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STLbourbon
01-02-2012, 12:15
After weeks of delving heavily into wheaterland with the Pappy 15, the ORVW/10/107, and the various Wellers, it was high time to bring some rye back into the picture. So I had an interesting evening with Ryes last night. The three I was enjoying are Rittenhouse BIB 100, High West Rendezvous Rye, and Bulleit Rye.

The Rittenhouse is just great stuff, great all around sipper, but not a straight rye as I understand it. It was to me like a very rye heavy bourbon, excellent stuff, great flavor, balanced, excellent value at $20.

Then was the High West Rendezvous Rye. Wow. It's so very intensely rye tasting and in a completely wonderful way with a nice and interesting complexity and long finish. Great nose. Very balanced, nothing off, killer... Just superb stuff.

Then I went to the Bulliet, which I have enjoyed in the past. But coming off of the Rittenhouse and then the amazing Rendezvous, the Bulleit had a strange, almost metallic flavor. In its own context, I do enjoy the Bulleit Rye, but following the High West, it just failed in comparison. I was instantly back to the High West.

So I'm finding that the Rittenhouse BIB is about the best deal in rye whiskey there is. Very hard to compete with that stuff. And the High West Rendezvous Rye is an excellent treat and a full on, blissful rye experience. I feel it's worth the $42 I paid for it. And the Bulleit isn't bad. I can get it for $22 around here, so it's there as a decent backup. But I'll definitely go for the Rittenhouse as a trusty and affordable pour, and the High West for the more special occasion.

STLb

LostBottle
01-02-2012, 13:26
STLbourbon - as a fellow rye lover, I have been intrigued by High West with the amount of rye in the mashbill and would like your opinion. As I cannot get it here in my state, do you think it is a whiskey worth taking the effort to chase down and the added expense? I am leaning towards yes as it sounds like a really unique product.

STLbourbon
01-02-2012, 15:21
I'm no rye expert, but I must say that it's as enjoyable of a rye as I've ever tasted. Haven't had the pleasure of trying the Van Winkle Family Reserve Rye yet, so this is currently a top favorite of mine. I think that it exalts the rye flavor in quite an impressive way. So yeah, track one down. I'd say it's worth it for sure.


STLb

callmeox
01-02-2012, 19:00
Rittenhouse is indeed a straight rye, though it is near the low end of the legal rye content and this makes it more bourbon like.

The 6 yo 95 percent rye component of the Rendezvous is from the same distillery (LDI) the Bulleit so they share a common ancestry. I dont recall where the 16 yo 80 percent rye came from but I think it is also from LDI.

Also, this should be moved into the Rye Whiskey forum since it doesnt meet the minimum corn content for a Bourbon thread. ;)

sku
01-02-2012, 19:05
The 6 yo 95 percent rye component of the Rendezvous is from the same distillery (LDI) the Bulleit so they share a common ancestry. I dont recall where the 16 yo 80 percent rye came from but I think it is also from LDI.

The 16 year 80% is Barton rye.

STLbourbon
01-02-2012, 23:33
Ah yes, I should have started this thread under the Rye forum. If the moderator would like to move it over there, fine by me.

And it's interesting that the Bulleit may be related on some level because there is a commonality in the rye flavor itself that reminds me of the Bulleit, but it was this other color or flavor in the Bulleit that was just a tad off-putting that I just didn't get at all in the High West. And again, I do enjoy the Bulleit Rye quite a bit.

STLb

cowdery
01-03-2012, 12:32
The 6-year-old rye component of Rendezvous is essentially the same whiskey as the initial release of Templeton. Templeton is likely a bit younger than that now. That was all LDI rye, but it came from stocks owned by Pernod from the time when it owned LDI. Everything coming from LDI now, except Bulleit Rye, is much younger. The Bulleit is made under contract so it's probably in that 6-year-old neighborhood and is at least 4-years-old.

I sure wish someone had bottled the 16-year-old Barton rye straight up, but perhaps it was too woody, or there was too little of it, to make that work.

Most straight ryes are 51% rye. That includes Sazerac, Wild Turkey, Rittenhouse, Jim Beam and Old Overholt. The 80 to 100 percent ryes were never intended to be released as they are. They were made as flavoring whiskey for blends.

It's possible that some straight ryes in an earlier era had a higher rye content but perhaps not, since rye is always more expensive and rye is so flavorful that a little goes a long way. In other words, you don't necessarily get more rye flavor in the final product by going from 51% to, say, 60%, but you make the product more costly to produce.

sku
01-03-2012, 13:22
I sure wish someone had bottled the 16-year-old Barton rye straight up, but perhaps it was too woody, or there was too little of it, to make that work.

High West actually did bottle the Barton straight (err, meaning "on its own" as opposed to "straight" in whiskey terms, though it was that too). Their 16 year old Rye is made of the same Barton that goes into Rendezvous. They aren't releasing any more, but there seem to be plenty of bottles still out there. I like it a lot, very nice balance of rye spice and wood.

Flyfish
01-04-2012, 11:22
The 6-year-old rye component of Rendezvous is essentially the same whiskey as the initial release of Templeton. Templeton is likely a bit younger than that now. That was all LDI rye, but it came from stocks owned by Pernod from the time when it owned LDI. Everything coming from LDI now, except Bulleit Rye, is much younger. The Bulleit is made under contract so it's probably in that 6-year-old neighborhood and is at least 4-years-old.

