View Full Version : What's your favorite straight rye whiskey bottling?

07-24-2004, 12:19
Some time ago I made a poll asking people what's your favorite single barrel bottling (http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/showthreaded.php?Cat=&Number=17069&page=2&view=col lapsed&sb=5&o=all&fpart=1) (please feel free to still vote in it if you haven't already done so), and now I figured let's do a poll to see what peoples favorite straight rye whiskey bottling is. I'll list quite a few just to be fair to everyone. If your favorite happens to be one I do not list please just post what it is and I'll take it into consideration when the votes are tallied. (Polls cannot be edited so I cannot add it) Thanks in advance for 'playing'!

Same as it was in choosing just one favorite single barrel bottling, I know its hard to pick just one of these, but try your best. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/toast.gif

07-24-2004, 12:36
My vote went to the 13yo Van Winkle. I should point out that I've never had the 12yo.

07-24-2004, 16:17
I cannot vote. I cannot recall ever having tasted straight rye whiskey.


07-24-2004, 16:42
Then I think its about time you did finally try some Tim. And no, it doesn't taste like rye bread (http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/showthreaded.php?Cat=&Board=other&Number=25552&For um=All_Forums&Words=rye%20bread&Match=Entire%20Phr ase&Searchpage=0&Limit=25&Old=allposts&Main=25415& Search=true#Post25552). http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif

07-25-2004, 00:01
The 13 yo Van Winkle Family reserve rye is indeed excellent, but the 12 yo Old Tyme rye edges it out. There's no question it's the best rye I've ever had, hands down. That said, I'm also partial to the Sazerac 18 yo and the Black Maple Hill when it was still made by Van Winkle. I haven't tried the new Black Maple Hill Rye...has anyone here had it yet?

07-25-2004, 05:47
But, like so many other things, its not available in these parts. (I think we do have Jim Beam Rye, but I don't care to try it). And, when I go shopping out-of-state, my bourbon "to try to get" list is so long there is no room for anything else.


07-25-2004, 09:24
Understandable Tim, but if you don't replace one of your bourbon "to try and get" items with say Sazerac or ORVW13yo, you are truly missing out.

07-25-2004, 12:27
I believe the Hirsch Rye and the VWFR 13 YO Rye are the same whiskey. Julian has said the Hirsch Selection 13YO Rye bottled for Preiss Imports was from the same as the VWFR.

07-25-2004, 17:22
Okay, I have noted your advice. Actually, two trips ago, I saw and almost, but didn't, buy a bottle of Wild Turkey rye at about $19. Then, on my last trip, I had made up my mind that I was going to buy it, but the same store no longer had it.

I don't recall seeing any of the really good ones (Sazerac, Van Winkle, etc), even in the big city of Atlanta.

OT - I am coming to New York in September. I will go to a Yankees game and a Broadway show, but I doubt I will get to do any whiskey shopping.


07-25-2004, 17:37
Yeah, although the WT Rye isn't all that bad, I'd wait as well and make your eventual 1st bottle of a rye something special like Saz or VWFRR...

Maybe when you visit NY and the city you could plan dinner at a place that stocks some good bourbon and rye selections; That'd be a nice way perhaps to remember the night and get to try just a sample of 2 ryes like Saz and VWFRR. Yeah, I keep going to those 2 don't I?! http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/lol.gif One place I know that has a nice selection is Blue Smoke (http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/showthreaded.php?Cat=&Number=17154&page=0&view=col lapsed&sb=5&o=all&fpart=&vc=1). They have great BBQ, great spirits and if your timing is right, free live Jazz music to boot! But no matter what you do, enjoy your trip up here! http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/toast.gif

07-26-2004, 09:51
Thus far, I've only had Wild Turkey Rye. I liked it enough that the bottle will likely be empty this week. Next on the list to try is the Jim Beam Rye. We can't get much rye here in Seattle. Old Overholt is the only other one readily available from the state-run stores.

I don't think I'm qualified to vote after having sampled just one from this list.

