View Full Version : How is Rye consumed?

04-10-2007, 13:59
Do most folks drink Rye as they would a SM Scotch or Boubon. That is straight, on the rock or with a bit of water? As opposed to a mixer?

04-10-2007, 14:17
I would say so. I would think that the people who search out rye are even less likely than the average person to drink it without a mixer than the average person who might use bourbon and coke or scotch with soda.

Of course, making a Sazerac or a Manhatten or other whiskey based drink would be exceptions.

04-10-2007, 14:28
While I agree with Timothy that, in practice, straight rye is most often mixed, I'd argue that it need not be so.
Good rye is every bit as satisfying as other whiskeys when drunk neat/straight. It just happens to be a more forward mixer, too.

04-10-2007, 15:07


04-10-2007, 15:21
I had always drank rye neat but lately I've experimented with Old Fashioneds made with Templeton Rye, WT rye and Saz Jr.

I've never cared for a straight rye Manhattan, preferring a 'rye' bourbon instead.

04-10-2007, 19:49
I drink rye neat or in cocktails. In general, if I use bourbon in a cocktail, it'll be a high-rye variety like OGD BIB.

I don't normally drink any kind of bourbon, rye, or Scotch on the rocks - I don't really like when my drink gets over-diluted. I certainly use ice when mixing cocktails, but it gets strained out.

Whiskey Willie
04-11-2007, 08:29
I have gotten away from mixed drinks over the last few years. Hence, in my house it is:

1. Pour rye into lowball glass.
2. Drink.
3. Repeat.

04-11-2007, 14:34
Neat. And often.

04-17-2007, 00:46
Do most folks drink Rye as they would a SM Scotch or Boubon. That is straight, on the rock or with a bit of water? As opposed to a mixer?

Hi GoodDram,

I consume rye whiskey the same way I consume ALL whiskeys-- neat, with a side of chilled spring water (Llanllyr, from Wales, is my favorite, as its natural sweetness and clean taste make it excellent for cutting whiskey).

However, as I am a bartender, I have found that less expensive ryes, like the standard 6-year Sazerac, the youngest Rittenhouse, and Templeton, make a superb Old Fashiond. The natural spiciness, combined with the sugar, orange, and cherry, make a sweet-and-spicy combo that is utterly unbeatable, IMHO.

I hope you enjoy your ryes-- they're among the most under-rated whiskeys out there, and it would be a good idea to buy them while they're still cheap!

04-17-2007, 23:13
I drink the Rye's I have neat. I will try it eventually with some Ginger ale. Some of my buddies at work love Rye with good Ginger ale. I can see how the flavors would work well together...I just have not gotten around to it yet.

04-18-2007, 09:24
Absolutely the same.

I try to refrain... no restrain myself from consuming it straight out of the bottle. Typically I pour it in a glass and consume it that way. <o.k. lousy attempt at dry humor! - :lol: >

Not being much of a "mixed drink" enthusiast, I tend to drink my whisk(e)y, , clean when ever possible.

I do however wonder how many people drink things a certain way because - "That's how you're '[I]supposed' to drink it" - ignoring how they actually prefer their spirits.

10-20-2007, 14:09
I certainly have no problem with the mix crowd whether it is mixed with ginger ale/soda or made as a manhatten. I have done so on many occaisions. I still believe that is best served neat. Also you can add water or ice to your taste but please give me mine black.

All is right with the world no matter how you have it.

10-22-2007, 22:05
This past Saturday evening we had our weenier roast. It took for ever for the wind to die down late in the afternoon so it was safe to light the fire, only to have it kick back up around 7:30 later that evening. Long story short, most of the party was held indoors.

One of our guests asked about the bottles on display in a glass cabinet. I pulled out a bottle of Handy and a bottle of ORVW 10 and asked him if he would like to try either or both. He declined. It was mostly a beer crowd but since he was drinking Makers and Coke I thought if anyone would give it a try he would. He saw the bottle of rye and remarked OOOH thats RYE, man, that's.... damn.... I said, You don't like rye? and he said well, maybe if you have a cold or something... Essentially, he acted as if rye was something that if it didn't kill you it would cure you.

