View Full Version : Whisky Live LA 2010 -Anchor's Old Potrero whiskey steals the show!

11-12-2010, 10:32
I had the pleasure of attending Whisky Live LA a couple weeks ago at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, and there were some absolutely fantastic bourbons and ryes available for tasting...I got to meet Dave Pickerell, as well as all the High West guys, severeal Heaven Hill distillers, Yuri Kato from Whistling Pig, The Four Roses folks (Goodbye Mariage, hello "Limited Edition") and most exciting of all, the Anchor Distilling group (of Anchor Steam brewing in San Francisco)....and boy, ever since, all I want to drink is Anchor's Old Potrero 18th Century Whiskey and their 19th Century single malt Rye....have any of you had the pleasure of trying Anchor's booze?

It's completely unlike any other rye I've ever had, it smells like bread, and has the nicest finish of any booze I know of........if you can pick up a bottle or two from Drink Up Ny, I'd greatly encourage you to do so...as they are the FIRST boutique micro distillery in the US, they actually distill their rye in a very small corner of the same floor space where Anchor brews their famous Anchor Steam beer!

This stuff is super hard to get your hands on, as they only make about 3000 bottles/year, but if you hunt hard enough, you might be able to find it. I love both the 18th century, it's a blend of 2 and 3 year old straight rye that was made in lightly toasted, but NOT CHARRED barrels, and it's a burly 129.6 proof.....so cowboy up. The 19th single malt rye is a bit older, is made in charred barrels and t iis a gorgeous red color, comes in at 90 proof.....it's amazing how differently they turned out, when I am pretty sure they both start life as the same mash bill......

Old Potrero, I love ya!

11-12-2010, 10:59
I was at WL LA as well. It was a great time, and the number of American whiskeys had increased since last year (review below).

Old Potrero seems to be one of those love it or hate it things. Personally, I love it, with the Hoatlings probably being my favorite. It's undeniable that they've done remarkable work, though, and played a huge role in starting two of the biggest whiskey trends of the past 15 years: the microdistillery movement and the rebirth of rye whiskey.

And yes, as far as I know, all of their mashbills are 100% malted rye.


11-12-2010, 11:16
Wasn't that event awesome? The best part was that when my boy and I registered, we got the Non-VIP tickets, but when we showed up, they gave us VIP anyway...and to top it off, no one was collecting tickets at ALL all evening! I used, I think, 4 or 5 all night....and walked away with at least 20 leftovers...lol.

Did you go to any of the Masters Classes? I went to the Maker's class, loved tasting the MM white dog, it was pretty delish.

Yeah, the Hotalings is sold out, it was a one time release, so if you don't have it now, you're out of luck...I saw a bottle for sale for $500 on a trip to SF 3 weeks ago! I'm just glad that people are rediscovering rye, myself included, I think I love rye even more than bourbon now......cuz, really, a bourbon manhattan's got NADA on a rye manhattan :)

11-12-2010, 11:27
I did the Maker's class last year, which was fun. I went to the High West class, which was great. Perkins did what he called virtual distilling, in which he gave us samples of the heads, heart and tails, so we could taste the different stages of the distillation process. It was probably the most educational masterclass I've ever been to at one of these things.

I think there have been a few Hoatlings releases at different ages. I'm not sure if they are still doing them or not.

Don't know if you're a Scotch drinker or not, but the Scotch Malt Whisky Society tasting is next Thursday. It's a similar event, though smaller and much more Scotch dominated.

11-12-2010, 11:33
Oh really?!?! I loved the High West stuff, in fact, I've bought 2 bottles of Rendezvous since the event, that was one of my top 3 findings for the evening! What's weird is that I like the Rendezvous better than all the others, including their sourced, expensive 16 and 21 year ....

Unfortunately for me, I think Scotch tastes like feet...it's weird, I absolutely love bourbon and ryes, but I can't STAND scotch. *shrug*

Now, if there was a LA bourbon drinkers' gathering...I'd be there in an instant!

11-17-2010, 10:24
I was a Scotch drinker long before I found bourbon and rye. It was Old Potrero that helped get me there--my gateway whiskey. I think having tasted only single malts led me to the single malt rye from OP. Once I tasted it, I was blown away by it. As Sku said, it tends to have polarized responses here on the forum. For me, it led me to more traditional straight whiskeys--distinct and great in their own ways--so it will hold a special place in my mind.

I liked your nosing notes of bread to be quite interesting. The nose and palate of OP I can only describe as ethereal--it's quite infinite in its complexity.

11-17-2010, 11:02
I hate to be a negative nellie, but a few years ago an SBer sent me a sample of Old Portero, and I thought it was the worst whiskey I had ever tasted or smelled. It was like hot cocoa vomit.

11-17-2010, 11:53
I agree, I did not like old potrero at all and it reminded me of johnnie walker red or extremely spiked apple cider. Thats when I knew I would not like the 100% rye recipe stuff.

i still have my bottle, ill retry it oneday to see if time and air has mellowed it out.

11-17-2010, 12:20
I will take any OP you don't want, just let me know how much you want for shipping. LOL.

11-19-2010, 20:32
You know, this technically should go in the Rye section.

At any rate, I just spotted an "H" series OP. I think the last one I nabbed was "G." That one said something about containing whiskey 2 to 10 years old, IICRC. In other words, I don't think we'll see any Hotalings--at least on any moderately large scale--anymore.

11-20-2010, 09:15
I will take any OP you don't want, just let me know how much you want for shipping. LOL.

:lol: It's a deal! Not that I wasn't grateful for the sample, just very much not my cup of tea.

11-20-2010, 09:27
Back in 2000 I went to the Chicago Whiskyfest and Fritz was one of the speakers, bringing out barrel samples of his rye at one and 7 years old, as well as his gin which was new that year. He was a very good speaker, with great stories about his distilling adventures.

The Single Malt Rye used to be barrel proof as well...amazing that way, such a shame to water it down.

12-01-2010, 16:59
Their 18th century style whiskey is barrel strength, I think, 128.6 proof. It's retarded good.

12-16-2010, 03:43
Old Potrero seems to be one of those love it or hate it things.
I'll agree with that, but I have to land on the hate it side. It's the only whiskey of any kind, so far, that I'll say that about.

It's definitely full of unique character, and that character is all rye, no doubt.

Here's my perspective for comparison:
I really enjoy Scotch, across a wide range. Irish too, and rum.
Bourbon? Not so much (but I'm currently giving it a new go).
To give rye a try, I got Sazerac 18YO, and liked it. Not often, but I do enjoy it.
It's definitely full of unique character too. Oddly, it reminds me quite a lot of Aberlour a'bunadh (Scotch), and they have nothing in common.

Just recently, I got my 2nd rye - High West Rendezvous.
Wow! Another one full of unique character.!
I like it. So fresh and vegetative. Aromatic. Pine? Vapo-Rub? No... more like mint and juniper.

So, with that extensive rye background :rolleyes: the other day I got a bottle of a good, well recommended Bourbon - Evan Williams Single Barrel 2000. And what's the first thing that hit's my nose? High West Rendezvous type rye. Far more subdued, of course, but it's there! The palate says the same. Then, toward the end of a glass, just fading in an out - Old Potrero!

Or so it seems to me. EWSB is supposed to be rye forward, right? But I haven't heard any of the experts describing it anything like this.