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View Full Version : Rittenhouse DSPKY354 on its way out



StraightNoChaser
04-10-2012, 12:57
The next bottling of Rittenhouse may likely be DSPKY1 depending on stocks. HH has been distilling for Ritt for just over 4 years now so they switchover is imminent. According to them, Ritt was made at BF to their exacting specifications. Their yeast, their mashbill, their grains, their recipe exactly as they would have done it, just a stone's throw away at the Shively distillery. The difference between the two distillates is supposedly negligible so hopefully we won't experience any DSP shock once the new stocks start rolling out.

Another nugget for you: There is talk about releasing a cask strength rye under the PHC label.

Brisko
04-10-2012, 13:03
Another nugget for you: There is talk about releasing a cask strength rye under the PHC label.

I won't believe it until I hear it from Harlan Wheately. :lol:

By the way, do we know how old Rittehouse is? I've always assumed it to be the minimum 4 y/o but I guess anything is possible.

StraightNoChaser
04-10-2012, 13:18
Minimum 4yr since its a straight rye

redbear
04-10-2012, 13:20
Chuck posted this in his blog a few days ago. Did you hear this elsewhere?

Brisko
04-10-2012, 13:29
Minimum 4yr since its a straight rye

I meant is it older than 4.

StraightNoChaser
04-10-2012, 13:44
Chuck posted this in his blog a few days ago. Did you hear this elsewhere?

From Rob Hutchins of HH.

StraightNoChaser
04-10-2012, 13:45
I meant is it older than 4.

Sorry, didn't grasp the point of your question. I didn't ask.

cowdery
04-10-2012, 14:19
"Their yeast, their mashbill, their grains, their recipe exactly as they would have done it."

I've reported them saying that in the past too, before they bought Bernheim and were making everything at BF and Beam. See what happens? When folks from the distillery tell you stuff, it's tempting to take them at their word.

And that, while not a lie, is a bunch of fluff. And as I have always said, they don't usually lie, but they do spin.

Since you guys want cold reality, you should know that's largely bullshit. In reality, BF went into their files, found a rye they had made successfully at that distillery before, and made that. Of course HH was involved, they checked it along the way, and declared it good. It was pretty much the same way with the bourbon.

One reason HH bought Bernheim is because they liked the BF distillery and Bernheim has a lot of similarities. In both places, you can very easily run a new recipe, change a yeast, etc. That said, the Bernheim-made Rittenhouse probably will be very close because that's the recipe they're making there, not the one they were making at Bardstown.

With both the bourbon and the rye, it was pretty much like any contract distilling job. I'm not saying the statement above is untrue, it's just a bit overstated. It creates an image that is somewhat less than accurate.

One reason this is the case is because the recipes are very similar to begin with, same with the bourbons. Interesting fact about yeast is that BF has a yeast room, so they likely used the Beam yeast when they made HH's bourbon there, but when they moved to Bernheim it doesn't have a yeast room, and HH wouldn't spend the million dollars it would take to build one, so they had to switch to dry yeast, although they worked with the manufacturer to get their yeast in a dry form.

Despite all of the recent attacks on me, I think most people here know I try whenever possible to cut through the producer bullshit. Anybody who thinks I'm a producer mouthpiece either hasn't been paying attention or has a personal agenda.

StraightNoChaser
04-10-2012, 15:06
Despite all of the recent attacks on me, I think most people here know I try whenever possible to cut through the producer bullshit. Anybody who thinks I'm a producer mouthpiece either hasn't been paying attention or has a personal agenda.
What are you then Chuck? Does your professional profile not identify you as a "marketing writer for a variety of commercial clients"?

cowdery
04-10-2012, 15:10
What are you then Chuck? Does your professional profile not identify you as a "marketing writer for a variety of commercial clients"?

And that makes me a producer mouthpiece?

Maybe I should mention that I haven't done any marketing work for a major distillery client in about 20 years, but I do have clients in other, unrelated industries.

