Old Potrero

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Old Potrero

Unread postby tlsmothers » Wed Mar 02, 2005 2:29 am

I'm having an Old Potrero tasting this Sat at the store from noon to midnight. From 7-9pm, distillery rep will be around and we'll have ribs and give lessons on making manhattan cocktails. If you are around NYC, come out and hang out with me for some free rye and ribs. I've only really tasted these two ryes side by side at WhiskyFest so I'm eager to taste them with a bit of a cleaner palate this weekend so I can post my thoughts here.
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Re: Old Potrero

Unread postby angelshare » Wed Mar 02, 2005 2:48 pm

tlsmothers wrote: If you are around NYC, come out and hang out with me for some free rye and ribs.


We won't be in NYC, but I'm intrigued by the idea of having rye and ribs! Two great tastes that go great together?

What kind of ribs are you having?
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Unread postby tlsmothers » Thu Mar 03, 2005 10:29 pm

My rib "master" usually makes smoked pork riblets with an apricot glaze. They are lip smackin' good.
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Unread postby Mark » Thu Mar 03, 2005 10:41 pm

Damn, this all sounds SO good LeNell! WIsh I could make it especially since its on a Saturday but Stacy and I are going to PA with my parents for the weekend... Hitting all the outlet stores up there. Good luck, hope you have a great turnout and sell alot of booze! :D
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Unread postby Dave » Fri Mar 04, 2005 12:57 am

I've ordered some Old Potrero from a local importer. This is a completely NEW experience... Up until a year ago, we were restricted to what the GOV"t brought in. Laws are getting a bit more relaxed (although the GOV'T still takes avg. 110% markup) so specialty retailers can do private orders. I'm hoping Anchor has some to sell right now 'cause it's one spirit I'd really like to try. If I was closer to NY I'd be there in a flash! I'd be particularly interested in tasting the 18t cent. style. PLEASE PLEASE take tasting notes and DO SHARE! :)
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Unread postby Mark » Fri Mar 04, 2005 5:30 am

Dave wrote:I'd be particularly interested in tasting the 18t cent. style. PLEASE PLEASE take tasting notes and DO SHARE! :)


I haven't still had the 19th century style but the 18th I did have and all I can say is "scotch-scotch-scotch" While it may have been for some people who enjoy that scotchy taste it wasn't for me...
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Unread postby Mike » Fri Mar 04, 2005 4:41 pm

Last week, I asked my liquor store if he could get some Old Potrero single malt rye whiskey for me. I like everything Fritz Maytag at Anchor Brewing makes, so much so that I went out of my way to tour his brewery in San Francisco a few years ago. His Old Foghorn barley wine is one of the world's best beers in my humble opinion. So when I saw that Old Potrero was his product, I knew that I wanted to give it a try.

Today I went by the liquor store and, lo, it was there on the shelf. My liquor store came through again! I bought it and am now tasting it. I like the stuff a lot! At 123.5 proof it is strong stuff, but I didn't know it at my first taste, and was surprised when I saw it on the bottle. I haven't made friends with it enough yet to classify all the smells and tastes, but I will work on it and maybe try my hand at a review for the first time.

I will buy more of this whiskey!!
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Unread postby Brewer » Fri Mar 04, 2005 7:37 pm

I love Anchor's brews, including Old Foghorn, but never have taken a liking to Old Potrero.
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Unread postby Mike » Fri Mar 04, 2005 9:50 pm

I have concluded (will wonders never cease) that the aroma and taste that I like is, of all things...........RYE. Imagine that, from a rye malt.

I guess I have never experienced rye in such a concentrated way before. Nevertheless, I find this whiskey to be smooth and distinctive tasting, a bit of a change of pace.

Also, I confess that I have a serious shortcoming when it comes to being objective about taste. Because I like Anchor beers, and respect the owner for his character (not that I have met or know him personally), I am probably prone to give whatever Mr. Maytag does 'bonus' points because it is from him. This is not always a conscious thing, but I know it is there.

Likewise, the first bourbon I had that I could say was 'great' was Old Rip Van Winkle 15 YO. And, having seen some of Julian Van Winkle's posts here and elsewhere, he has become a 'real' person to me through his posts (not that I have met or know him personally). He is willing to 'put himself out there' and I admire that. Maybe other distillers do that too and I am too ignorant of them to know it.

In the same way, I give Pierre Ferrand (not that I have met or know him personally) cognacs some preference because of what I have read of old man Ferrand. He owns 75 acres of prime cognac land (in the town of Cognac, of course) and totters about the place in his beret.

