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Joe Blowe

All About Rye Whiskey (Part 1)

498 posts in this topic

The michters 10yr rye is awesome

I love the US1 as well, but the 10yr is really a jem. Your right about the price though.

Try the kentucky vintage 21yr rye if you see it in a bar. great whiskey. I've tried the 23yr and i thought it was left in the barrel too long.

I don't know if we need that many more ryes on the market. We need the ryes that are avalible to be avalible in every market when ever they are ordered.

AND WE SHOULD NOT NEED TO CARRY RAIN VODKA TO GET A HOLD OF SAZERAC ON A REGULAR BASIS!!!

Not all markets are like that, but here in LA it is. Our bar is a whiskey bar with a heavy rye collection. 21 different bottles. The problem is that it took us a long time to get to that. I don't see how a new bar starting up in this city could get more then 5 or 6 to start out with.

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The michters 10yr rye is awesome

I love the US1 as well, but the 10yr is really a jem.  Your right about the price though.

Try the kentucky vintage 21yr rye if you see it in a bar.  gre

i'll have to look for both the 10yo and 23yo at a bar..not sure where i'll find them, i am lucky enough to find a bar that carries a bourbon other than Makers around my area...never mind any type of rye...("oh you want canadian club or segrams 7???"....never mind i reply sulkishly...)

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I hear ya. When a bar does have basic rye, it tends to start with Overholt, then go to Jim Beam and/or Wild Turkey 101. Of the three i think Wild Turkey wins hands down. Not as complex as whiskeys in the next level of quality above it, but drinkable as hell. Plus the proof makes it great for classics.

I really hope Ri1 gets a new bottle. Jim Beam is not helping the bartenders of america bring back rye by giving it a vodka bottle. Put it into something people can associate with history and age. Your never gonna turn a red bull-vodka drinker on to rye in cocktails with a flashy package(well, you night be able to actually, but please don't, we want them drinking in overcrowed clubs, not in our bars).

Thomas H. Handy Old fashioned anyone?! :)

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I like Wild Turkey rye as much as the next guy. But Old Overholt is pretty awesome stuff. Jim Beam rye? Meh.


Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

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I like Wild Turkey rye as much as the next guy.  But Old Overholt is pretty awesome stuff.  Jim Beam rye?  Meh.

Agreed, Old Overholt is my favorite rye for a Sazerac.


"A woman once drove me to drink and I never had the decency to thank her" - W.C. Fields

Thanks, The Hopry

http://thehopry.com/

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True. Jim Beam is the only real disapointment of the 3. Overholt Manhattans with Antica are pretty amazing for the buck. I dig using a vermouth that's more expensive then the rye.

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True.  Jim Beam is the only real disapointment of the 3.  Overholt Manhattans with Antica are pretty amazing for the buck.  I dig using a vermouth that's more expensive then the rye.

I dunno, calling the Jim Beam Rye a "disappointment" is kind of over stating it. It's a perfectly fine rye for Old-Fashioneds and Manhattans.

It's not my favorite, but in no way is it a poor quality spirit.

Actually, that's my favorite part about the Rye category, there really aren't any bad choices, and most are pretty fairly priced. I've not yet tried one of the bunch that can't make a perfectly good old-fashioned.


---

Erik Ellestad

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

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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In Pennsylvania the liquor is sold only in the state run LCB stores. I was in yesterday and I need a bottle or rye. My choices were exactly one: Jim Beam. There are many I like better but unless I want to travel 35 miles across the border it is what i can get.

My question is this: When you walk in to your local liquor store what sort of rye selection can you expect to see? And I do mean walk in and pick up, not a special order or a long trip to a special store.

Thanks

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In Pennsylvania the liquor is sold only in the state run LCB stores. I was in yesterday and I need a bottle or rye. My choices were exactly one: Jim Beam. There are many I like better but unless I want to travel 35 miles across the border it is what i can get.

My question is this: When you walk in to your local liquor store what sort of rye selection can you expect to see? And I do mean walk in and pick up, not a special order or a long trip to a special store.

Thanks

Most basic liquor stores in LA won't have any, but if they do it will be Wild Turkey 101 rye or Jim Beam. Better stores have Sazerac. The best only have obsurce rye's on the shelf long enough for someone who knows what they are too see them.

Rye is the new vodka. Execpt it takes years to make and tastes great..