Look, there's a reason this board has a rule against ad hominum comments. We need to get back to that. I shouldn't have to defend myself because I shouldn't be attacked. I'm sure a moderator would be happy to explain the rule to you.

StraightNoChaser
04-10-2012, 15:11
Regardless, I didn't perceive anything I heard today as exaggeration. Rob knew who I was from my previous posts and took a very "no frills" approach with our conversation. His language may be practiced and attractive, but I didn't sense for a second he was feeding me "fluff."

I mean, let's face it, he knew where the conversation would end up :grin:

ethangsmith
05-06-2012, 15:55
Is Pikesville already Bernheim rye since it's only 3 years old?

Hopefully the flavor profile of Rittenhouse does not change too much since it is such a wonderful whiskey. Since there are so many variables that go into creating a whiskey, I would certainly expect some amount of a flavor shift though. I'm guessing since it's a BIB product, they wouldn't be able to blend barrels from Bernheim and BF over the next several years to create a gradual shift in flavor??

White Dog
05-07-2012, 11:54
I can't wait to try DSP-KY-1 Ritt, and as long as it's good whiskey, I won't mind it being different from the current version. In fact, I'll welcome Bernheim-made Ritt having it's own "stamp," if you will.

I'd like to think there would be some variance between these distilleries, as it makes for more a more interesting tasting experience, at least for me.

cowdery
05-08-2012, 17:26
Do you think they'll be in a hurry to put those DSP-1 back labels on? They won't be using up old labels on this one.

yountvillewjs
05-08-2012, 19:02
Do you think they'll be in a hurry to put those DSP-1 back labels on? They won't be using up old labels on this one.

Is this a question or a statement? I'm really at odds over the shift -- I rather like the product as is, but it could (hopefully will be) better.

smokinjoe
05-08-2012, 19:49
It's currently a fine product, but I am seriously hoping for a less bourbony whiskey, with more of a spicy, face shmakin', rye bite.

White Dog
05-09-2012, 07:37
It's currently a fine product, but I am seriously hoping for a less bourbony whiskey, with more of a spicy, face shmakin', rye bite.

I couldn't agree more. And let's hope for more availability.

cowdery
05-09-2012, 12:31
The rise of Rittenhouse has been based entirely on the DSP-354 product. I know that was a source of delight for the Brown-Forman people and it surely stuck in the craw of the Heaven Hill people. For better or worse, I'm sure they'll be happy to put DSP-1 on the label. I wouldn't expect much of a change, but we'll see. As for availability, I'm sure they keep increasing production and unless they're holding something back for something special, like a Parker's rye, for example, I expect availability will improve.

Interesting point. Because it's BIB, they can't mix DSP-354 whiskey and DSP-1 whiskey together to smooth the transition. It has to be one or the other.

jburlowski
05-09-2012, 16:14
The rise of Rittenhouse has been based entirely on the DSP-354 product. I know that was a source of delight for the Brown-Forman people and it surely stuck in the craw of the Heaven Hill people. For better or worse, I'm sure they'll be happy to put DSP-1 on the label. I wouldn't expect much of a change, but we'll see. As for availability, I'm sure they keep increasing production and unless they're holding something back for something special, like a Parker's rye, for example, I expect availability will improve.

Interesting point. Because it's BIB, they can't mix DSP-354 whiskey and DSP-1 whiskey together to smooth the transition. It has to be one or the other.

I could be wrong, but I thought they, in fact, they (HH) said there would be a PHC rye.

cowdery
05-10-2012, 11:15
I'm retracting my post of 4/10/12. It was intemperate at the time and I have since had some conversations with folks at Heaven Hill that convince me it is also inaccurate.

This should reassure anyone who is concerned about Rittenhouse Rye changing when it shifts from DSP-354 (Brown-Forman) to DSP-1 (Heaven Hill Bernheim) juice. The rye whiskey made at Brown-Forman used the same mash bill and yeast they were using at DSP-31 (Heaven Hill Bardstown) before the fire and it's the same as they're using at DSP-1 now. Distilleries are different, of course, but Heaven Hill feels it has been their rye at all three distilleries despite those differences.

