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View Full Version : Beam Ri1 vs Knob Creek Rye



HRay
12-04-2011, 14:32
I find myself wondering where Beam is going with their Ri1 brand. I remember when it first came out they said it was going to be the first of a series of rye releases (Ri1, Ri2, etc.) and this first one was a mild flavored rye that would be great for mixing. It hit the shelves at an alarming price point (about $60 if I remember correctly). It subsequently sat on the shelves and the price steadily dropped to the present $40 or so. Those that tried a bottle (me included) did not seem to go back for another. To my palate it just tasted like Jim Beam Rye in a very fancy bottle. Bartenders continued to use it for cocktails (unfortunately) partly because it was available to all those that carried the Beam line. I haven't heard anything about further relaeses in the line (like the more full flavored Ri2).

Now comes news of a Knob Creek branded rye coming out next year. Could this be a reboot of the Ri1 line that did not take off? I certainly hope not because to carry the Knob Creek name it will need a whole lot more flavor than Ri1!

Ejmharris
12-04-2011, 16:17
It appears the Ri1 is one that is really struggling. I was on a march to find some items last Friday and hit A LOT of stores in Ohio, Northern Kentucky and SE Indiana. This stuff was priced anywhere from $55 to $25 (two Indiana locations). I had an owner at a NKY store see me looking at the WT Rye next to it on the shelf and say if you want the Ri1 you can have it for $40(priced $48). I told him no thanks and he said how about $35. Sounded like he was begging me to take it. I haven't tried it but that didn't give me a great feeling about it.


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gblick
12-05-2011, 11:28
Some stores here have the Ri1 marked down to $19.95, and I still haven't tried it.

Enoch
12-05-2011, 13:08
I tried a taste at the Beer Bourbon and BBQ festival in Charlotte and haven't bought any since. ........

White Dog
12-05-2011, 14:42
I tried a taste at the Beer Bourbon and BBQ festival in Charlotte and haven't bought any since. ........

And that's why the Ri1 is struggling. Beam makes sh-tty Rye, pure and simple.

timd
12-05-2011, 16:20
Around these parts it's consistently priced at $20. And I think of that as overpriced

I honestly don't know what's different about it than regular JB Rye (or old Overholt)... It's frankly pretty bland and light. No real rye spice/kick at all, the ABV is overly modest for a Rye, and other than the "vodka knock-off" bottle, it's got no real appeal.

My guess is that it did SOOO bad, they aren't going to try an R2 - consider it a failed experiment. That said, perhaps they'll goose the ABV and go for some richer flavor profiles with their excess Rye stocks to make the Knob Creek version.

Obviously Beam planned ahead well enough on the Rye wagon to have plenty - but they just stunk at it.

I have major doubts that the KC Rye will be all that much better than their previous efforts.

tommyboy38
12-05-2011, 20:47
KC Rye may just be Ri 1 in a different bottle.

HRay
12-06-2011, 20:10
KC Rye may just be Ri 1 in a different bottle.

That is indeed what I am worried about. I think the poor performance of Ri1 has assured there won't be a Ri2. My concern is that they are just going to put what they have left of the Ri1 in a Knob Creek bottle and pass it off as something new. That would be a pity because I like the Knob Creek bourbon for what it is and the Knob Creek Single Barrel is a pretty stout bourbon. Unless they have already been aging some rye specifically for the KC rye then I am concerned it will be a rehashed Ri1.

ErichPryde
12-06-2011, 20:15
KC Rye may just be Ri 1 in a different bottle.

Maybe... but why? I think most of the ri1 would have been bottled up, and any remaining stocks would hopefully be older, as demand simply didn't exist?? It's going to suck if you're right.

However... I unfortunately agree with White Dog... haven't had a good Beam rye yet. :(

ThomasH
12-07-2011, 07:57
I bought my bottle cheap and drink it in mixed drinks, where a good part of the rye I drink ends up anyway!

Thomas

boneuphtoner
01-21-2012, 08:31
It appears the Ri1 is one that is really struggling. I was on a march to find some items last Friday and hit A LOT of stores in Ohio, Northern Kentucky and SE Indiana. This stuff was priced anywhere from $55 to $25 (two Indiana locations). I had an owner at a NKY store see me looking at the WT Rye next to it on the shelf and say if you want the Ri1 you can have it for $40(priced $48). I told him no thanks and he said how about $35. Sounded like he was begging me to take it. I haven't tried it but that didn't give me a great feeling about it.


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Ri1 was my first introduction to rye whiskey. I had it in a bar and I loved it. I initially could not find it in stores so I bought some Beam rye and old Overholt. While I thought they were decent, I remembered the Ri1 being better. Last month I finally found some. It was not as good as I remembered at the bar but it was clearly better than the others. The oYthers seem quite thin by comparison. Not long after that I bought some Bulleit. While also better than the Beam and OO, I still preferred the ri1. It is the best rye I have tried with the limited local selection I have to deal with.

Parkersback
01-21-2012, 09:01
In Maryland, you should be able to find Pikesville, which I enjoyed the one time I had it.

boneuphtoner
01-21-2012, 12:34
In Maryland, you should be able to find Pikesville, which I enjoyed the one time I had it.

Great suggestion! I saw this reply when I was near a liquor store, and they had this in stock for ~$8.95. I got home and immediately poured myself some, and put it up against Old Overholt. The Pikesville has just a touch less bite, but not by much. I'd like to have a bottle of Beam Rye around to compare, but I don't. The Pikesville is enjoyable, but seems to be in the same class as Old Overholt and Beam Rye...very nice, but not as good as Bulleit and Ri1 (best of this bunch).

Thanks for the suggestion. Given the price, I'm not dissapointed.

bad_scientist
01-21-2012, 13:06
Venture down the Red Line to DC and a lot of stores have Rittenhouse Rye at the moment. A couple also have Sazerac. They're both a bit more full-flavored than the Pikesville, Beam, and the like.