I sure wish someone had bottled the 16-year-old Barton rye straight up, but perhaps it was too woody, or there was too little of it, to make that work.

Most straight ryes are 51% rye. That includes Sazerac, Wild Turkey, Rittenhouse, Jim Beam and Old Overholt. The 80 to 100 percent ryes were never intended to be released as they are. They were made as flavoring whiskey for blends.

It's possible that some straight ryes in an earlier era had a higher rye content but perhaps not, since rye is always more expensive and rye is so flavorful that a little goes a long way. In other words, you don't necessarily get more rye flavor in the final product by going from 51% to, say, 60%, but you make the product more costly to produce.

The Colonel raises an interesting point about the higher production cost of increasing the rye content. How is it that HH can produce an outstanding product like Rittenhouse Rye for such an exceptionally attractive price? Of course, HH does an all-around good job of providing value, IMO, but Rittenhouse exceeds expectations even so. Baby Saz and WTR 101 are other exemplars of great rye value. Why don't they cost more? (By the way, you distillers, this is not a suggestion. :grin: )

Flyfish
01-04-2012, 11:23
The 6-year-old rye component of Rendezvous is essentially the same whiskey as the initial release of Templeton. Templeton is likely a bit younger than that now. That was all LDI rye, but it came from stocks owned by Pernod from the time when it owned LDI. Everything coming from LDI now, except Bulleit Rye, is much younger. The Bulleit is made under contract so it's probably in that 6-year-old neighborhood and is at least 4-years-old.

I sure wish someone had bottled the 16-year-old Barton rye straight up, but perhaps it was too woody, or there was too little of it, to make that work.

Most straight ryes are 51% rye. That includes Sazerac, Wild Turkey, Rittenhouse, Jim Beam and Old Overholt. The 80 to 100 percent ryes were never intended to be released as they are. They were made as flavoring whiskey for blends.

It's possible that some straight ryes in an earlier era had a higher rye content but perhaps not, since rye is always more expensive and rye is so flavorful that a little goes a long way. In other words, you don't necessarily get more rye flavor in the final product by going from 51% to, say, 60%, but you make the product more costly to produce.

The Colonel raises an interesting point about the higher production cost of increasing the rye content. How is it that HH can produce an outstanding product like Rittenhouse Rye for such an exceptionally attractive price? Of course, HH does an all-around good job of providing value, IMO, but Rittenhouse is even more so.

thezenone
01-05-2012, 10:34
I really enjoyed the High West Rendezvous Rye when I had it. If you want to save yourself a little bit of money the Double Rye is also very good and should save you between $15 and $25 depending on prices in your neck of the woods. The Double Rye also seems to be more available, at least in CA. I don't have a bottle in front of me but I believe the Double Rye mixes 12 and 4 year ryes as opposed to 16 and 4 for the Rendezvous.

biskuit
01-09-2012, 04:42
I'm no rye expert, but I must say that it's as enjoyable of a rye as I've ever tasted. Haven't had the pleasure of trying the Van Winkle Family Reserve Rye yet, so this is currently a top favorite of mine. I think that it exalts the rye flavor in quite an impressive way. So yeah, track one down. I'd say it's worth it for sure.

STLb

Funny enough, I just did a comparison of the Rendezvous and the Van Winkle. Both excellent ryes, and I recommend both of them to friends, but very different indeed. Similar proof, similar STATED age (13 vs. blend of 6 and 16, though we know the VW is closer to 18/19)... but the added years on the Van Winkle really show (in a good way).

http://www.thirstysouth.com/2012/01/04/van-winkle-rye-vs-high-west-rendezvous/

Old Lamplighter
01-09-2012, 15:00
Similar proof, similar STATED age (13 vs. blend of 6 and 16, though we know the VW is closer to 18/19)... but the added years on the Van Winkle really show (in a good way).

http://www.thirstysouth.com/2012/01/04/van-winkle-rye-vs-high-west-rendezvous/

I picked up a bottle of Rendezvous Rye on Saturday to compare to what I already had...VW, THH, Ritt BIB & Bowman. So far, it's been a disappointment. Maybe the competition is too strong, or, maybe I revisit after a few more days on its own. Just not enough bite for me. Maybe I should have tried the Double Rye first as it has younger rye swirled with 16yo. Or, maybe just my taste buds have been singed by too much Stagg over Christmas...:confused:

mrviognier
01-14-2012, 10:08
STLbourbon - as a fellow rye lover, I have been intrigued by High West with the amount of rye in the mashbill and would like your opinion. As I cannot get it here in my state, do you think it is a whiskey worth taking the effort to chase down and the added expense? I am leaning towards yes as it sounds like a really unique product.

Just an FYI, you CAN get High West in the State of Washington. That said, it's usually via special order with the store. We're hoping that we can improve availability this year.

Chris24
01-15-2012, 14:11
Just an FYI, you CAN get High West in the State of Washington. That said, it's usually via special order with the store. We're hoping that we can improve availability this year.

High West is all over WA. For whatever reason the search just doesn't show it.

Try calling these stores:
101
46
96
143
627