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tanstaafl2
01-31-2013, 10:04
Pulled this from another post (http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/showthread.php?12897-Show-Us-Your-Stash-Volume-3-0-%28The-Subliminal-Verses%29&p=297670&viewfull=1#post297670). Aaron or anyone else have any opinion on this 23yo Willet rye bottling from the Seelbach Hotel?

Rathskellar Rye is 130+pf and is a Willet bottling from the same Medley batch, if my taste buds are serving me correctly. I had a taste of it at the Seelbach in Louisville where they still have stock to replace the bottle on the bar when it runs out. I've also tasted an imported VWFRR that was unchillfiltered and more than 100pf (I don't remember exactly) that I believe to be part of the same family. The BMH 23 also seems similar.

c2walker
01-31-2013, 10:12
It's excellent whiskey. I was told that they have dozens of bottles still, but they won't sell them...meaning people will be able to enjoy it at the bar (for something like $25 a pour) for many years to come.

scratchline
01-31-2013, 10:42
Have an open bottle on my bar now. Outstanding rye. I have a friend who's not a big whiskey drinker but who had a sample a while back and now every time she comes over, she asks for a little pour. I was lucky enough to pick up a couple of bottles at the Bourbon Festival several years ago and now wish I had cleared the shelf. It's like Vintage 21 at barrel proof.

Josh
01-31-2013, 11:22
I split a pour of it at the bar with a friend a few years ago. Not an everyday, go-to pour but very good, even to someone more fond of the middle aged whiskey like myself.

WAINWRIGHT
01-31-2013, 13:05
It's really funny this thread started as a few of us were just speaking of this last night.I have had only one pour of this in Louisville myself and was amazed,I am a huge aged rye fan and the cask strength is the icing on the cake for this one!I still have some BMH,Ritt's and a few Bowman's bunkered but they aren't the Rath,Red Hook or the Willett but they will have to do,because I will never see a bottle of any of the previous ever.:smiley_acbt:

AaronWF
01-31-2013, 15:02
I have since learned that it is likely not Medley, but rather Bernheim. My understanding is that the tanked component of the VWFRR was made up of Medley and Bernheim. The first bottlings of VWFRR were from only one distillery, I believe, but I forget which.

Anyway, with a little bit of water, the Rathskellar is an epic pour! It's incredibly rare to drink CS whiskey distilled in the 80's, so I wouldn't pass up the chance.

squire
01-31-2013, 15:45
I don't recall the subject even being discussed in the 80s.

sailor22
01-31-2013, 17:19
It's from the same stocks as Vintage 23, BMH 23 and some of the early Rye single barrel picks by LeNell and Doug. A retailer in DC picked a few barrels also - I seem to recall the Velvet Glove and the Iron Fist if I'm not mistaken. The Bitter Truth had one that was supposedly from the same stocks too. Not sure about the older Rittenhouse.

If you like deep brooding woody Ryes don't pass up a chance to taste Rathskeller or any of the juice mentioned above, particularly the ones bottled at barrel strength.

Regarding Rathskeller, rumor has it a few cases fell off the truck on the way to the bar at the Sellbach and were available for a very short time at one particular retailer. Inexplicably I saw one at a bar in Atlanta a few years ago.

WAINWRIGHT
01-31-2013, 17:29
Great info,I forgot about The Bitter Truth and honestly was completely unaware of the two previously mentioned.The Velvet Glove and Iron Fist are two I have been completely oblivious to,it's interesting to see where these old stocks end up and see how the have been distributed through the years.

MyOldKyDram
01-31-2013, 17:30
Looks like I gotsta get to the Seelbach. Is that part of the Urban Bourbon Trail?

LostBottle
01-31-2013, 22:05
While I would kill for a bottle, the Bitter Truth Rye would be impossible to find. The 240 bottles were never released in the States - 700ml bottles for the German market.

http://the-bitter-truth.com/liqueurs/rye-whiskey (http://the-bitter-truth.com/liqueurs/rye-whiskey/)

Wryguy
01-31-2013, 22:47
Just last week I had the pleasure of having a pour of the Rathskellar Rye at Bourbon in the Adams Morgan Section of DC (See pics below). There appeared to be about an ounce left in their lone bottle, but they had both the Iron Fist and the Velvet Glove in plenty. The Rathskellar Rye blew my mind, and added the Hotel Seelbach to my list of immediate must-visit locations, and the Rathskellar presently sits a hair above the BMH23 as the best I've ever had.

The most interesting thing about these two Willett bottlings is the fact that they are from the same barrel, with a difference of .1 proof, or .05 percent ABV, and yet they exhibit almost polar opposite extremes of the rye grain and its dynamics. The names are truly apt: The Iron Fist rocks with spice and heat, pepper and smoky wood slapping the senses raw, The Velvet Glove soft and smooth, spice, wood and caramel sweet perfectly integrated and going for days. The pairing of these two bottles is in my mind one of the best testaments to the dynamic depth of well-aged rye.

