between 'tasting' a spirit in with a bunch of others and sitting down to enjoy a glass of it. Sometimes something that seemed good in a tasting has disappointed later. But something that is crap in a tasting will usually also disappoint later, although it might mix well.


It's almost never bad to feed someone.

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I agree that blind tasting is useful but IMO there is quite a difference between 'tasting' a spirit in with a bunch of others and sitting down to enjoy a glass of it. Sometimes something that seemed good in a tasting has disappointed later. But something that is crap in a tasting will usually also disappoint later, although it might mix well.

 

True enough. I have reached the point where I can (usually) successfully keep the two apart although it is something of an effort for me. But I think tasting spirits blind (and as another example trying components of a cocktail independently in an effort to appreciate what each one brings to a drink) will almost certainly help you be able to enjoy it more when you just sit down to enjoy a glass of something. At least it does that for me!

 

But I have been called a wee bit obsessive about my hobbies and so I constantly have to make an effort to separate "tasting" and "enjoying" when it comes to spirits!

 

:rolleyes:

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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 don't know...especially with all the research that shows our perceptions of taste are heavily influenced by our preconceptions about cost, etc. I guess to test it we'd need to find someone out there who prefers Templeton to non-watered down MGP, and who's never heard the whole 'Made in Iowa for Capone' shtick.

 

 

Tasting blind, whatever the spirit is, is always the best indicator to me. While I fancy myself as someone who is reasonably knowledgeable about spirits and who has at least started to develop an appreciation of spirits based on what is in the bottle that is not influenced by labels, cost and other markers of what is "good" and "bad" the truth is I am regularly wrong when it comes to identifying specific spirits (and sometimes even styles of spirits, such as a bourbon versus rye, a large distiller versus small distiller, even bottom shelf versus "top" shelf for example) when tasting blind.

 

It can be a truly humbling experience!

 

That's very true in theory, but the intersection of people who don't care where their rye is made and the people willing to do a blind tasting to determine their favorite has to be awfully small. I would wager that very few people proclaiming they drink Templeton for the taste are making that proclamation from a place that involves choosing it blind, in which case the quasi-deceptive marketing is clearly an influence.

 

In most cases I'm a live and let live person, but the thing that bugs me about the instant case is when uneducated consumers (or dishonest marketing) lump distillers like Todd Leopold who are actually making the effort to craft a special rye into the same group as the folks who only know how to buy and market mass-produced product. It's exceedingly irksome.


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

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That's very true in theory, but the intersection of people who don't care where their rye is made and the people willing to do a blind tasting to determine their favorite has to be awfully small. I would wager that very few people proclaiming they drink Templeton for the taste are making that proclamation from a place that involves choosing it blind, in which case the quasi-deceptive marketing is clearly an influence.

 

In most cases I'm a live and let live person, but the thing that bugs me about the instant case is when uneducated consumers (or dishonest marketing) lump distillers like Todd Leopold who are actually making the effort to craft a special rye into the same group as the folks who only know how to buy and market mass-produced product. It's exceedingly irksome.

 

Preaching to the choir here! I suppose when I said that "I do agree that if the consumer doesn't care about this information and likes to drink what is in the bottle more power to him" I suppose what really meant was that if they are dumb enough to buy the hype and not learn a bit about what they are drinking then I don't feel at all sorry for them if they pay way too much for whiskey they could get elsewhere for less. In fact I would just as soon they buy "spirit" whiskey/vodka and leave the real whiskey alone! But I absolutely agree that that the label should clearly indicate what is in the bottle. But I can't make John Q. Public read it or even care.

 

I also wouldn't have a problem if there was some kind of practical way to take action against BS advertising. Of course that is needed for a lot more than whiskey and I don't see it happening anytime soon. 

 

After all, as everyone knows, us "guvmint" types can't find our ass with a both hands and a map pointing the way!

 

:blink:


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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Mini Willet rye tasting from a few nights ago, 5 year vs. 2 year. The 2-year is the first Willet-distilled rye in years, so it's pretty exciting stuff.

14882047828_742dbdee38_z.jpg

2 year (right)

Nose: vanilla, orange.

Tastes quite hot at first. It takes a few sips to get past this, but then it's great: vanilla, orange, leather, mint. A bit all over the place, but in a good way. Pretty fiery and almost immature at first, and then surprisingly deep and interesting. A very cool mix.

5 year

The nose is pretty faint. Mostly caramel.

Much more approachable. Tastes more sweet, much more tame. Develops into beautiful butterscotch and spice. Sadly for me this one has an acetone aftertaste, so it's not my favorite (I prefer the 4). Still, it's pretty solid.