07-27-2004, 18:05
The 13 yo Van Winkle Family reserve rye is indeed excellent, but the 12 yo Old Tyme rye edges it out.

I've never had the 12. I am drinking the 13 now, but have only tried the most recent batch. I hear some folks say they like the earlier versions better. I want to try to make a Manhattan with it, but have never slowed down to do it.

haven't tried the new Black Maple Hill Rye...has anyone here had it yet?

I just got the BMH 18 yo rye in at the store, but it's so bloody expensive, I haven't popped a bottle for myself yet. I've never had any of the BMH Lawrenceburg or current.

07-27-2004, 19:43
My brother is working on a project out in LA, CA. I had him bring me a 16yo BMH and the 18yo BMH rye. I'm bringing the 16yo to the festival...but took the 18yo rye to Canada for the Stampede. As Gary has noted the canadians are big fans of ryes.....all I can say is that the BMH 18yo rye was a big hit with my canadian friends. Their first comments were along the lines of...."this is like a canadian rye but much richer". I liked it alot and I'm not a big rye drinker ...but the ORVW 12yo OTR is changing my opinion of ryes in general.


07-28-2004, 16:07
Thanks for the feedback on the BMH 18. I may just break down and bring it to the Gazebo.

Hedmans Brorsa
07-29-2004, 02:27
Well, I voted for other and the post said : post your choice, so here goes :

Van Winkle Family Reserve Rye 1985 (non-chillfiltered).

An honourary mention goes to WT rye. The biggest dissapointment for me would be the Sazerac. There is clearly a good whiskey lurking in there somewhere but unfortunately overcome by woodiness. It is the only Buffalo Trace product that has let me down, I hasted to add.



07-29-2004, 14:15
There is clearly a good whiskey lurking in there somewhere but unfortunately overcome by woodiness.

What year Sazerac?

Hedmans Brorsa
07-30-2004, 02:57
What year Sazerac?

Distilled Fall 1981 - bottled summer 2000. Considering the allround praise for this brand it could very well be that Ive stumbled upon a bad bottling. In this particular case we have a sophisticated fruitiness which in the end loses out to a numbing oakiness.

Now, oak, in my opinion can be a powerfull asset in contributing to a successful whiskey (witness, for instance, the masterful Henry McKenna BIB)but here it just acts like an overmoralistic babysitter that eventually spoils all the fun.

Another factor not be ruled out is my non-preference for old whiskeys. American (and Irish) whiskeys, to me, peaks at around 15-16 years (single malt scotch peaks at around 20). The 20 yo Pappy is, in my view, the only true exception to the rule.



07-31-2004, 17:37
The Black Maple Hill rye is selling for $81.99 here, which is too rich for my blood, sadly http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif. (The BMH bourbons are $79.99 for the 16 YO, $62.99 for the 14 YO and $42.99 for the 11 YO; no 21 YO here). I have a generous pour of Van Winkle family Reserve rye, 13 YO, bottle E2076 (Frankfort), in front of me right now, and it is superb. My bunkered bottles are "C" series (Lawrenceburg)and my palate is, fortunately, not good enough to find differences among superb bottles of whiskey http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif eat your hearts out, you pesky "super-tasters, you"! http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif Yes, I envy you folks who can taste subtle differences, but there is grace in being able to enjoy great whiskeys without always being in competition mode. I voted for the Saz 18 (the 2001 release, actually), but the Van Winkle Family Reserve 13 and Old Rip Van Winkle Old Time Rye 12 are just as great: they (Saz vs. Van Winkle) are very different styles of rye whiskey, IMHO, and picking just one is a Solomonic choice. Cheers, Ed

08-01-2004, 17:14
they (Saz vs. Van Winkle) are very different styles of rye whiskey, IMHO, and picking just one is a Solomonic choice. Cheers, Ed

Boy, do I agree! I love both the Sazerac and the Van Winkle ryes, but they are both very different and special in their own way. To me the Saz tastes drier, but I love them both.

