View Full Version : Potrero Rye??

08-10-2005, 15:55
I like it. Old Potrero is made from a mashbill of 100% malted rye, and it is the only whiskey (that you can buy) like that. It is really in its own category among whiskies; it is not really comparable to traditional straight rye or malt whiskey made from malted barley. It might well benefit from more time in the barrel, but I find it surprisingly good for its youth, which is a testiment to the strength of the style. Don't forget, it's bottled at about 120 proof, so if it's a little harsh, some water or ice won't hurt it. (I think I read somewhere that they are bottling a lower-proof version now, but I don't know that for sure.)

Perhaps they bottle it young because they can. Why keep in in a warehouse for six or eight or whatever years, if people will pay a good price for it at one to three years? I would be curious to know how their sales are, and whether people would pay more for an older version.

Okay, curiosity got me and I bought a bottle.

<font color="blue">Name:</font> Old Potrero Straight Rye

<font color="blue">Proof:</font> 90

<font color="blue">Mashbill:</font> 100% malted rye

<font color="blue">Style:</font> Pot Still

<font color="blue">Age:</font> 3 years in charred oak (I expected to want it to be older, I don't)

<font color="blue">Cost:</font> $54

<font color="blue">Distillery:</font> Anchor Distilling

<font color="blue">Bottle:</font> Short, thick, round, clear. Very stylish label. Nice to handle

<font color="blue">Nose:</font> Baking bread, some vanilla

<font color="blue">Appearance:</font> Medium amber

<font color="blue">Taste:</font> Comments earlier were right on the money. This is not like anything I've ever had before. It is very smooth. For me, that usually means less flavor than I'd like but not here. This is bold. You know the difference between white bread from the store and that perfect loaf of bread coming out of your oven??? Old Potrero is the latter. That is (I assume) due to the 100% malted rye.

It isn't sweet like most Bourbons. It has almost no edge from the alchohol. It does have some of the mouth feel of, say, a Bushmills 16 (but tastes completely different). It is unique to my experience.

<font color="blue">Finish:</font> The finish is just a continuation of the taste. It doesn't change. It does linger quite a while making each sip deeply satisfying.

<font color="blue"> Conclusions:</font> This is a kind of a one dimensional pour. It does one thing and it does it very, very well. Don't carry preconceptions into this, just try it like you have no idea what is coming. I sure didn't.

Anchor says this is to be in the style of an American 19th century whisky. I doubt you would find anything in the 19th century as smooth and good as this (but maybe?).

Interesting aside, some pours (anyone try Laphroaig 10?) leave what I can only call a taste memory. For hours the following day your mind has this perfect recall of the pour you had last night. Old Potrero did this. I can still taste last night's pour in my mind....

Highly recommended but I doubt it will become anyones goto drink. I want another bottle.



08-10-2005, 18:43
Evening all,

Well credit must given where it is due. The label on this expression has to be the classiest of any on the market. The raised Royal Blue lettering and gold embossing have both the appearance and feel of genuine copper plate engraving.

The product is also a class act I'm just not sure if its film or live theatre, which is it say I'm not sure what they are doing but they're doing it well.

I can't add to the taste notes as my bottle is the high octane version but I can agree the taste is somewhat one dimensional.

Then again that might not be a negative. A perfectly ripe peach has only one flavor.


08-10-2005, 20:52
Out of curiosity, who else has bottles of this sitting around and what bottling is it?
Essay #5-RW-ARM-2-A
Bottling Date 1/14/99
In Barrel Date 12/27/95
No. of Bottles 1880
Bottle No. 0368
...yes I've had it a while...but there are so many other whiskies to drink, and at the price I think it deserves to be treated as an event, much like my bottle of Hirsch 20 yr thats just waiting for the right day to be enjoyed.

Hedmans Brorsa
08-11-2005, 04:17
Good! good!

The Potrero rehabilitation crusade starts here! http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/toast.gif

08-11-2005, 05:31
Out of curiosity, who else has bottles of this sitting around and what bottling is it?
Essay #5-RW-ARM-2-A

Timothy, mine was essay 10-SRW-ARM-C. Yours was the cask strength, yes?? Wish I'd been able to try that. (though I think the cost went down with this expression).

As to keeping it for some special day, there are so many great Bourbons out there to do this with, I would rather have a preview of what I was bringing forth.