A few nights later I tried to sip on Bulleit rye neat, just to see. But I could not finish my glass. I still love it for mixing, though.

14922313508_046b5336dc_z.jpg


Edited by FrogPrincesse (log)
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Mini Willet rye tasting from a few nights ago, 5 year vs. 2 year. The 2-year is the first Willet-distilled rye in years, so it's pretty exciting stuff.

14882047828_742dbdee38_z.jpg

2 year (right)

Nose: vanilla, orange.

Tastes quite hot at first. It takes a few sips to get past this, but then it's great: vanilla, orange, leather, mint. A bit all over the place, but in a good way. Pretty fiery and almost immature at first, and then surprisingly deep and interesting. A very cool mix.

5 year

The nose is pretty faint. Mostly caramel.

Much more approachable. Tastes more sweet, much more tame. Develops into beautiful butterscotch and spice. Sadly for me this one has an acetone aftertaste, so it's not my favorite (I prefer the 4). Still, it's pretty solid.

A few nights later I tried to sip on Bulleit rye neat, just to see. But I could not finish my glass. I still love it for mixing, though.

14922313508_046b5336dc_z.jpg

 

I put a pretty standard 4yo against the new 2yo rye early on and found much the same thing. I find that young green grainy notes tends to persist a bit more in the 2yo then you noted. The 2yo does has some intriguing potential but it needs some more time in the oven. Don't recall and acetone note on the 5yo Willett but it has been awhile so I guess I need to revisit. Of course they are all different barrels so it may not have any similarity to the one you have. I think the only 5yo I have left has never been opened as I tend to turn to the 4yo more often as it is generally easier to acquire.


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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Trying to decide if I should try a bottle of Rittenhouse(100 proof).

 

Currently, I mostly mix with Sazerac 6 yr old or Jim Beam Rye. I also have a bottle Willet single barrel 110 proof(4 or 5yr) and a couple high rye bourbons(Fighting Cock, Bulleit)

 

Thing is it seems the Rittenhouse is quite a budget bottle in the states, while here it aint cheap at $62 Comparitively:. Saz=$65, Beam=$20, Willet=$65

 

How different is the Rittenhouse from the others? Worth getting a bottle at that price, relative to the other bottles? Other ryes available are High West double rye=$82, High West Son of Bourye=$90, Town Branch=$62, Templeton Small Batch=$95

 

Mainly use for cocktails-Manhattans, Sazeracs, Old Pal, so on and so forth.

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Most people here are quite fond of Rittenhouse but unfortunately Rittenhouse does not do much for me, and I won't even mention marshmallows.  My favorite rye is Colonel E.H. Taylor, and I also like Whistlepig although Whistlepig is lighter (and something, maybe fruitier?) than the Taylor.

 

I have not tasted any of the other ryes you mention.

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Trying to decide if I should try a bottle of Rittenhouse(100 proof).

 

Currently, I mostly mix with Sazerac 6 yr old or Jim Beam Rye. I also have a bottle Willet single barrel 110 proof(4 or 5yr) and a couple high rye bourbons(Fighting Cock, Bulleit)

 

Thing is it seems the Rittenhouse is quite a budget bottle in the states, while here it aint cheap at $62 Comparitively:. Saz=$65, Beam=$20, Willet=$65

 

How different is the Rittenhouse from the others? Worth getting a bottle at that price, relative to the other bottles? Other ryes available are High West double rye=$82, High West Son of Bourye=$90, Town Branch=$62, Templeton Small Batch=$95

 

Mainly use for cocktails-Manhattans, Sazeracs, Old Pal, so on and so forth.

 

I like Rittenhouse better than Sazerac 6, but it's highly subjective and they are both excellent.

 

In your list, Willet 4 is my favorite and a great value compared to the rest. So I would stock up before it disappears. It's become very scarce here, so I reserve it for sipping.

 

High West double rye is great too. Compared to Rittenhouse, it feels less sweet and has more heat. It's fun for mixing as it has a lot of character. 

 

Bourye is good, but is much more bourbon than rye.

 

Lastly, I would not bother with Templeton "small batch" given the (current) price.  I am sure that the label (and price) will change after this lawsuit.


Edited by FrogPrincesse (log)

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Trying to decide if I should try a bottle of Rittenhouse(100 proof).