I had no idea that rye was though of like that by some people.

10-23-2007, 06:03
I like to drink it neat but allways put my glass in the freezer 15 minutes before a pour.During drinking you really taste the diffrent layers of the rye as your glass gets warmer,damn tasty.

10-29-2007, 15:24
i plan to get a rye in deep november...i prefer my pours neat most of the time.

what would be a good "beginner's" rye for a palate already attuned (and still tuning in!) to above average and finer bourbons?

is rye less complex?

does it open up into something interesting with a minimal splash of water?

how about WTurkey's rye? or Beam's?

10-29-2007, 17:15
Rittenhouse, the bottled in bond if available, the regular if not. Really good, really cheap (around $12), great place to start. It's a Heaven Hill product but actually made for them by Brown-Forman. There is also a Rittenhouse 21-year-old, but since it's $100+ you probably won't pick it up by accident.

Next choice would be Saz Junior, as it's known here, which is Sazerac Rye, the standard version in the old-fashioned bottle, that's about $25. There also is an 18-year-old Saz that's about $50.

Jim Beam Rye and Old Overholt (a Beam product) are in the same price range as the Rittenhouse, while the Wild Turkey Rye is nearer to Saz's price. There's also now a Russell's Reserve Rye from Turkey, which is a little higher, but not widely available yet.

Really, if you can get the Rittenhouse, do it. Make that your baseline and work out from there.

10-29-2007, 17:23
I have tried the Rittenhouse and for the dollar it has to be one of best values I have come across. Having said that Saz Jr. is still my favorite, perhaps being the finest taste of the typical BT house flavor.

Saz 18 and Handy being what they are both simply amazing Rye pours. Hope they can be found and afforded in these parts, but with other options I don't feel cheated.

10-29-2007, 17:29
thanks chuck. will do. sounds like an investment that can't really fail. if the experience is simply good, no waste, esp. in terms of direct knowledge!

yep, being biased towards WT, i'll just wait and work my way up to it.
as a baseline, sounds like Rittenhouse will surely let me know if the Rye experience is what i want to dabble with.


what are some terms used to describe the fundamental taste of rye? oily i've heard...and FORWARD (!)...how to compare and not compare it to other whiskeys?

10-29-2007, 17:50
Andy, check out the Tasting forum and do a search for 'Rye'.
There's probably going to be dozens of tasting notes for Ryes.

10-29-2007, 17:52
Whenever this thread is is updated and it pops up on the "new posts" search, I always think "There's really only one answer to the question "How is rye consumed?"

Orally, of course

10-29-2007, 19:25
Andy, check out the Tasting forum and do a search for 'Rye'.
There's probably going to be dozens of tasting notes for Ryes.

hey cameron and thanks.

yeah, i did a search and found some hints. i know, ultimately, it depends on my own tongue. yep, there was alot to sift through...but as good at Googling as i am (i write and research often), this forum and it's subject matter is a fractal unto itself! there's already so much info here i certainly don't want to add more superfluous gibber-jabber. it's good to see very little of that here! the forum itself IS truly "barrel proof" (haha).


10-29-2007, 22:42
Andy, it's a steep learning curve.
Try to take it slow and enjoy the ride - you only get to learn this stuff once :cool:

I'm a big fan of Rye, and also of sweeter bourbons, so there's definately a Rye for everyone. Australia only gets one Rye, and that's Jim Beam. I've managed to pick up a few others in my travels though.

My favourite? Depends on my mood. I find the Jim Beam to be light and sweet, whilst the Van Winkle 13yo Rye is heavy. My favourite everyday pour of Rye would have to be the Rittenhouse (90 proof I think, not the Bottled in Bond version) It seems to contain a balance of flavours I agree with. I'm not proficient at using some of the better tasting terms that others here use... I just know what I like :grin:

10-30-2007, 11:16
All of the jibber-jabber about rye in the media lately has people thinking it's some totally different drink. American straight rye whiskey resembles nothing else so much as it does American straight bourbon whiskey. They are very similar. For one thing, and contrary to many of the media articles, while bourbons usually contain a lot more than the legal minimum percentage of corn (51&#37;), ryes typically do not. Your typical straight rye is 'barely legal' right at 51% rye, the rest being corn and malt. Add to that the fact that about half of the taste in either type comes from the barrel and you can see why the tastes are pretty similar. Old Potrero is the big exception, as it is 100% malted rye, but standard ryes are mostly around 51% and few, if any, exceed 60%. Why is this the case? For one thing, they don't call rye and wheat the flavor grains for nothing. A little bit of rye goes a long way and once you can taste it, you can't really taste it more, so since rye costs about twice as much as corn, it doesn't make sense to use more than you need.