I hope to receive from them soon an estimate of when DSP-1 will begin to appear on the BIB back label. It hasn't quite been four years yet, but it's getting close.

It's fair to say that the people at Brown-Forman Distillery are proud of the whiskey (bourbon and rye) they have made on Heaven Hill's behalf, as well they should be, but Heaven Hill is also proud of the way they managed to keep their products in production and true to their bona fides despite the unexpected loss of their distillery.

bad_scientist
05-10-2012, 11:41
Same as before the fire? Does this yeast and recipe go all the way back to Kinsey?

cowdery
05-10-2012, 12:26
Same as before the fire? Does this yeast and recipe go all the way back to Kinsey?

Don't think anyone is claiming that. I know from 20 years ago I was told that Heaven Hill was already making rye when it started to get calls to produce for the dying companies in Pennsylvania and Maryland. I was told then that Heaven Hill made one bourbon recipe and one rye recipe, so it's probably more appropriate to call it the Heaven Hill rye recipe than to make any claims linking it to any previous producers. I also seem to recall that in 1991-92, Heaven Hill was making Pikesville but not Rittenhouse, which was then made in Owensboro by Glenmore. Heaven Hill got Rittenhouse in the big brand sell-off that UDV did after it bought Glenmore in 1992. So Heaven Hill got the brand indirectly, not directly from Kinsey-Publicker.

Heaven Hill's recipes got a rework when Earl Beam replaced Harry Beam as Master Distiller in 1940-something and since Earl Beam was fresh from Jim Beam at that point, that's probably where the family resemblance is. I think I'm safe in assuming that the rye Heaven Hill is making today is essentially the same rye they've been making for about 70 years.

If I'm wrong, I'm sure I'll hear about it.

Brisko
05-10-2012, 14:53
It's fair to say that the people at Brown-Forman Distillery are proud of the whiskey (bourbon and rye) they have made on Heaven Hill's behalf, as well they should be, but Heaven Hill is also proud of the way they managed to keep their products in production and true to their bona fides despite the unexpected loss of their distillery.

Corn whiskey, too. Do you know if Mellow Corn will be transitioning to DSP-1 also?

bad_scientist
05-10-2012, 17:38
Don't think anyone is claiming that. I know from 20 years ago I was told that Heaven Hill was already making rye when it started to get calls to produce for the dying companies in Pennsylvania and Maryland. I was told then that Heaven Hill made one bourbon recipe and one rye recipe, so it's probably more appropriate to call it the Heaven Hill rye recipe than to make any claims linking it to any previous producers. I also seem to recall that in 1991-92, Heaven Hill was making Pikesville but not Rittenhouse, which was then made in Owensboro by Glenmore. Heaven Hill got Rittenhouse in the big brand sell-off that UDV did after it bought Glenmore in 1992. So Heaven Hill got the brand indirectly, not directly from Kinsey-Publicker.

Heaven Hill's recipes got a rework when Earl Beam replaced Harry Beam as Master Distiller in 1940-something and since Earl Beam was fresh from Jim Beam at that point, that's probably where the family resemblance is. I think I'm safe in assuming that the rye Heaven Hill is making today is essentially the same rye they've been making for about 70 years.

If I'm wrong, I'm sure I'll hear about it.


Thanks Chuck! That's, as always, an extremely concise and in-depth bolus of info.

Did you get clarification on the wet/dry yeast issue that you brought up?

cowdery
05-10-2012, 18:59
My suspicion, because Brown Forman is equipped to do so, is that Brown Forman continued to use jug yeast as Heaven Hill did at Bardstown. They cannot use jug yeast at Bernheim because they don't have a yeast room, so they're definitely using dry yeast now, but it's a proprietary yeast made to their specifications.

ethangsmith
05-10-2012, 19:28
Interesting someone else mentioned Mellow Corn. I too noticed this was a BF distillation. I know HH has been making mention that they are evaluating new markets for Mellow Corn. Could this be in preparation for the switch to DSP-1 whiskey?