A random aside, but since well-aged rye is the topic, is there truth to the rumor that this last release of Saz18 is the final one?

c2walker
01-31-2013, 23:05
Just last week I had the pleasure of having a pour of the Rathskellar Rye at Bourbon in the Adams Morgan Section of DC (See pics below). There appeared to be about an ounce left in their lone bottle, but they had both the Iron Fist and the Velvet Glove in plenty. The Rathskellar Rye blew my mind, and added the Hotel Seelbach to my list of immediate must-visit locations, and the Rathskellar presently sits a hair above the BMH23 as the best I've ever had.

The most interesting thing about these two Willett bottlings is the fact that they are from the same barrel, with a difference of .1 proof, or .05 percent ABV, and yet they exhibit almost polar opposite extremes of the rye grain and its dynamics. The names are truly apt: The Iron Fist rocks with spice and heat, pepper and smoky wood slapping the senses raw, The Velvet Glove soft and smooth, spice, wood and caramel sweet perfectly integrated and going for days. The pairing of these two bottles is in my mind one of the best testaments to the dynamic depth of well-aged rye.

A random aside, but since well-aged rye is the topic, is there truth to the rumor that this last release of Saz18 is the final one?

Very interesting, but they don't appear to be from the same barrel....different ricks.

BradleyC
01-31-2013, 23:08
This rye is so good that I am willing to fly to Louisville to drink it before opening one of my bottles. It really is that good in my opinion. If you fly into Louisville you have no reason not to stop by and have a pour while coming or going.

Wryguy
01-31-2013, 23:18
Very interesting, but they don't appear to be from the same barrel....different ricks.

I thought the same thing, but both bottles listed barrel 11 of the front label, though the rick number thing did make me pause.

Anyone out there have a definitive answer on whether these two are from the same barrel?

HighInTheMtns
02-01-2013, 08:10
I thought the same thing, but both bottles listed barrel 11 of the front label, though the rick number thing did make me pause.

Anyone out there have a definitive answer on whether these two are from the same barrel?
They're not: like c2walker said, two different ricks means two different barrels. And the proof is similar but not the same... Again, two different barrels. Also, 400+ bottles is too many to have come from one barrel.

Wryguy
02-01-2013, 08:31
They're not: like c2walker said, two different ricks means two different barrels. And the proof is similar but not the same... Again, two different barrels. Also, 400+ bottles is too many to have come from one barrel.

Gotcha, I just guessed since that they are both labeled as being from barrel 11 and had ABVs of 68.5 and 68.55 that they were probably from the same barrel. Amazing that two different barrels yielded almost identical proofs. Thank you both for the correction and the information. I should have put two and two together with the number of bottles produced of each.

doubleblank
02-01-2013, 09:56
IIRC, when KBD bought this rye, all the barrels were dumped together and hauled to Bardstown. The rye was then put back into the original barrels (filled completely) and received additional ageing at KBD before various parties had KBD bottle it for them. So each barrel produced a lot of bottles and it's not surprising that their proofs can be very similar.

A couple of liquor stores carried the Rathskeller Rye for a period of time and sold it for about $110 per bottle (before the SB.com discount they gave). I grabbed a couple over my varios trips to Bardstown and remain unopened. I've got some Red Hooks and those early Willets bottled for Ledger's/Doug/Neal out in Cali. Would be interesting to do some side-by-sides someday, but I'm guessing there will definitely be a "family" resemblance.

Here's a trivia question for you long time members ..... what's the story behind the name "The Bitter Truth" on the bottles sent to Germany?

Wryguy
02-01-2013, 12:18
A quick call to KBD confirmed that the bottlings are from two different barrels. Thank you doubleblank for the info, I for one think you should do that side-by-side, because these two Willetts couldn't be more different, even if they are from the same 'family' of barrels, so there might be some interesting findings there.

Big thanks and props to KBD for their helpfulness and amazing products!

sailor22
02-01-2013, 12:51
Randy - I'll drive to Houston to sample all the mentioned Ryes, just tell me when!!

BTW - Are you still planning on passing through Tally this spring ?:cool:

LostBottle
02-01-2013, 18:12
Big thanks and props to KBD for their helpfulness and amazing products!

If there is one thing KBD is known for, it's their helpfulness :rolleyes:

cowdery
02-03-2013, 14:27
I assume from what everyone is saying that all of these are from that batch of what was originally supposed to be Cream of Kentucky Rye made at Old Bernheim in Louisville when it was still owned by United Distillers (today's Diageo).

The Old Rittenhouse is definitely not part of that. It is rye whiskey made by Heaven Hill at DSP-31 (Bardstown). It was made for a customer who never took delivery so Heaven Hill bought it back.

The Old Seelbach Bar is a wonderful bar. If you like cocktails, try their eponymous one. Also walk downstairs and have a look at the Rathskellar, a marvel of ceramic artistry from Cincinnati's Rookwood Pottery.