Rye

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Rye

Unread postby TrueBarrel » Thu Oct 14, 2004 11:54 am

Ok, I'll kick off the Rye forum. My daily "slurping" rye is WT. I also always have on hand the Saz and the VWFR 13. Just got my Saz '04 (haven't tried it yet) and still have couple of bottles each of the '02 and'03. Down to my last half-bottle of ORVW Old Time 12 Rye. Man, I wish I could find more of that; if I had to pick one Rye to drink for the rest of my life, it'd be the Old Time 12 - for me, it simply defines rye. I can tolerate in a pinch but generally don't keep on hand JB and Old Overholt.

Because someone is sure to mention that VWFR "tastes too much like bourbon," I'll state MHO that the VWFR 13, while it may have some "bourbon-like" elements, cannot seriously be confused for bourbon.

Anyone have any suggestions on other good, generally-available ryes to try?

How's Michter's and Rittenhouse?
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Unread postby Mark » Thu Oct 14, 2004 6:40 pm

I've never had the Rittenhouse, or if I have I don't remember it. I have had the Michter's 4yo rye and thought it was ok but not a complete standout. I heard that they have raised the price and if it is by a lot, I don't know how worth it it would be for over $30 when you have VWFRR and others right around that price range. They make a 10yo rye as well but that is now over $50. I heard good things about it over a year ago but who knows how these new batches are... If anyone tries them please let us know.

For me, my personal favorite ryes are Sazerac 18yo, Van Winkle Family Reserve Rye 13yo and a recent addition that came as a shocker is The Classic Cask 21 yo. (They now have a 22yo out as well) I along with Bob was very very impressed with it. We found it to really coat the mouth completely and have a spicy yet somewhat sweet taste in the mouth. We tried the 21yo and honestly can say that the 22 yo may actually impart even more of the characteristics that made it a very special rye.

If anyone would like to read notes I made for the 4yo Michters Rye just type michters in the database/whiskey reviews page and click until the 2nd page... That's the 4yo rye. Also, if anyone else has tried a rye not reviewed give a shot at writing some quick notes. (only registered users can do so) I've been getting more into ryes lately and would love to hear everyone’s opinions on different ones. :cheers:
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Unread postby Strayed » Thu Oct 14, 2004 7:04 pm

TrueBarrel,

I always love a little bit of irony; how great is this to start a bourbon forum with a discussion of rye whiskey? I love bourbon; I suspect we all do. But I believe there wouldn't be any bourbon, as we know it, if it hadn't been for the success of American rye whiskey.

I absolutely agree with you about ORVW12 Old Time. It never fails to amaze me how a man whose father and grandfather specialized in wheated bourbon, whose family's distillery never made anything BUT wheated bourbon, could bring us the fineset RYE whiskey ever made :salute:

I love the Sazerac rye, but believe it or not, I think my next favorite to Old Time is (the new) Michter's. That may be because the bottle I have is from when Julian Van Winkle was doing it. The current version (and I don't know how to tell them apart) is Even Kuhlsveen's selections. I enjoy both, but I think Julian has better stock to pick from.

Rittenhouse is from Heaven Hill. I don't care much for the 80° version but the 100° isn't bad at all.
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Unread postby tlsmothers » Thu Oct 14, 2004 11:21 pm

I agree with Mark and Bob, the Classic Cask 22 is quite lovely and not overly woody which is what I expected. It's a great bargain, IMHO, compared to others like Black Maple Hill 18 year at $95.

The Michter's ryes are nice but are overpriced, even more now. I just got hit with a $4/bottle price increase, putting the 4 year at $29. The Michter's 10 is at $60 which is a crime. I don't know who these folks think they are fooling.

Tried the Pikesville for the first time thanks to a kind gift from a dgonano at the Festival. We've been enjoying that quite a bit.

I, of course, love the VW, too, but I only have the 13 around. My understanding is that this whiskey wasn't made under a Van Winkle, but purchased stash from elsewhere. Nevertheless, an excellent selection, and I agree that with such seductive wheated bourbons, it's quite something that the VW label also wins our hearts with a rye, as well, although it's not very accessible these days. Hardly any to be found.

I find the JB rye medicinal in an unpleasant way. The Old Overholt is nice and soft compared to all the others I've tried against it. Sazerac rocks! And one of these days soon I should have my hands on some Fleischman's if my devious plan comes to fruition. :twisted:
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Unread postby dgonano » Sat Oct 16, 2004 6:08 pm

The new 10 yr Michter's is supposidely 20 yr old rye. Too costly to change the label. You can differentiate it from the earlier version by the bottling location on the rear label( old-Lawrenceburg or new-Bardstown).

Mike Veach knows more about this than I , but Old Time Rye came from Pikesville stock.

We tasted some of the Pikesville( old Maryland version ) at Howie's and it it was excellent, with a nice minty and fruity taste.

Otherwise it's VWFRR for sipping, Old Overholt for sazeracs, and Pikesville (current) for highballs,etc.

I also have bottles of Black Maple Hill( new and old ) which I haven't tried but I,m getting tired of looking at them.
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Unread postby tlsmothers » Sat Oct 16, 2004 8:22 pm

The new 10 yr Michter's is supposidely 20 yr old rye. Too costly to change the label. You can differentiate it from the earlier version by the bottling location on the rear label( old-Lawrenceburg or new-Bardstown).