On another note, I did a side-by-side tasting of my bottle of Rittenhouse and my bottle of Pikesville. While one is 80pf and 3yo and the other is 100pf and not age stated (but certainly older!), they are absolutely brothers. It would seem, by flavor at least, that Pikesville is still from the same distillery as Rittenhouse at this point. I'm hoping with the exploding popularity in Rittenhouse sales that HH does not decide to kill the Pikesville brand. It's the only $10 rye I know of- and it's dang tasty too!!

White Dog
05-10-2012, 20:48
Interesting someone else mentioned Mellow Corn. I too noticed this was a BF distillation. I know HH has been making mention that they are evaluating new markets for Mellow Corn. Could this be in preparation for the switch to DSP-1 whiskey?

On another note, I did a side-by-side tasting of my bottle of Rittenhouse and my bottle of Pikesville. While one is 80pf and 3yo and the other is 100pf and not age stated (but certainly older!), they are absolutely brothers. It would seem, by flavor at least, that Pikesville is still from the same distillery as Rittenhouse at this point. I'm hoping with the exploding popularity in Rittenhouse sales that HH does not decide to kill the Pikesville brand. It's the only $10 rye I know of- and it's dang tasty too!!

This is quite interesting. I'm too far gone at the moment, but I have both the current RittBIB, the Pikesville bottled about 2 years ago, as well as current Stephen Foster Rye, which is a 30 month, 80pr HH product. I'll let you know my thoughts when I get to doing a line-up.

And I love me some MC DSP-354!

cowdery
05-11-2012, 16:44
According to Heaven Hill, we're still about a year away from seeing DSP-1 Ritt on the shelves. The first batches will come of age in February and probably start to appear at retail in March, 2013.

yountvillewjs
05-11-2012, 19:20
According to Heaven Hill, we're still about a year away from seeing DSP-1 Ritt on the shelves. The first batches will come of age in February and probably start to appear at retail in March, 2013.

You sir are the man! Great to know for those of us with hoarding tendencies (he says as he takes the last sip of his Ritt Manhattan).

smokinjoe
05-11-2012, 19:33
You sir are the man! Great to know for those of us with hoarding tendencies (he says as he takes the last sip of his Ritt Manhattan).

Dang straight, he's the man. Just ask Melanie Safka. :D

jburlowski
05-12-2012, 07:47
Had a chance to taste some DSP-1 rye at 3y 6m. Still too young for prime time. Based on my limited experience, the jury is still out.

cowdery
05-13-2012, 13:08
Dang straight, he's the man. Just ask Melanie Safka. :D

Nothing was ever proved and, it being the seventies, I have no memory of it.

cowdery
07-30-2012, 14:49
I have a little bit of information about the Rittenhouse Rye made at DSP-KY-354. When Heaven Hill stopped buying it, Brown-Forman stopped making it. Both sides have confirmed to me that the Rittenhouse Rye made at 354 was Heaven Hill's yeast and mash bill. When Brown-Forman stopped making it at 354, HH started making it at DSP-KY-1. The point is that the 354-made edition of that recipe is no longer being made. All of the Rittenhouse Rye available now (except the very-olds) is DSP-KY-354. Theoretically, its successor will be the same, but it is a different distillery and distiller.

If Brown-Forman should happen to launch a rye sometime in the future it will not be that rye, i.e., Rittenhouse.

ethangsmith
07-30-2012, 15:19
So that begs the questions:

1. When did HH start rye production at Bernhem?
2. Did BF stop rye production at the same time, and if not, when?
3. Is Pikesville, at 3 years old, already Bernheim rye?
4. And the million dollar question- When do we see DSP-KY-1 Rittenhouse hit the shelves?

I'm sure not all of these questions are answerable at the present time, but I would be interested to hear of any of the KNOWN information regarding the switch over. I'm really looking forward to the Bernheim-produced ryes. I think they'll be just as good, if not better that what we have now. When it's all done in-house, I would think the surveillance and control of the product would be even greater. Although I always could be wrong- I hope not!