 

Currently, I mostly mix with Sazerac 6 yr old or Jim Beam Rye. I also have a bottle Willet single barrel 110 proof(4 or 5yr) and a couple high rye bourbons(Fighting Cock, Bulleit)

 

Thing is it seems the Rittenhouse is quite a budget bottle in the states, while here it aint cheap at $62 Comparitively:. Saz=$65, Beam=$20, Willet=$65

 

How different is the Rittenhouse from the others? Worth getting a bottle at that price, relative to the other bottles? Other ryes available are High West double rye=$82, High West Son of Bourye=$90, Town Branch=$62, Templeton Small Batch=$95

 

Mainly use for cocktails-Manhattans, Sazeracs, Old Pal, so on and so forth.

If you can get Willett for roughly the same price as Rittenhouse, then I would go for the Willett.

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Two new acquisitions. High West ryes. One aged in a Four Roses bourbon barrel and the other in a manhattan barrel

3c926b9d771f429d442ecbf92227395e.jpg

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Two new acquisitions. High West ryes. One aged in a Four Roses bourbon barrel and the other in a manhattan barrel

 

What's a "manhattan barrel"?

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What's a "manhattan barrel"?

A barrel used to store barrel aged Manhattans

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Trying to decide if I should try a bottle of Rittenhouse(100 proof).

 

Currently, I mostly mix with Sazerac 6 yr old or Jim Beam Rye. I also have a bottle Willet single barrel 110 proof(4 or 5yr) and a couple high rye bourbons(Fighting Cock, Bulleit)

 

Thing is it seems the Rittenhouse is quite a budget bottle in the states, while here it aint cheap at $62 Comparitively:. Saz=$65, Beam=$20, Willet=$65

 

How different is the Rittenhouse from the others? Worth getting a bottle at that price, relative to the other bottles? Other ryes available are High West double rye=$82, High West Son of Bourye=$90, Town Branch=$62, Templeton Small Batch=$95

 

Mainly use for cocktails-Manhattans, Sazeracs, Old Pal, so on and so forth.

Bottle of each + friends = taste, learn, have fun

 

ETA: I think Rittenhouse is the benchmark so well worth experiencing a bottle even if you decide you prefer something else.


Edited by haresfur (log)

It's almost never bad to feed someone.

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I like Rittenhouse better than Sazerac 6, but it's highly subjective and they are both excellent.

 

In your list, Willet 4 is my favorite and a great value compared to the rest. So I would stock up before it disappears. It's become very scarce here, so I reserve it for sipping.

 

High West double rye is great too. Compared to Rittenhouse, it feels less sweet and has more heat. It's fun for mixing as it has a lot of character. 

 

Bourye is good, but is much more bourbon than rye.

 

Lastly, I would not bother with Templeton "small batch" given the (current) price.  I am sure that the label (and price) will change after this lawsuit.

 

If you can get Willett for roughly the same price as Rittenhouse, then I would go for the Willett.

 

Yeah the Willett does seem to be the best relative value, so Im gonna get a few bottles to stash away while I can. The Templeton story is interesting, Im sure I wouldn't have shelled out the 95 anyway. Will put the High West on my wishlist.

 

 

 

 

Bottle of each + friends = taste, learn, have fun

 

ETA: I think Rittenhouse is the benchmark so well worth experiencing a bottle even if you decide you prefer something else.

 

From everything I read, that seems the case... I want to get a bottle. Good news for me is that I will have a local credit card next week that will allow me to shop on Taobao(aka Alibaba). I can get the Rittenhouse 10 bucks cheaper AND all booze across the board is around 20% cheaper AND there's a wider selection than at the nearby stores. Can't wait.


Edited by pto (log)

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I buy Rittenhouse to use exclusively in my winter hot drinks.  I mix it with either rum or with brandy.

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In your list, Willet 4 is my favorite and a great value compared to the rest. So I would stock up before it disappears. It's become very scarce here, so I reserve it for sipping.

 

 

Picked up another bottle of Willett, this one is 6yr / 115 proof.

 

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What a nice gift, the Willett. We were invited to cocktail hour on xmas eve at some friends where the food and drink is always fabulous. We finished off a bottle of Van Winkle Family Rye--I didn't look very hard at the label, but it just said Van Winkle, not Pappy Van Winkle. Apparently when the bottle was getting low our friend checked in with his favorite liquor guy, who just started laughing. Anyway, it was smooth and very delicious. I'm sure I've never had it before. I love rye! (Not relevant, but just singing his praises, he also gifted me with a bottle of Nocino, which I also swoon over.)

 

 

[Host's note:  To avoid an excessive load on our servers this topic has been split.  The discussion continues here]


Edited by lesliec Added host's note (log)

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