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View Full Version : Ode to the Low "Rye"-der



boss302
03-20-2011, 23:10
Yes, yes, we all know how great this forum is at pointing you toward the next Small Batch, Single Barrel, Limited Release, or whatever other "flavor of the minute" is out there that is rare, limited, and exclusive-- the ultimate expression of the distiller's art.

This thread will not be about ANY of those...

Instead, this will be an ode to the bottom-shelf stuff that remain the unsung heroes of the business. Those El Cheapos that bring in the necessary revenue to make all that limited-production, "artisan-quality" stuff possible.

So, without further adieu, please post your favorite Low "Rye"-ders, adhering to the following criteria:

1) Less than $20 for a 750mL bottle. If it isn't cheaper than Jack Daniel's, it doesn't make the cut!

2) It has to have a "Low Rye" mashbill, with close to 80% corn.

So, now is the time to wipe away any potential embarrassment or judgment-- if you have a favorite bourbon that fits those criteria, but have been previously too embarrassed to admit, here is your chance to let us know!

ErichPryde
03-20-2011, 23:16
I'd like to nominate the Kirkland signature 7 year 103 proof small batch bourbon. It cost me 20 dollars for a liter. Great quality for the price.

boss302
03-20-2011, 23:17
Okay, so I'll get the ball rolling.

1) McAfee Benchmark No. 8
2) Four Roses
3) Ezra Brooks
4) Ancient Age
5) Evan Williams

boss302
03-20-2011, 23:19
I'd like to nominate the Kirkland signature 7 year 103 proof small batch bourbon. It cost me 20 dollars for a liter. Great quality for the price.

Hi Erich,

I live in PA, so the Costco's around here can't carry liquor. Do you know what bourbon it *really* is?

Just curious!

Stu
03-20-2011, 23:24
I have to second 4R Yellow Label and add HH Ultra Deluxe. It's less than $20 for a 1.75 handle! Whille not as cheap, but still cheaper than Jack, JB Black label.

MarkEdwards
03-21-2011, 04:31
I found some liters of Old Forester 4 year old for $15.99. Paper labels, not the painted on the bottle labels. Actually pretty tasty. I wil probably go back for more once I remember which store I bought it at. :D

ThomasH
03-21-2011, 05:10
Old Charter. If it weren't for the charred barrel, it would be corn whiskey, which makes it very low rye!

Thomas

cigarnv
03-21-2011, 06:51
4R Yellow is always a good pour

jburlowski
03-21-2011, 16:16
I'm not sure if 4R Yellow would meet the low rye requirement..... but certainly a good pour.

OscarV
03-21-2011, 16:17
I'm not sure if 4R Yellow would meet the low rye requirement.....

I was thinking the same thing.
Of the 10 recipes 4R uses 14.

jburlowski
03-21-2011, 16:19
Also don't know about the rye content but, for the price, it's hard to beat VOB BiB.

jburlowski
03-21-2011, 16:19
I was thinking the same thing.
Of the 10 recipes 4R uses 14.

And don't both the 4R mashbills have more than 20% rye?

OscarV
03-21-2011, 16:22
And don't both the 4R mashbills have more than 20% rye?



E= 20% rye
B= 35% rye

ethangsmith
03-21-2011, 16:55
Cabin Still
Heaven Hill white label
Old Heaven Hill BIB
Evan Williams 1783

squire
03-21-2011, 17:20
Evan Williams BIB, Barton 50%, Dant BIB, Forester Signature.

TNbourbon
03-21-2011, 20:22
You're shooting too high. A $20 750ml isn't 'bottom shelf'. Try under $10-$11.
I'd nominate Beam's Old Crow Reserve (yes, the white-label 3yo is dreck:rolleyes:). It's 4 years old and 86 proof, has some definitive taste, and I buy it for $18.99 per handle.

squire
03-21-2011, 22:50
Tim's right of course, two of my choices retail for less than $12.00 each.

squire
03-21-2011, 22:51
Does that make them upper lower shelf?

boss302
03-21-2011, 23:21
I'm drinking Ancient Age and Dr. Pepper. AA is my "mixer" bourbon-- it also works well for Old Fashioned's and Manhattans.

My fave "everyday" bourbon is McAfee No. 8-- a good mixer, a good sipper. I love this stuff. At $21 for a 1.75L PET, it is definitely one of the best values in the bourbon business, IMHO.

Rotgut
03-22-2011, 09:11
I'm kinda partial to the Old Fitzgerald BIB. I can get it for ~$15/liter.

Mike

CorvallisCracker
03-22-2011, 10:14
My favorite bottom shelfer is Heaven Hill Green Label 6/90, which goes for $10.60 here in the Beaver State. I recently compared this side-by-side with EWBL ($12.95). Although they smelled the same, the HHGL was darker, richer and smoother. Definitely older whiskey.