MauiSon
07-30-2012, 16:39
Noobie question: I don't understand all this focus on distillery source. Isn't cooperage of much greater consequence? Everyone seems to infer the distillery is a paramount consideration, but the flavor is mostly derived from the cooperage. Is that a 'dirty little secret' or is it rarely discussed because less is known about it? I'm not suggesting mashbill, yeast and distilling processes aren't important, but the wood (and aging process) is mostly what I'm tasting in bourbon (and probably rye) and I would imagine mostly what produces a poor or superior result.

Sorry to say, I've yet to see a bottle of Rittenhouse Rye offline.

ChainWhip
07-30-2012, 20:13
They're all factors that contribute to the final product no? I'm a noob too but when I look at how many recipes 4Roses uses and how different they all are, it provides an interesting study on the effects of yeast/mashbill on taste. What percentage/weight does yeast or mashbill account for its effect on taste in the final product versus cooperage? I don't know.

Of course, I'm assuming 4Roses barreling is relatively consistent.

MauiSon
07-31-2012, 03:54
Okay, how many different distilleries is 4 Roses using to produce those different yeast/mashbill combinations? I believe your observation is supporting my position, not contradicting it. Every distillery can vary it's yeast and mashbill, but this focus on source distillery is independent of those considerations - else why question if the product from a different distillery, using the same yeast/mashbill will be different?

p_elliott
07-31-2012, 08:23
MauiSon

It would be very difficult to exactly duplicate a whisk(e)y in a different distillery even though you were using the same mash bill and yeast. Every thing is just going to work a little differently. The grain grinders are not going to grind the grain to exactly the same consistency, the still is not going to be exactly the same, one distillery may have cypress fermenters while the other has stainless steel, the warehouses are different and in different locations, etc. Does this make sense ?

Paul

Young Blacksmith
07-31-2012, 14:53
Right, even just the piping going from fermenters to still to barreling location will change the way it comes out.

MauiSon
07-31-2012, 15:08
It would surprise me to learn that a distiller couldn't manage to adjust variables to duplicate raw product - just look at the range of production at the multi-label distillers and the advances in modern distilling sciences. Cooperage and storage are an entirely different issue from distillery production, i.e., a distillery's production is often stored in different makes of barrels and different warehouses, even competitor's warehouses. I don't understand why you would suggest that the distillery, rather than the raw product buyer/owner, decides cooperage and storage (the aging aspects) of the product. Bottom line - I believe those aging aspects far outweigh any aspect added or subtracted due to distillery limitations (inability to duplicate white dog).

Sorry if this line of discussion constitutes a hijacking. ;)

callmeox
07-31-2012, 18:41
Sorry if this line of discussion constitutes a hijacking. ;)

It does, but is an interesting line of questions. Feel free to open a new thread about it to continue the discussion.

White Dog
07-31-2012, 20:14
With all due respect, I find it quite pertinent, when you consider the original thread. Here we will certainly see what real difference DSP makes, since it's the same yeast and mashbill. HH was aging Ritt DSP-354, correct? I can't wait to sit down with RittBIB DSP-354 vs. DSP-1, as that's what MauiSon's thread drift is really all about.

Restaurant man
07-31-2012, 22:07
With all due respect, I find it quite pertinent, when you consider the original thread. Here we will certainly see what real difference DSP makes, since it's the same yeast and mashbill. HH was aging Ritt DSP-354, correct? I can't wait to sit down with RittBIB DSP-354 vs. DSP-1, as that's what MauiSon's thread drift is really all about.

Word! Got an order in today but alas dsp 354. Maybe next time...

MauiSon
08-01-2012, 02:11
Yeah, comparing late DSP-354 with early DSP-1 should be the best 'head to head' we can get - hope I can score a pair!

tmckenzie
08-01-2012, 04:41
I know the difference in the mellow corn is huge. HH is much more flavorful. There will have to be a flavor difference. If I am not mistaken, Early Times thumps their whiskey, and HH doubles. In my opinion, thumping makes for a more flavorful product.

cowdery
08-02-2012, 20:27
The point I was trying to convey is that there will be no rye whiskey made at DSP-354 using the Rittenhouse recipe and yeast sold as anything else except, obviously, Pikesville or some other HH rye. Brown-Forman was making it for Heaven Hill. As I clearly stated, when HH stopped buying it, BF stopped making it. I don't recall the exact date of the switchover, but it was close to four years ago.