08-11-2005, 12:53
Yes, it is the cask strength, 125.2. Also I have had this expression, at Whiskeyfest Chicago in 2002(?) Fritz gave a tasting of his products during a lecture he gave. It was excellent, though the memory is fading. Need to come up with a reason to open this soon... http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/lol.gif


11-18-2005, 11:24
This is somthing I need to try. I've been very impressed with their beer of late and look forward to trying their rye soon. The price is just a little tough but it sounds like it's worth it.

I am confused about malt though. Probably a stupid question but is malt that you use in shakes or on ice cream the same "type" of substance?

11-18-2005, 11:42
is malt that you use in shakes or on ice cream the same "type" of substance?

Briefly, yes. Malt is sprouted grain. Normally it is barley, but other grains, such as rye in the case of Old Potrero, can be malted. This is done to produce enzymes in the sprouted grain that change starches into sugars, which yeast can ferment into alcohol. This is done in the "mash," which is a steeping of the crushed malted grain in water at ~150F. If the sugary liquid is strained out and either concentrated into a syrup or dried into a powder, it can be used to make shakes, etc.

If the sugary liquid or the entire mash is fermented, it's on the way to becoming beer, and if this is distilled, then it's on its way to becoming whiskey.

You only need a portion of malted grain to convert the starches in other grains to sugar. Typicaly, bourbon is made from 60-80% corn, and the balance split between malted barley and unmalted rye (or wheat).

Both of the Old Potreros are made from 100% malted rye - quite unusual. Malt whisky in Scotland is made from 100% malted barley.

Old Potrero rye whiskey is aged the minimum of two years in charred oak barrels, so it can be called whiskey. The Old Potrero Malt is aged less than two years in toasted, but uncharred oak barrels, so it may not be called whiskey.

I have had a bottle of each for 4-5 years and still have a bit of each left. I would consider them to be interesting, but not exactly interesting aside from the experience. They certainly will inform you as to the taste of malted rye spirits. I have the original barrel proof bottles. Now they are marketing cut versions - something like 90 proof, I think.

Hope this answers your question.


11-18-2005, 11:51
Hope this answers your question.

Uh, Jeff...this answers just about every question I could ever come up with. You have this wealth of knowledge just floating around? Seriously, thanks for the speedy and fantastic answer. It absolutely answered my question.

01-01-2006, 13:07
Here in WA. Potrero Rye goes for $101.95! I am becoming more interested in the whole issue of State Controlled Liquor Stores vs. Private. I posted earlier that Costco had won a suit regarding unfair State policies concerning the importation of out of State wines vs. in State. Maybe someday they will challenge the whole concept of State Run Liquor Stores. It seems that States that allow for private ownership have better prices and maybe better selection? Maybe this (http://www.liq.wa.gov/publications/BenefitsofaControlSystemNovember03.pdf) new information campaign is because they are feeling threatened? I donít know enough to have an educated opinion yet, but Iím generally for LESS government involvement.

01-18-2006, 21:23
I just opened my bottle (it's the 90 proof).


It's very different from any other rye I've tried - sort of like a rye that took a detour through the Scottish Highlands. Of course, being made from malted rye, that shouldn't be too surprising. It's quite tasty, in any case, and while it's a bit on the expensive side ($60 here, vs. $50 for Sazerac 18 or $25 for Saz Jr.), I think it's worth it as a treat (but not as a daily pour).

I got the "baking bread" impression from the nose as well. Oddly, the impression is not rye bread.

It has a very long, pleasant finish, with the malt shining through.

Although I'm really liking it straight up, I also think it might be an interesting starting point for some "Gillmanizing" - maybe some Bernheim Straight Wheat, and perhaps a sherried Speyside Scotch might be some blending candidates.

03-03-2006, 16:00
Okay guys, my local liquor store just got in some of the 18th century and while that didn't interest me all that much(been there done that, liked it but its kinda expensive, already have some anyway) it is the barrel proof version. But what really interested me is the label. These are labeled as 700ml but the bottle has molded in 75cl.

Was wondering if some of the poeple who have bottles could do a quick check and see if any others(esp. export) have been sent out like this. I might pick one up just for this oddity if no one else has seen it like this.