Anyway, I give anything Mr. Van Winkle, Mr. Maytag, or Mr. Ferrand produce an advantage out of the box (I know I will learn of other such men). As it happens, my opinion of their products is widely shared by people who know far more than I, and each of these men do produce excellent spriits.

I have never done 'blind' tastings with bourbons, and I am sure that I would experience some surprises if I did. Maybe some day. But, alas, until that day, I confess that I will be guilty of showing favoritism to some spirits. It is also why I have a bias against Jack Daniels whiskey........they have made a cardboard figure of Jack, or whoever that old bas _ _ _ d is splashed across the billboards. My bias aside, JD at its best ain't nothing to write home about!!

In defense of myself I can only make an argument that many will consider specious..........these independent, forthright, men put something of themselves in their spirits that make them sing. It is the ingredient that the accountants and marketers never seem to understand or even care about!

I rest my case for my biases!!
Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rage at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light. - Dylan Thomas
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Unread postby bourbonv » Fri Mar 04, 2005 9:55 pm

I just did a tasting of the Old Potrero Single Malt Rye. It is from the bottle I snagged at the Whisky Magazine "Best of the Best" tasting in Bardstown. Because the distiller supplied the bottle I can not gaurantee it will taste the same as the ones in the liquor store, but if it is, it is a good one.
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Unread postby tlsmothers » Wed Mar 16, 2005 12:50 am

I haven't still had the 19th century style but the 18th I did have and all I can say is "scotch-scotch-scotch" While it may have been for some people who enjoy that scotchy taste it wasn't for me...


Mark, that's exactly my impression the first time I tried it. This is a different whiskey today. I really enjoyed the 18th at a whopping 125.1. I didn't get any of that smokey, peat like flavor that I remember from before. My first impression was sweet grain. The smell reminded me of the rye whole grain cereal flakes I loved to eat as a kid. It's pricey for a young whiskey, for sure, but definitely worth a try if you've never had it. The distillery rep kept telling folks that this was for sippin' and not cocktail makin', which I tend to agree with, but I couldn't help but make a Manhattan with it just because I had the chance. Damn good with King Eider dry vermouth (no longer made, sadly) and Vya sweet for a Manhattan in the perfect style. I like the straight in an Old Fashioned.

The 18th is of course lighter in color with no charred wood to tan it up. Most customers preferred the 18th flavor over the straight rye, but maybe the distillery rep influenced that since she explained that it was an attempt to recreate what rye might have been like . I was surprised at how the 18th didn't come across as too hot in the throat even tasting it full strength. We had most customers taste it full on, then add water to it.

The straight rye is a little less expensive and highly recommended, too. These are tasty examples of 100% rye and the only examples of such a thing that I am aware of.

I've marked my prices down 20% to encourage folks to try it (not reflected on my web site). It's still expensive even with a discount, but worth checking out. With prices in mind, I'm arguing with myself right now to keep from popping one for my own personal use at the store. :argue:
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Unread postby cowdery » Wed Mar 16, 2005 5:57 pm

I tasted from the same bottle Mike mentions and was pleasantly surprised. It actually tastes like a rye whiskey now, not like some weird science experiment. It's actually drinkable.
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Unread postby gillmang » Wed Mar 16, 2005 7:10 pm

It's probably older than the stated age, I always knew this could be great if they let it age a reasonbale time. Why make fine rye spirit and sell it so young? I can understand doing that as an experiment, or as a small-volume specialty item, but if you age it four years or more you will have (I am sure) fine Monongahela-style rye whiskey of a type not seen for 30 years or more in this country. Sounds like they're getting there especially with the 19th century version. Next step: drop the proof, 90 is plenty (or 100). Third step (to stimulate sales): drop the price. It COULD be the next big thing.

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Unread postby Brewer » Wed Mar 16, 2005 7:15 pm

I think the OP could be a good product if aged longer. The 2 times I've tried it, I just totally disliked it, but I believe on those occasions, it was the very young bottlings. I would also be more inclined to try it if the price was more reasonable, especially given my earlier dislike of the product.
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Unread postby TNbourbon » Thu Mar 17, 2005 12:13 am

gillmang wrote:...Why make fine rye spirit and sell it so young?..


Just a guess, Gary, but I suspect the sheer cost of starting even a small whiskey distillery in this day and age forced him to sell some of his product prematurely. Pretty tough to have, say, four years of production without a day of income, even if you're already a rich man. That's why there are so few 'new' whiskey distilleries.
But, if I'm right -- well, then now that he has some better- and longer-aged product to sell, I'd bet the younger whiskey will be withdrawn, though remainders will still be on shelves for a while. Gonna be kinda of hit-and-miss trying to find the later version(s). Tell me (since I've never really studied the few bottles I see around here), do the bottles have any kind of date-of-production indication?
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