08-02-2004, 08:24
I bought a bottle of Jim Beam Rye on Friday. On opening it, the first thing I noticed was a strong aroma of black licorice. I had mixed feelings about this, since I don't especially care for black licorice. On the palate, there is some definite citrus, honey, and a musty kind of sweetness.

It's only the second rye I've had. Of the two, at this point I much prefer the WT.

11-23-2004, 18:02
I'll follow up on Randy's post by adding my own Canuck vote of confidence to Black Maple Hill Straight Rye Whiskey. The bottle was brought back by a good friend from Sportsman's in Phoenix/Scottsdale. This is a single barrel bottling, 18 years old, identified as from Bardstown, so an Evan Kulsveen product.

It is interesting how such a well-aged product can taste "fresh". It has a medium body, with no harsh edges, its 95 proof goes down smoothly. There is a good background of wood smoke but no off flavours, no old rank wood taste, no tannic bitterness. The rye flavor is there but clearly this is a "legal rye" product, i.e., it contains just enough rye to meet the legal definition, and is in effect a kind of hybrid of bourbon and rye. This is a stylish drink, fit for the gentleman's club (and with a price to match). I can't place it for origin, it does not taste like Heaven Hill rye, it does not taste like Barton whiskey to me, maybe Wild Turkey's rye superannuated?

Anyway, a fine dram of whiskey. Surely, as good as the pick of the Pendennis Club in, say, 1910 - if they were lucky.


11-23-2004, 18:41
For years I was a big fan of the ORVW 12 yr expression but the 13 edges it out now.

12-01-2004, 11:48
I have tried Beam Rye, WT Rye, and VWFRR 13 YO Rye. My fave is the WT Rye. Definitely in the minority here. Oh well. Different strokes for different folks.


12-01-2004, 12:38
I've only tried the Jim Beam rye, but I'm hopefully getting a bottle of the Sazerac soon... from everything I've heard, it should be great!

12-01-2004, 12:55
I've now had the Wild Turkey Rye, the Jim Beam Rye, Van Winkle Family Reserve Rye 13, and this year's Sazerac.

I can't stand the Jim Beam Rye.

The Wild Turkey Rye is the most unusual to me, the most distinct from bourbon. Interesting and tasty. Quite good, and nice to have around as an example of what flavors are brought to the table with a rye whiskey.

The Sazerac is rich with wood and zest. Delicious and powerful.

My favorite rye, however, is the VWFRR13. I get lots of cherry notes, cinnamon, apple pie, some smoke, and tingly mint. The finish is extremely long. Every time I drink it, I find something new in it. A kingly pour, indeed.

12-01-2004, 15:44
I've only ever tried Jim Beam Rye (the only Rye sold in Australia as far as I know) and Van Winkle 13yo Rye.. My bottle of Sazerac is still unopened. Of the two, I prefer the Beam as an every day drink, keeping the Van Winkle for when I want something special...
Although if the Van Winkle was easily obtained in Australia, I'd definately drink it over the Beam..

12-01-2004, 22:44
Currently have open pours of the Saz18, Hirsch13, and Van Winkle13. Believe I like the VW most.


12-02-2004, 16:17
Funny, but though I don't really love (or hate, for that matter) rye-heavy bourbons like OGD and Bulliet, I've never had a straight rye I didn't like a lot.
In order, from what I've had, I'd rank them thus:
<ul type="square"> Van Winkle 12yo Old Time Rye
Sazerac 18yo
Van Winkle Family Reserve 13yo
Wild Turkey
Jim Beam
I'm still looking for Rittenhouse. Old Overholt is available, but just haven't gotten one yet.

12-03-2004, 09:23
Opened another bottle of VWFRR. I am really enjoying it the second time around. Puzzling. As of yet, it has defied a taste description, this I will have to try more diligently to accomplish the task this weekend. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif


12-20-2004, 21:50
I've only tried Jim Beam Rye, based on Jim Murray's rave review. I just bought VWFR rye and was wondering: since Van Winkle makes their bourbon with wheat as the secondary grain, is theirs a wheated rye? Or do they use corn like most (all?) of the others?