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View Full Version : The Old Vs The New rye That is?



dave ziegler
10-09-2008, 12:37
Well after trying Wild Turkey 101 Rye and others I have tried they still and I mean the New Rittenhouse Rye too, can't compare to the Old Mount Vernon Rye Distilled 1936 bottled 1942 Blows the doors off them all. It is easy to drink yet full bodied drinking it straight at 100 proof no trouble yet it is so flavorful I can't even tell you how much. It has a wonderful Rye bread flavor some bite but is so drinkable Had a shot Last night and evertime I do I wish I had more bottles of It. It is the closest thing to the Rittenhouse rye I had from the barrel as a Kid at kinsey. I am sure that Gary is right about the early Ryes they had to be 81% straight Rye The flavor is so out standing and the aging to perfection! This is How Rye Whiskey should taste and did back when I was young!
Dave Z
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It Seems All The Nicest People Drink Old Hickory
America's Most Magnificent Bourbon
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cowdery
10-09-2008, 14:51
My 88-year-old father has told me that rye today doesn't taste the way it did when he was a young man, but he also admits that could be his senses changing as much as the product changing. I've had him try just about every rye on the market today and none has had the palate he was looking for, although he did develop a fondness for Van Winkle Family Reserve Rye in the process.

From what I have been able to learn, the assumption that it's the percentage of rye in the mash that is different doesn't hold up. Distillers tell me that increasing the percentage of rye has little effect on the flavor because rye is such a strong flavor it overpowers everything else, so a little goes a long way, and a 100% rye whiskey won't taste much different than a 51% rye.

There is at least a small consensus, to which I subscribe, that the main difference between whiskey now and whiskey a generation or two ago has to do mostly with distillation proof (it used to be lower), entry proof (ditto), and the age of the trees used for barrels (used to be 200+ years, now 75 to 100).

OscarV
10-09-2008, 15:14
Distillers tell me that increasing the percentage of rye has little effect on the flavor because rye is such a strong flavor it overpowers everything else, so a little goes a long way, and a 100% rye whiskey won't taste much different than a 51% rye.


Chuck, this doesn't make sense to me.
If rye is so stong of course 100% would have more taste (for better or worse) than 51%.
I would like to taste a straight rye with 60% rye like Washington made, hey what's good for George is good for me. :cool:
I think the distilleries are just cutting costs because rye is more expensive than corn.

cowdery
10-09-2008, 16:41
Let me try a metaphor. Does 30 degrees below zero really feel colder than ten degrees below zero? Rye isn't that much more expensive than corn. considering how little the raw materials cost has to do with the final cost of the product, and if a higher percentage of rye really made the product taste different, somebody would be doing it. But, yes, we're all just guessing.

mozilla
10-09-2008, 22:01
With the number of ryes on the market...there should be some variations on the flavor scale that we could rank. Starting with the straight ryes all the way down to the high rye bourbons. We would just need to list the know mashbills and see how the results would play out.

What other variables would need to be listed? Age, of course. Any others?

mozilla
10-09-2008, 22:03
Also, I wonder...has anyone mixed another ingredient with rye, besides corn? And of course barley.....

dave ziegler
10-10-2008, 03:39
Chuck All I know when tasting from the new to the Old The 1936 / 1942 Mount Vernon Rye has so much more flavor there is no way to explain it. Yet with its full body 100 proof it is smooth as can be to drink straight and having Had Ulsers at one time it is smooth enough that I can and do drink it only straight.

I don't know what makes it so much better but this is the way the Rttenhouse we drank from the barrels in the old Warehouse was back when I was a kid. The Old #12 had not been run for many years so I have no insight into the mix but this is what I meant when I first wrote about how I never forgot the flavor of the rye we had at Kinsey!

The Taste Of Fresh Rye Bread with a little spicey touch

Not that stuff today is not good but I have not found Modern Rye to have the flavor of this old stuff. It seems you keep looking for the Deep Rye taste but it is not there. your Father is Completely Right in his thoughts on this!
Dave Z
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It Seems All The Nicest people Drink Old Hickory
America's Most magnificent Bourbon
------------------------------------------------

mozilla
10-10-2008, 08:51
Dave,
do you find many similarities between the ryes you have on hand and the Mount Vernon? I wonder if the distillery site has alot to do with the differences? Was Mount Vernon from Maryland?

There has got to be different styles of rye. It would be nice to know how they differentiate.