If you think it used to be different and modern rye producers are short-changing us, you'd be wrong. The mash bill for the rye whiskey made at George Washington's distillery 200 years abo was 60% rye, 35% corn and 5% malted barley.

10-30-2007, 20:26
Lately I've been mixing Saz 6 with orange-banana juice and a dash of Agnostura bitters on the rocks.

I know the GW rye recipe has been brewed up recently. Does anyone know when it will be for sale?

10-30-2007, 20:29
Never. IIRC, it is all being sold to high dollar individuals to help pay for the whole setup. Maybe someday they will make enough to sell abroad.

12-21-2007, 13:11
well, i am going to try my first straight rye, Old Overholt, neat.

this bottle has been sitting on the shelf, all alone, for weeks next to about 10 canary yellow JB rye bottles...but today, i noticed new OO bottles...the labels are now toned down to a greyer color...and the tops are not maroon, but rather black. a new look i guess as JB rye did recently (to a more parchment tone).

anyways, i am looking forward to this.

12-21-2007, 13:14
Good eye for the OO change in packaging, that's not been mentioned here before.

Now I just wish Beam would do a bonded version.


12-21-2007, 15:23
i can't make a decent comment quite since my sinuses are totally whacked. but i did a small pour and did get a good sense of the OO. and i imagine it will be even better when all my senses (including my 'Spidey' sense!) are in synch.

it seemed similar to the OGD BIB, but mellower (of course, lower proof), but still quite spicey.

at $10.99 i can't complain. heck, i can celebrate!

since WT is a favorite, i imagine the rye version will be stellar.

o and i prefer the old OO label...but the new one is pretty similar.

12-21-2007, 17:03
I enjoy JB Rye neat and WT Rye over ice. OO doesn't do anything for me. I too would like to try JB Rye at a higher proof.

12-22-2007, 06:43
well, JB rye is same price as the OO and they seem to be different beasts to some here, i will give it a shot to.

the OO though is so good, i wouldn't want to mix it...tho i hear it is a natural mixer for ginger ale.

i wonder if a strong rye would mix well with something like canada dry's Bitter Lemon?

12-22-2007, 07:58
I think it would since a whiskey sour is rye or bourbon (or a blended whiskey), lemon and sugar. Bitter lemon is essentially lemons and sugar. Ginger ale is certainly a classic with straight rye, but rye goes well with Coke too. I like the younger ryes next to a beer. The older ones are best taken on their own or with ice or water, IMO.


12-22-2007, 18:32
well, i am GLAD i got the OO last night. and had a nice, deep, favorable impression.

because i wandered into a store today in search of wine etc for Yule gifts and there it was, Wild Turkey Rye on sale for $15.99....and i am even further blown away by the perfect balance of simplicity and complexity. i would not dare mix this with anything. it was a WT thru and thru...but i could catch the difference between the Rye 101 and the Bourbon 101...either way, wow...


glad i made peace with OGD BIB, but this is what my palate was born to drown in...

12-22-2007, 20:29
and i am even further blown away by the perfect balance of simplicity and complexity. i would not dare mix this with anything. it was a WT thru and thru...but i could catch the difference between the Rye 101 and the Bourbon 101...either way, wow...

Welcome to the rye side... WT Rye is lovely indeed. It's a great all-rounder in the rye world, just as the bourbon 101 is a great all-rounder in bourbonia.

Don't be afraid to try it in some cocktails, though - it makes a great Manhattan, Red Hook, or Sazerac.

For that matter, don't be afraid to try other ryes as well - if you can get any Sazerac rye (BTAC or not), get it - and Rittenhouse BIB is another must-have.