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Most of the liquor stores in Chicago have Wild Turkey Rye 101* and Jim Beam Rye 80* - the Wild Turkey is the better of the two IMO. The good stores carry Rittenhouse Bonded 100* which is my favorite for the money - around $13 if you can believe it. Old Olverholt 80* also works for a nice Sazerac (as does the Rittenhouse 80*) but I like a higher proof spirit for my old fashioneds and manhattans. Then there are a host of more expensive choices like Sazerac and Ri... these are fine spirits, but I can't help feeling like more money is being spent on the bottle than the contents. I know there are others out there, but these are the only ones I've purchased.


_________________________

Dave Kaye

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In Pennsylvania the liquor is sold only in the state run LCB stores. I was in yesterday and I need a bottle or rye. My choices were exactly one: Jim Beam. There are many I like better but unless I want to travel 35 miles across the border it is what i can get.

My question is this: When you walk in to your local liquor store what sort of rye selection can you expect to see? And I do mean walk in and pick up, not a special order or a long trip to a special store.

Oh... I feel your pain. I just moved to CA from Pittsburgh. Going to the border wasn't even an option for me. I just had to deal with the PA LCB. Often I checked out their website inventory to see if there was a local store with Overholt or WT101, and then went there to buy 2-3 bottles (Beam Rye is ok, but my least favorite of the readily available ryes).

Here in CA, the local grocery store has Beam, Overholt, WT101 and both Rittenhouse 80 and 100 -- choice bliss. For me, I just like having one of the 100 proofs and then either Overholt or Rittenhouse 80 available. They're cheap and tasty.

I complained to PA about their rye selection (at the store and via email) for 3 years. They always told me that ryes other than Beam didn't sell very well. Then why did a shipment of Overholt or WT101 sell out in a week (and Beam sit on the shelf forever)? They just weren't even aware of what they were selling. (Actually, they probably don't know the difference between rye and Beam bourbon. I'm sure that Beam bourbon outsells Overholt and WT rye, but not Beam rye. They probably then just looked at the numbers for "Beam" compared to Wild Turkey, etc.)

Thank goodness I'm in a state with privatized liquor sales...


Edited by lostmyshape (log)

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In Pennsylvania the liquor is sold only in the state run LCB stores. I was in yesterday and I need a bottle or rye. My choices were exactly one: Jim Beam. There are many I like better but unless I want to travel 35 miles across the border it is what i can get.

My question is this: When you walk in to your local liquor store what sort of rye selection can you expect to see? And I do mean walk in and pick up, not a special order or a long trip to a special store.

Thanks

Here in Ohio we have a similar situation, the State of Ohio controls the sale of spirits. The Rye situation has gotten a little better, with Old Overholt & Beam having been available for some time, and Wild Turkey's Russel Reserve & Beam's new Ri now available. Ohio prices are ridiculously expensive too boot.

Fortunately, I live in Cincinnati and the Northern Kentucky suburbs are part of our metropolitan area. At the two larger stores in Kentucky I can find both Rittenhouse bottelings (80 & 100), Wild Turkey 101, Russel's Reserve Rye, Beam & Overholt, Beam's Ri, Sazerac 6 yr & 18 yr, Templeton Rye, Kentucky Bourbon Distiller's 23 yr Rye, Michters 8, 10 & 12 yr, Hirsch 21 & 22 yr, Black Maple Hill 18 & 23 yr, Hudson Manhattan Rye, Van Winkle’s Family Reserve Rye (when it's in stock) and Pikesville Maryland Rye. And Kentucky has good prices as well!


Edited by CincyCraig (log)

During lunch with the Arab leader Ibn Saud, when he heard that the king’s religion forbade smoking and alcohol, Winston Churchill said: "I must point out that my rule of life prescribed as an absolutely sacred rite the smoking of cigars and also the drinking of alcohol before, after, and if need be during all meals and in the intervals between them." Ibn Saud relented and the lunch went on with both alcohol & cigars.

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I'm currently on a quest to find the whiskey bars in the US with the largest rye selections. At Seven Grand we now have 23 different bottlings, and we are always looking for new ones. What are some places with comparible numbers? If i'm ever in a city that gets mentioned, I know where i'm heading after i get off the plane.

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West End Tavern in Boulder, CO.