Gillman
10-10-2008, 09:43
I think it has to do partly with the amount of rye in the mash, there was more used in the 50's and earlier. Rye is hard to handle, it can foam and cause other problems in the fermenter, and I think distillers decided to use more corn for that reason and to cut the rye taste. Until the spate of old ryes appeared in the last few years, rye whiskey was sold at 4 years old. That is pretty young for an all-rye spec (consider e.g. the taste of Old Potrero rye). Rye needs aging to at least 7-10 years old to be other than a mixing drink. I think to sell it young the rye spec was reduced.

We could add to this that cooking now probably is different. It probably occurs at a higher temperature and some of the grain flavor may be affected.

Add to this too that the wood now used for barrels is different and there are higher distilling-out (generally) and entry proofs.

I don't think yeasts alone could explain it (different ones then vs. now) because there seems a similarity of perceived flavor across the different historical brands (Vernon and 30's-50's Overholt for starters).

Gary

dave ziegler
10-10-2008, 09:48
Dave,
do you find many similarities between the ryes you have on hand and the Mount Vernon? I wonder if the distillery site has alot to do with the differences? Was Mount Vernon from Maryland?

There has got to be different styles of rye. It would be nice to know how they differentiate.
Jeff Mount Vernon was Distilled in Baltimore MD and Was a National Distilling Product and therefore what would be Called a Maryland type Rye Back Then. The One Rye That was similar to it was the Rye For Riitenhouse we had at Kinsey Back then and when I was young That is how Rye Whiskey tasted.
A Sort of wonderful bread flavor and a smooth roll down and nice finish in your Mouth. It just was to Me so much Better then Rye tastes today. It is not near as full of Rye Flavor and I have no Idea why unless it has to do with the Water and the quality of the grains?


Also I back then found it to be Full bodied but not Harsh and was always smooth when drank Straight. There was no need for water or anything else with 100 Proof Rye then! Even the Modern Day Rittenhouse is not the same I had the 100 proof stuff at Frickys and nothing like this old stuff. It excells in its drinkability, Flavor, and smell. It is so Pleasant to drink you could sit down and drink the whole bottle! However I want to enjoy this one for a while as never will get anything like this again.
Dave Z
---------------------------------------------
It Seems All The Nicest People drink Old Hickory
America's Most Magnificent Bourbon
----------------------------------------------

NorCalBoozer
10-10-2008, 10:42
Jeff Mount Vernon was Distilled in Baltimore MD and Was a National Distilling Product and therefore what would be Called a Maryland type Rye Back Then. The One Rye That was similar to it was the Rye For Riitenhouse we had at Kinsey Back then and when I was young That is how Rye Whiskey tasted.
A Sort of wonderful bread flavor and a smooth roll down and nice finish in your Mouth. It just was to Me so much Better then Rye tastes today. It is not near as full of Rye Flavor and I have no Idea why unless it has to do with the Water and the quality of the grains?


Also I back then found it to be Full bodied but not Harsh and was always smooth when drank Straight. There was no need for water or anything else with 100 Proof Rye then! Even the Modern Day Rittenhouse is not the same I had the 100 proof stuff at Frickys and nothing like this old stuff. It excells in its drinkability, Flavor, and smell. It is so Pleasant to drink you could sit down and drink the whole bottle! However I want to enjoy this one for a while as never will get anything like this again.
Dave Z
---------------------------------------------
It Seems All The Nicest People drink Old Hickory
America's Most Magnificent Bourbon
----------------------------------------------

Dave,

It would be interesting to hear your comment if you could get a sample of the Anchor Distilling Rye Whiskey. This is a 100% rye mash and distilled in a real pot still. It a mingling of whiskeys up to 11 years old. It's not overly rye and very very smooth. I wonder if it might be closer to the flavors you are mentioning.


Greg

OscarV
10-10-2008, 14:26
With the number of ryes on the market...there should be some variations on the flavor scale that we could rank. Starting with the straight ryes all the way down to the high rye bourbons. We would just need to list the know mashbills and see how the results would play out.

What other variables would need to be listed? Age, of course. Any others?

Good idea Jeff, but the distilleries like to keep mashbills secret.
Some don't, it would be nice to know.

Rughi
10-10-2008, 15:17
I wonder if upping the corn is a modern way to compensate for the lightened body and mouthfeel that higher distillation proofs can effect.

For me, corn brings the oiliness and the heavy body to whiskies, as 'most any proportion of the small grains can overshadow the flavor of corn distillate. I'm with Chuck that upping the percent of rye a moderate amount wouldn't necessarily make the taste much more rye-heavy, but lowering the corn by that proportion might be sensed in mouthfeel and body.

Roger