Interesting. I hadn't heard that. Well, that would justify the price more, but it's a bit lame to not change a label. That's sorta like saying, "Yeah, I know the wine's vintage says 2001, but it's really 2002. We just couldn't afford a new label."
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Unread postby Mark » Sat Oct 16, 2004 8:32 pm

tlsmothers wrote:
The new 10 yr Michter's is supposidely 20 yr old rye. Too costly to change the label. You can differentiate it from the earlier version by the bottling location on the rear label( old-Lawrenceburg or new-Bardstown).


Interesting. I hadn't heard that. Well, that would justify the price more, but it's a bit lame to not change a label. That's sorta like saying, "Yeah, I know the wine's vintage says 2001, but it's really 2002. We just couldn't afford a new label."


No crap. Especially when The Classic Cask 21 & 22 yo's are right around the same price. If the Michter's were labeled a 20 year product and placed next to the Classic Cask people would have a true choice to make. But pricing them the same and labeling the Michter's at half the age... You can't depend on selling bottles because they carry a 'legendary' name but so long.
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Unread postby Strayed » Sun Oct 17, 2004 12:04 am

Then there's Sazerac 18-year-old rye.
Let's see now, Made in Spring 1984 - Bottled in Fall 2004.
That sure looks like 21 summers to me.
$39.95 (or less)
Thanks, Mark Brown and the gang at Buffalo Trace!!
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Unread postby Stoopsie » Sun Oct 17, 2004 6:40 am

I do love rye whiskey and as of right now favorite pour is the new Sazerac (21 summers old?). It comes in a convenient 3 pack for sharing.

But if you want to talk about nirvana in a bottle you must try the Maryland Pikesville rye that Dave brought that night. I had to sit down so I could thoroughly enjoy both pours from that bottle. Thanks King David that was one of the pinnacles of that night.

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Unread postby dgonano » Sun Oct 17, 2004 12:48 pm

I'll hold on to the Maryland rye for our future tastings. Thanks Howie for the kind words.

In reference to the Michter's rye, Drew Kulsveen posted in the SB.com forum that the whiskey came from 1983-1984 stock. The private owner already had labels from the first bottling and didn't want to spring for new labels.
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Unread postby Strayed » Sun Oct 17, 2004 1:25 pm

Yes, thanks Dave. That was everything Howie said and more. Now I'm fascinated about the connection with ORVW Old Time.
Julian insists that the only difference between that and the Family Reserve (13-year-old) is one more year of age, but I ain't
buyin' it. You can fool some of the people all the time and you can fool me plenty of times, but those are just not the same
rye whiskey. The Family Reserve is pretty much certainly Glenmore rye, but I never thought the Old Time was. It doesn't
taste like Pikesville, either, but then the Pikesville wasn't 12 years old.

"So," says John, doing his best Rod Serling impression (not so easy for a short, fat, old bald guy who doesn't smoke),
"Submitted here for your approval, a puzzle of origins; a Darwinnian dilemma to be explored and enjoyed by friends under
the warm influence of fine rye whiskey, as they sit in the neon glow of the Mark's Bourbon Enthusiast sign, in a cozy bar,
tucked away in an obscure corner of..." (well, I guess you know the rest of the line)


(1) The Pikesville I'm comparing with was bottled ~1980, labelled as 4 years old, and distilled in Maryland.
(2) The Old Time rye's label (from Lawrenceburg, of course) identifies it as Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey.

What I need to know, maybe from Mike or maybe from one of y'all with some beverage alcohol legal background, is this...
I understand that if a Kentucky bottling company bottles stock distilled in Maryland it can't be labeled "Kentucky". But if
a licensed Kentucky distiller purchases dumped and tanked stock from another Kentucky distiller does that same law apply?

In other words, the truth of this particular rumor aside, is it actually illegal to state "Kentucky Straight Rye" on the label
of whiskey that was made by Pikesville (in Maryland) and then sold to Glenmore (in Kentucky), before being purchased
from Glenmore for bottling by Van Winkle (also in Kentucky)?
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Unread postby Strayed » Sun Oct 17, 2004 1:30 pm

Concerning not wanting to obtain new labels...

Of course you know this, but lest other readers get the idea you're only talking about the cost of printing up some labels, it just ain't that simple.

One of the (many) things I learned when we were together at Howie's last month was what a hassle getting a new beverage alcohol label can be. I think it was Jim Crone (Majestic Distillery in Baltimore) who pointed out that every detail on a liquor label has to go through a federal approval process (and I think another one for each state where you'll be selling; certainly the controlled states) and changing even one thing (like the age) means going through the whole process all over again.

:roll:
Last edited by Strayed on Sun Oct 17, 2004 1:39 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Unread postby dgonano » Sun Oct 17, 2004 1:35 pm

I didn't mean to confuse anyone. I believe Mike V. said it was from Pikesville stock that UD made when they owned the label. Thus it was distilled in KY. Let's hope Mike can further add to this assumption.
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Unread postby dgonano » Sun Oct 17, 2004 1:41 pm

In regards to the Michter's John is correct. The legal process for changing the year on the label isn't as simple as it seems. That being said the Classic Cask series certainly goes through that process unlees they had various labels made up in the beginning.
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Unread postby Strayed » Sun Oct 17, 2004 1:47 pm

That would have been made after the 1980 bottle of Pikesville that I have or prolly any of the ones you have. My bottle of Pikesville, besides saying "Maryland Rye" also states "Distilled in Maryland". Was there a period, between 1980 and when Heaven Hill bought the label, when they were bottling Kentucky rye? If so, (1) do you have and example? and (2) was is still labelled as Pikesville Maryland Rye, or had it already changed to Pikesville Supreme before Heaven Hill?
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