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View Full Version : which Rye to try next?



DowntownD
03-23-2009, 12:36
to date I've only had three Ryes:

- VWFRR (it's my favorite whiskey ever, of any type...)
- Baby Saz (fantastic, another staple in my home bar)
- Rittenhouse (decent, don't recall the details other than ~$14/750)

if any such consensus can be reached, I wonder what Rye most of you would suggest that's clearly as good (or better) than VWFRR and Baby Saz - yet also clearly different from each?

does such an animal exist?

I generally don't care for WT Bourbons, with the Rare Breed being in my "it'll do/I'm ambivalent" category, so I worry I won't like the Rye.

I have little doubt that the BTAC Saz 18 is good, but for the time being it may be too close to the others I like to satisfy my curiosity.

and the Handy is the only other one of the BTAC group I haven't had yet - but I wonder whether or not it's is different enough from VW & Saz.

I've never had any of the older and more expensive Rittenhouse expressions, nor any of the boutique 20-something-yr Ryes either.

so what do you guys/gals think, anything jump out as a must try?

thanks.

D

sku
03-23-2009, 12:47
The one that perfectly fits your requirements is Old Potrero. It's just as good as any rye out there, but also completely different from anything on the market. It's a single malt rye, made from 100% malted rye. If you're a rye fan, you should definitely try it, both because it's good and as an education to your palate...find out what rye tastes like free of the corn that plays a role in straight rye whiskey. The only downside is the price tag, which ranges in the $50 range.

I wouldn't write off the Wild Turkey 101 rye. It's a crisp and tasty rye that is, in my estimation, often underrated. I'm not a huge WT Bourbon fan, but I really like this rye. It's also a lot cheaper than Old Potrero.

I also really liked High West Rendezvous Rye, which is a blend of two ryes (of undisclosed source). It's made from high rye mash bills so, the corn influence is much lower than in most other ryes (though not Old Potrero, of course).

Josh
03-23-2009, 12:53
I wouldn't write off the Wild Turkey 101 rye. It's a crisp and tasty rye that is, in my estimation, often underrated. I'm not a huge WT Bourbon fan, but I really like this rye. It's also a lot cheaper than Old Potrero.

I would agree. Other than the Ritt, I think the Russel's Reserve Rye is my favorite overall.

funknik
03-23-2009, 13:11
- Baby Saz (fantastic, another staple in my home bar) so what do you guys/gals think, anything jump out as a must try?
I can't speak to how the BTAC Handy would compare to the VW as I haven't had it, but if you like Baby Saz, you will certainly dig it. It is basically Baby Saz at barrel proof which really brings out some caramel apple flavor and clove spice. Seriously, not to be missed. Chris (Klepackage) & Dane are near you, I know they have some that they'd let you sample.

Also, I would recommend the WT Rye 101 over the Russell's Reserve Rye....it's about $10 cheaper, higher proof and much more robust.

Squash
03-23-2009, 13:47
I agree with Funknik, Thomas Handy is not to be missed, and WT 101 Rye is good for the price. Old Potrero goes for $95 here, so I have not tried it.

smokinjoe
03-23-2009, 15:42
D, you've hit some terrific ryes already, so it's not easy suggesting something clearly as good, or better. To me, the Overholt, Beam, and Turkey ryes are very ho hum, and nowhere near as good as what you've had (except the Ritt, but I'm not as big a fan of this one lately.). Of these 3 duds, I give the edge to the Turkey, though. :22: But, I don't think any of them would meet your muster.

The ri1 and RRR are OK, but the ri1 is ridiculously expensive for what it is. I think it's a tad better than the RRR, but not $25 better.

I think to get where you want to go, you'll have to go to some of the uber-aged ryes (Ritt 21, BMH, or KBD Vintage ryes). Or, (here's the best part), you can save a lot of dough (compared to my list) and scrounge up the Handy. It's a hit you in the nose, make your eyes water, and scream Hallelujah! kind of rye. This year's was awesome. Probably $60ish in your area...Wait a minute. If I was you, I wouldn't care about the price. I'd tell GF #3 that if she wants to stay in the rotation, and keep up with GF #1, she better get to huntin', and pick you up a present! It ain't easy to beat a Pappy 15, but a Handy might do it...:D

DowntownD
03-23-2009, 18:29
So the Handy then...

I'll give the Old Potrero and WT a shot sometime too.

I need to revisit the Rittenhouse (BIB is it, the cheap one?) and I'd definitely like to try some of the Rittenhouse 21 and those other "uber-aged" ones I've heard of from you guys around here.

Thanks for the suggestions.

And who knows, Joe, you just never know which one will come through... ;)

Rake
03-23-2009, 18:59
Handy's my favorite, but you might also look out for Templeton Rye for something a little different.

I don't believe you can get it around here retail, but I've had it at the WhiskeyBar downtown. The Bull and Bush also might have some; they most definitely have Ritt 21 and Handy (among others) if you care to sample first.

Klepackage
03-24-2009, 12:27
David,

As many have already made mention of, you must absolutely try some of the Thomas H Handy Sazerac Rye. I'm not the biggest rye fan, but I've stocked up on this beauty. Daveco (I25 and Highway 7) still has a few. Don't let the price ($60) scare you because it is barrel proof and worth every penny.

I have yet to try it, but TotalBev in Westminster also has the Tuthilltown Spirits whiskeys. That includes their 4 grain, bourbon, and a rye ($50). I've got a bottle of the 4 grain and bourbon being shipped in, so I'll let you know my impressions of the company.

I know Superior Liquors has a bottle or two of the 21 year Rittenhouse Rye as well. I believe those were $99.

Unfortunately for you, you're setting the bar quite high with the VWFRR as a benchmark!

=Chris

funknik
03-24-2009, 12:37
I have yet to try it, but TotalBev in Westminster also has the Tuthilltown Spirits whiskeys. That includes their 4 grain, bourbon, and a rye ($50).
I have tried the Tuthilltown and, although others seem to really like it, I found it overpowering. It is very in-your-face and the rye character is so strong it almost reminded me of burning rubber. Cut with water it may be nicer, but I haven't had the priviledge to try it more than once.

DowntownD
04-06-2009, 21:29
I just wanted to follow-up and say I went with the Handy (a big thanks to Chris/Klepackage for letting me try his first). It's delicious stuff and a new 'must-have' Rye for my home bar.