That is not to say BF has made no other rye whiskey at the Shively distillery. It's just to answer the speculation about whether or not they continued to make the Rittenhouse recipe for their own portfolio. A corollary is that all of the Rittenhouse they made over the years went to HH. Brown-Forman didn't make any extra for itself.

I have had conversations about this with both the Heaven Hill people and the Brown-Forman people and their stories match up.

The reason this switchover is interesting is because Rittenhouse Rye BIB is a bond. Therefore, it can only be the product of a single distillery, so HH has to go from bottling DSP-354 Rittenhouse to bottling DSP-1 Rittenhouse. There is no way for them to smooth the transition by mixing barrels from both for some period of time. As a bond, they are also required to identify the place of distillation on the label, so we won't have to guess when the DSP-1 stuff has hit the market.

In no sense does this suggest the distillery is more important than cooperage and aging or anything else. It was a pretty broad leap to that conclusion anyway. Because Rittenhouse is a relatively small brand, and a BIB, this will a rare opportunity to taste a whiskey where the only variable is where distilled.

Rare, but not unique, as we had a similar opportunity with EWSB's 'wilderness' editions ('97-'99), but that was a little different because there is some variation in a single barrel anyway.

Anyone who has a bottle of DSP-31 Rittenhouse BIB can compare it from the other end.

This is also interesting because, in some ways, DSP-354 Rittenhouse has been the posterchild for the rye whiskey rennaissance. It's become very popular with mixologists as well as consumers, and has been in short supply for the last several years. As further evidence of its popularity, its price has just about doubled in the last ten years without slowing it down.

For all these reasons, Rittenhouse BIB a very important brand for HH and they are anxious for this transition to go well. There is every reason that it should because there shouldn't be a huge difference. In addition to the factors already mentioned, the two distilleries are similar in design and geographically close together, which reduces some of the possible variables.

Perhaps I can feel the conspiracy theorists winding themselves up. I hope I'm wrong about that, but there's certainly nothing I can do to stop it.

White Dog
08-03-2012, 08:17
I don't see any conspiracy theories being floated on this one, Chuck. Just excitement to be able to taste same the mashbill/yeast/aging, but from 2 different DSPs. I'm simply looking forward to the side-by-side, as I'm sure most others are.

timd
08-09-2012, 16:33
I picked up a bunch of DSPKY354 the other day - just in case there's any "problems" with the DSPKY1 (relative to my preferences). Worst case I've got some interesting tastings to compare them in the future, or I could vat them together to "smooth the transition" myself...

In reality, I'm pretty hopeful that DSPKY1 will be an IMPROVEMENT on the existing product, and also open up HH to allow for single-barrel selection programs, older/special editions, etc. By producing this in-house, it should afford them much more flexibility in experimenting, and also (hopefully) help to keep the price flattish.

BourbonJoe
08-09-2012, 20:02
When I used to buy 354 and 31 Ritt BiB, I think it was around 8 bucks a bottle. I have bunkered a bunch of each to compare with the DSP 1 when it gets here.
Joe :usflag:

cowdery
08-10-2012, 14:04
I wish I had bought more when it was $11.99, but I probably would have just drunk it all.

timd
08-10-2012, 15:16
I wish I had bought more when it was $11.99, but I probably would have just drunk it all.

*Probably*? Now who's being disengenious and non-transparent? :drink::slappin:

(you know I'm just funnin' ya!)

cowdery
08-10-2012, 20:39
Okay, make it undoubtedly.

MauiSon
08-14-2012, 19:44
Good news - I found some RittBIB and it's DSP354. 1/2 way to a side-by-side.

Bad news - $23.99 (that's a sale price of $2 off regular). Even so, cheaper than having it shipped.