VOB? Sure, love it, but it's not bottom shelf here, being $15 for the 90 and $16 for the BiB.

unclebunk
03-22-2011, 10:27
I'd have to go with VOB BIB too. It's delicious and at $12 a bottle is unbeatable value.

Tucker
03-22-2011, 10:54
- Benchmark and Old Charter were once favorite value pours.

- I always pick up a bottle of AAA 10 year when visiting family (from the BT "higher rye" mashbill but still not too rye-heavy) . Not exactly bottom shelf but relatively inexpensive.

squire
03-22-2011, 12:26
A candidate is Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey from Tom Moore under the Kentucky Gentleman label. A blend of 51% Bourbon and 49% GNS, it is a blend but labeled Whiskey. $13.29 for a 1.75 ltr.

flintlock
03-23-2011, 16:23
Old Charter is coming to be a fave. The 10 year is consistently $23+ a 750 in TN, but if I drive to Atlanta it's $13-14. At that price it's a steal.

VOB is definitely bottom shelf here, in the $13 range.

I don't know McAfee's mashbill but it's often less than $10. (Amazing.)

What about Fighting Cock? It's a bottom shelf bargain ($12 or so) but I don't know the mashbill.

CorvallisCracker
03-23-2011, 16:46
I don't know McAfee's mashbill but it's often less than $10. (Amazing.)

Same as Charter, Buffalo Trace, ER and Stagg; BT #1.

squire
03-23-2011, 19:32
Fighting cock is standard Heaven Hill bottled at a higher proof.

squire
03-23-2011, 19:38
I considered adding Charter to the list but just don't seem to get around to it anymore, hmm . . .

tmckenzie
03-24-2011, 05:28
I love fighting cock, thing is, the cheapest I have seen it here is 25 bucks a fifth.

flintlock
03-24-2011, 08:47
I love fighting cock, thing is, the cheapest I have seen it here is 25 bucks a fifth.

And you know what? It's worth that, in my opinion. Cheap bourbon prices give us, I think, a distorted view of the worth of some of these things. Every time I think I'm paying too much, I let my eyes wander over to the Scotch section...:bigeyes:

the Duff
03-25-2011, 07:55
I love fighting cock, thing is, the cheapest I have seen it here is 25 bucks a fifth.

It's better than bottles I have bought that were $50! :bigeyes:

$16 here in the QC.

------------------------------------

My favorite "low-ryder" is probably EWBL, $11.50. No bibs around here readily available. Just OGD and its $18. I'm in Augusta Georgia at the moment (visiting her sister) and will probably try to hunt down some bottles that I can't get locally... particularly HHBIB and any variation thereof. I would love to see a VOB out in the wild, but I think the chances are slim.

jcg9779
03-25-2011, 08:09
I'm in Augusta Georgia at the moment (visiting her sister)

Duff, I think you should extend your trip for two more weeks, if you're a golf fan!

Brisko
03-25-2011, 08:17
It's better than bottles I have bought that were $50! :bigeyes:

$16 here in the QC.

------------------------------------

My favorite "low-ryder" is probably EWBL, $11.50. No bibs around here readily available. Just OGD and its $18. I'm in Augusta Georgia at the moment (visiting her sister) and will probably try to hunt down some bottles that I can't get locally... particularly HHBIB and any variation thereof. I would love to see a VOB out in the wild, but I think the chances are slim.

Since the OP specified "low rye" mash bills, I would say that EWB and any of the HH offerings barely count. OGD definitely doesn't count.

squire
03-25-2011, 13:59
Not much in the way of low rye in the good, cheap category is there, discounting wheaters of course.

the Duff
03-25-2011, 16:25
Since the OP specified "low rye" mash bills, I would say that EWB and any of the HH offerings barely count. OGD definitely doesn't count.
HH is 77% corn, 13% rye. I'd say that counts. :)

I was just saying that OGD is the only bib we have around here and I think there are other bibs that would be on my list if they were available, ie: vob which appears to make a lot of peoples' list on this thread.

So, to clarify, EWBL is all I got.

If I'm going higher than $15, I'll throw Fighting Cock in the ring too.

I've had Benchmark and thought it wasn't bad, especially for the price. I'll have to try Old Charter.

boss302
03-25-2011, 23:34
Yeah, Evan Williams definitely counts.

As for Fighting Cock, I thought that used a "high rye" mashbill, since the ad campaign seems to play it up as bold and spicy?

Anyway, I thought it was common knowledge that most cheap bourbons were "Low Rye-ders" since corn is a cheaper grain than rye?