03-03-2006, 22:18
I have one of the older Potreros, the "Single Malt Spirit" that was bottled 7/14/00 after being barrelled on New Years Eve 1997 ( a 2 1/2 year!). This bottle is labelled as 750ml with a bottle stamp of 75cl, so no discrepancy here.

By the way, in those days Fritz was bottling at what presumably was barrel proof. My batch was 124.2 proof. I just retasted it after it's been open for about 3 years and I like it best this time. Something about it seems more akin to fruit spirits than grain.

Clearly stated on the label is "For Sale in California Only."


03-03-2006, 23:07
Thanks Roger,

I still have one of the 3yo from 99 (distilled 12/95) thats a barrel proof also, but don't remember any such labeling issue. I sadly haven't tasted any of Fritz's stuff since 01 or so and think adding another bottle might just give me a reason to open one(damn that means I need two of those mistake bottles$$$:smiley_acbt: )

I'm really hoping to hear from some of the overseas members who might have a bottle to see if they use the 75cl bottle there too or if they really messed up(or even if they sent export stock to this other country called Louisiana:lol: )

I wonder why is says California only?:skep:

Hedmans Brorsa
03-04-2006, 03:34
I have two Potrero bottles in my possession, one Single Malt Whiskey (97/00) and one Single Malt Straight Rye Whiskey ((96/01), both 124,2 proof.

Nothing weird about them, though. The "750 ml" parts of the label are not fixed in any way and there are no signs of any 'for sale in California only'.

03-06-2006, 08:40
I have a bottle of Old Potrero, 18th Century Style Spirit - 125.1 proof with the following Essay: 10-RW-ARM-3-B. Fortunately, all of us have different preferences for distilled sprits. However, in my opinion, the beverage that is in my bottle is virtually undrinkable. It is without question, the worst-tasting distilled spirit that I have tasted thus far. Maybe I have a "bad" bottle, if that is possible. I will bring that bottle to the sampler in addition to something that I believe is more palatable. Since there will be many in attendance, I am sure that I will learn if my bottle is typical and I simply do not have a taste for 18th century style spirit.

03-06-2006, 12:09
Since I often save empty bottles I have 2 Old Potrero that I drunk about 2-3 years ago. Its one single malt whisky 2 years old (98-01) 124.4 proof not straight since it is matured in used and/or unchared new barrels and one straight rye 4 years old (96-01) 124.2 proof. The firs one I didnít like at all since it tasted so immature but the second I fought was very good for a young rye in a real spicy stile. Both very 75 centilitres and not worth the price I paid.


04-28-2006, 12:40
Anchor has released a limited edition of Old Potrero to commerate the centennial of the earthquake. It's bottled at 100 proof and aged 11 years.


I called Anchor to try to find out where to buy it (I eventually found a bottle at Bevmo.com) and was told they only produced 30 cases.

04-28-2006, 13:35
I was just discussing this last night during chat. I had no idea it was that limited, but should have known better. Post your impressions for all us sad souls who are missing out.

04-28-2006, 15:25
Anchor has released a limited edition of Old Potrero to commerate the centennial of the earthquake. It's bottled at 100 proof and aged 11 years.


I called Anchor to try to find out where to buy it (I eventually found a bottle at Bevmo.com) and was told they only produced 30 cases.

Real intressting!!!


04-28-2006, 17:15
Anchor has released a limited edition of Old Potrero to commerate the centennial of the earthquake. It's bottled at 100 proof and aged 11 years.


I called Anchor to try to find out where to buy it (I eventually found a bottle at Bevmo.com) and was told they only produced 30 cases.

I find that hard to believe, but just in case I think I am buying one. 30 cases would only be like 2 barrels? 3 maybe? That just doesn't even sound worth the effort...

Aarkwilde, could you please update your profile so we know where you are from?

04-28-2006, 18:16
Profile updated!

I was very suprised and a little disappointed by the small production amount as well. I enjoy Anchor's products and want them to be as widespread as possible.

You can contact Anchor if you'd like to ask them about their products, they're very responsive: info@anchorbrewing.com.

The bright side is they chose not to charge more for the aged rye. Beverages & More carries the 18th Century for $60.99 and the straight rye for $59.99. And they're selling the Hotaling's for $59.99. I don't understand why, but I approve. I'm sure they could have charged more and put it out of my price range. $60 is expensive for me, but justifiable.