Had the most of the stuff I can think of, including the Antique Collection.

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I'm currently on a quest to find the whiskey bars in the US with the largest rye selections.  At Seven Grand we now have 23 different bottlings, and  we are always looking for new ones.

What's your list? I admit to being somewhat surprised that there are as many as 23 different bottlings of rye whiskey. I assume most of these are of the high-end expensive sipping variety?

Really, what we lack is more variety in mixing ryes.


Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

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I'm currently on a quest to find the whiskey bars in the US with the largest rye selections.  At Seven Grand we now have 23 different bottlings, and  we are always looking for new ones.

What's your list? I admit to being somewhat surprised that there are as many as 23 different bottlings of rye whiskey. I assume most of these are of the high-end expensive sipping variety?

Really, what we lack is more variety in mixing ryes.

Jim Beam

Old Overholt

Pikesville

Wild Turkey 101

Rittenhouse 80

Rittenhouse 101

Sazerac

Ri 1

WT Russels Reserve 6yr

Michters Small Batch

Van Winkle 13yr

Thomas H. Handy Sazerac Cask Strength

Sazerac 18yr

Hudson Manhattan Rye

Old Potrero 18th Century Spirit

Old Potrero Straight Rye

Michters 10yr

Kentucky Vintage 21yr

Kentucky Vintage 23yr

Hirsh 22yr

Black Maple Hill 23yr

Old Potrero Hotalings

Rittenhouse 23yr

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Southwark in Philly has these Ryes listed on their website, which looks like it hasn't been updated in a while.

http://www.southwarkrestaurant.com/main.cfm?id=cocktails

Black Maple Hill 23 year

Hirsch 12 year Canadian

Isaiah Morgan unaged

Michter's 10 year

Old Overholt

Old Potrero Hotalings

Sazerac 18 year

Thomas H. Handy

Wild Turkey

Black Maple Hill 18 year

Hirsch 10 year Canadian

Hirsch 13 year

Hirsch 21 year

Jim Beam

Michter's US-1

Old Potrero 18th Century

Pikesville Supreme

Rittenhouse 100º

Rittenhouse 21 year

Rittenhouse 23 year

Russell's Reserve

Rye One

Sazerac 6 year

Tuthilltown Manhattan Rye


"Wives and such are constantly filling up any refrigerator they have a

claim on, even its ice compartment, with irrelevant rubbish like

food."" - Kingsley Amis

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That's a great list. I'll be there if i'm ever in Philly, thats for sure. Is the Hirsh Canadian rye series straight rye or is it like other Canadian whisky, lacking a majority grain? We've thought about getting them but i assumed they didn't contain 51% rye. How's the flavor?

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Interesting lists. In the sub-$25/bottle range that is appropriate for mixology, we have something like:

Jim Beam

Old Overholt

Pikesville

Wild Turkey

Rittenhouse

I only count Rittenhouse once, since the two proofs are the same product with different amounts of water. Discounting Jim Beam rye, which I don't think is very good, that leaves us with 4. In NYC, it's three since we can't get Pikesville (which doesn't seem to be distributed very widely),

Just above that at around $30/bottle are:

Sazerac

Michter's US1

I sure wish we had a couple more quality ryes at around 20 bucks a fifth.


Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

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Interesting lists.  In the sub-$25/bottle range that is appropriate for mixology, we have something like:

Jim Beam

Old Overholt

Pikesville

Wild Turkey

Rittenhouse

I only count Rittenhouse once, since the two proofs are the same product with different amounts of water.  Discounting Jim Beam rye, which I don't think is very good, that leaves us with 4.  In NYC, it's three since we can't get Pikesville (which doesn't seem to be distributed very widely),

Just above that at around $30/bottle are:

Sazerac

Michter's US1

I sure wish we had a couple more quality ryes at around 20 bucks a fifth.