Brisko
03-26-2011, 07:36
Heh, I wasn't sure how close to 80% you wanted to stay. But it raises an interesting question, because the vast majority of bourbon on the market is between 75 and 80% corn. I know 4R's B mashbill is significantly lower in corn, but what about BT? Even their "high rye" mash bill doesn't seem all that high to me.

The other thing that I personally find confusing is that in many cases the rye component is pretty noticeable despite its relatively low percentage (I would put a lot of HH's in this category). Is it a matter of one or two percentage points making a big difference, or is it something else? I don't know.

Anyway, sorry to threadjack.

I'm a big fan HH's including EWB when it comes to value. Also Old Forester but I think it is only 72% corn according to the Whisky Tree thread.

If you want to get right up against the $20 ceiling, I would put BT, EC12, and Dickel #12 in there as well.

Robmo
03-26-2011, 07:45
This is my kind of thread! I tried to start a thread about the bottom bottom shelf a couple weeks ago but it didn't go anywhere. I am a recent convert to 4R yellow--if it's on sale you can get for about 10.00 - 12.00 where I am. Even my wife loves it.

What do you think of these?

TW Samuels:
http://french.sakura.ne.jp/sblo_files/bourbon-whiskey/image/T.W.Samuels.jpg
Bourbon de Luxe:
http://a4.l3-images.myspacecdn.com/images02/29/8fd6652328d146818eb85b670ef647e7/m.jpg

steeltownbbq
03-26-2011, 18:17
Man I'm hurtin' if you can get 4R yellow for $10. It is the family favorite here.

Never could get it at our Ohio stores and it was available for a while at the PA stores that I go to.

But, the PA LCB just discontinued carrying 4R yellow.

I was in Cincinnati last week for a business meeting and made the trip across the river and brought some home.

I'll have to stock up on my next trip south --- I hate these control states.

Jwilly019
03-26-2011, 20:05
Man I'm hurtin' if you can get 4R yellow for $10. It is the family favorite here.

Never could get it at our Ohio stores and it was available for a while at the PA stores that I go to.

But, the PA LCB just discontinued carrying 4R yellow.

I was in Cincinnati last week for a business meeting and made the trip across the river and brought some home.

I'll have to stock up on my next trip south --- I hate these control states.

Michigan has 4R Yellow if you're ever up that way.

squire
03-26-2011, 21:51
Four Roses yellow label holds steady at about $20 a bottle here.

squire
03-26-2011, 21:56
Rob, you have a Heaven Hill product (Samuels) and a Barton/Tom Moore product (de Luxe), both of which should show their respective house character. Let us know what you think about them.

boss302
03-27-2011, 00:56
This is my kind of thread! I tried to start a thread about the bottom bottom shelf a couple weeks ago but it didn't go anywhere. I am a recent convert to 4R yellow--if it's on sale you can get for about 10.00 - 12.00 where I am. Even my wife loves it.

What do you think of these?


Well, Robmo, I'll have to accept whatever verdict you hand down, since I can't get either in my state.

But, yeah, it sounds to me like you have the right idea! ;)

boss302
03-27-2011, 01:02
Heh, I wasn't sure how close to 80% you wanted to stay.

Yeah, I guess I should have set a minimum-- let's say 70%-80%?



The other thing that I personally find confusing is that in many cases the rye component is pretty noticeable despite its relatively low percentage (I would put a lot of HH's in this category). Is it a matter of one or two percentage points making a big difference, or is it something else? I don't know.


I think the yeast strain might have something to do with that. I've noticed that HH stuff, despite being relatively low-rye, definitely has more of a spiciness to it...

Robmo
03-27-2011, 07:30
Rob, you have a Heaven Hill product (Samuels) and a Barton/Tom Moore product (de Luxe), both of which should show their respective house character. Let us know what you think about them.

Have to confess I haven't tried them yet. They're so cheap it's scary. Will definitely give them a try and report back when I have a chance. Your words make me brave.

Rughi
03-27-2011, 09:19
Rob, you have a Heaven Hill product (Samuels) and a Barton/Tom Moore product (de Luxe), both of which should show their respective house character. Let us know what you think about them.

I believe you'll find that Bourbon de Luxe is a Beam / former ND product, but your point remains. Two distinctly different distilleries at play here.

I think I see the de Luxe states Clermont, so it may all be JB juice. I wonder if one might find some similarity between what people call the Jim Beam grassy notes and the Parker Beam menthol notes?

Roger

squire
03-27-2011, 14:59
Correct Roger, I confused Bourbon de Luxe (Beam) with Kentucky Deluxe (HH) and I should know better than to try and post from memory.

Rob the rest of what I posted stands and also just because a whisky is inexpensive doesn't mean it should be avoided.

Robmo
03-27-2011, 21:25
just because a whisky is inexpensive doesn't mean it should be avoided.

good to know, squire