Around here the Sazerac hovers around $25 so it's still priced for mixing but I've been thinking about this lately; when it comes to Bourbon in the under $30 range, there are only a handful of different ones that are commonly mentioned on this board as cocktail spirits, though there are at least 100 different bottlings on the market. It seems the ratio of quality 'mixing' ryes to all ryes is about the same as quality 'mixing' bourbon to all bourbon. It's just that there are a lot fewer ryes to begin with. That said, I think it's sad and unfortunate that the spirits producers think that focusing on high priced sippers is the way to go, at the exclusion of something cocktail-appropriate. The refrain of Bonded Overholt hardly needs repeating, but the fact that it still doesn't exist and Ri1 does is highly indicative of the pattern that appears to be developing (especially in light of the fact that Bonded Overholt would require nothing more than a reprint of the label and a change in setting on the bottling apparatus). Similarly, the joke that 'Rye is the new vodka' suddenly isn't so funny anymore when Beam releases overpriced and underwhelming whiskey in a slick bottle with lots of ad press about how 'superpremium' it is. To me, both of these trends sort of go against what attracted the cocktail crowd to rye to begin with.

Not trying to hate on Ri1 or Jim Beam, but it's something that has been on my mind lately.


Andy Arrington

Journeyman Drinksmith

Twitter--@LoneStarBarman

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You may be right that the number of mixing ryes is proportional the number of total ryes. Although I don't get the impression that the vast majority of bourbons are in the high-priced category. Perhaps the opposite. With bourbon, I get the impression that many of them are "extra aged" or "premium" versions of lower priced bourbons that the distiller already makes, rather than being designed from the ground up as higher priced/extra aged spirits.

In NYC at $30 or under in retail and at reasonable quality for mixing we have Jim Beam, Wild Turkey, Maker's Mark, Four Roses, Buffalo Trace, Knob Creek, Woodford Reserve, Bulleit, Old Grand Dad, Elijah Craig, Elmer T. Lee, Old Forester, Evan Williams, W. L. Weller, etc.


Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

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You may be right that the number of mixing ryes is proportional the number of total ryes. Although I don't get the impression that the vast majority of bourbons are in the high-priced category.

Sorry I didn't mean to imply that at all, merely that they weren't "quality mixing spirits". Wether that means that it is too pricey or too bland, distinctive, sweet, or crappy to make cocktails with differs on a case-by-case basis. And this doesn't mean that the whiskey doesn't have other merits, even if it's a low-end one, merely that one of it's merits is not that it makes great cocktails. Jim Beam Rye is the same way in some regard; it is not awful, and can be pleasant by itself or in simple highballs, it just doesn't have the presence to work well in cocktails. Being priced similarly to Overholt makes the choice an easy one. Many Bourbons fall into this same category.


Edited by thirtyoneknots (log)

Andy Arrington

Journeyman Drinksmith

Twitter--@LoneStarBarman

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Interesting lists.  In the sub-$25/bottle range that is appropriate for mixology, we have something like:

Jim Beam

Old Overholt

Pikesville

Wild Turkey

Rittenhouse

I only count Rittenhouse once, since the two proofs are the same product with different amounts of water.  Discounting Jim Beam rye, which I don't think is very good, that leaves us with 4.  In NYC, it's three since we can't get Pikesville (which doesn't seem to be distributed very widely),

Just above that at around $30/bottle are:

Sazerac

Michter's US1

I sure wish we had a couple more quality ryes at around 20 bucks a fifth.

The 5 in Sam's first list is what I would LOVE to see on the shelf of my PA LCB store when I walk in. We don't get Pikesville or Rittenhouse distributed in PA. That leaves us with three, which I could live with for my mixing rye selection. I can easily get Pikesville in Maryland, and it is perhaps my favorite of the bunch. I like Overholt and the Wild Turkey has the advantage of being 101 proof. Rittenhouse is a tough get even at the places I go to south of the border. All the real high end sipping stuff is great and one of those once in a while would be a treat, I just want something that I can make a good Manhattan with.

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The refrain of Bonded Overholt hardly needs repeating, but the fact that it still doesn't exist and Ri1 does is highly indicative of the pattern that appears to be developing (especially in light of the fact that Bonded Overholt would require nothing more than a reprint of the label and a change in setting on the bottling apparatus). Similarly, the joke that 'Rye is the new vodka' suddenly isn't so funny anymore when Beam releases overpriced and underwhelming whiskey in a slick bottle with lots of ad press about how 'superpremium' it is. To me, both of these trends sort of go against what attracted the cocktail crowd to rye to begin with.

Not trying to hate on Ri1 or Jim Beam, but it's something that has been on my mind lately.

So wait, is Bonded Old Overholt no longer being produced? My local stores have quite a bit, so I'd consider grabbing a few bottles.

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