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scopenut
08-07-2007, 11:48
At a local store, I recently saw a bottle of Rittenhouse 21 yr. rye. I was wondering what rye afficiandos thought of this bottling, and more importantly, is it worth the $140 the store wanted for it?

-Kevin

Martian
08-07-2007, 12:12
I like rye whiskey, but I could never justify that much for a bottle.

sku
08-07-2007, 12:54
I'm a big rye fan and I'm happy to see the recent proliferation of ryes (I've been reviewing some recently on my site http://recenteats.blogspot.com/search/label/Whiskey), but it would have to be pretty mind-blowingly good for me too spend that much Rittenhouse 21 yo.

I think Rittenhouse is trying to push the envelope of the whole rye revival and see how much capcity there is in the market. Personally, I don't think there is a huge market for the triple-digit rye, but I'm concerned that they will push up the prices of other ryes like the Sazerac 18. Of course, to be fair, many great scotches and a few bourbons regularly sell for over $100.

bluesbassdad
08-07-2007, 15:17
From my experience of just a few years in this game I offer the following observation.

High price usually means proportionately great rarity.

However, from the standpoint of one's enjoyment of the whiskey, the law of diminishing returns sets in somewhere around the $25 to $50 range (speaking of American whiskey here).

I'd bet that given a choice of one bottle of Blanton's to last one month or two bottles of Buffalo Trace, the split among members here would be close to 50/50.

However, make that 10 bottles of Rittenhouse BIB vs. one bottle of the 21 y/o (which I've never tasted, BTW) to last five months, I predict very few would chose the expensive product.

Aside from the economic concept involved (is there such a thing as marginal propensity to enjoy?), many posters here have noted that at some point additional age detracts from one's enjoyment of the whiskey.

That point varies by person and by product. However, there's general agreement that increasing the age from, say, 10 years to 20 years is not as likely to produce a more enjoyable drink as is an increase from four years to eight years.

I have on my shelf four bottles aged 18 years or greater. I'm glad I had the opportunity to taste them, but now my intent is to make them last a very long time. I will replace at most one of them.

Yours truly,
Dave Morefield

cowdery
08-07-2007, 16:09
I'm with Dave. Nothing in that price range can be justified by its quality. Rittenhouse BIB is $13 a bottle here. Is the 21-year-old eleven times better than the BIB? Of course not. But it does have a unique flavor, one you won't taste in any other product at any price. What's that worth? I would say that if you have ever paid $140 for a bottle of whiskey (hell, a bottle of anything), this is as much "worth it" as that was.

I do think HH may have overreached with the Rittenhouse 21, which is still sitting on store shelves more than a year after its release. That is not what you want from a super premium limited release. You want them to sell out and leave the people clamouring for more. But, this is how you learn. Heaven Hill is debutting a new limited edition bourbon soon. We'll see how they handle that.

RedVette
08-07-2007, 16:11
I had my first taste of Rittenhouse 21 about an hour ago. It is very very good. I now have a glass of Elmer T Lee in my hand, and it is very very good. In that context the $140 is not worth it, considering the $25 I paid for the ETL, but how would I know how good it is if I didn't try it. So far there has not been a bottle of Bourbon that I have chosen not to buy solely because of its price. As a result I have gotten to taste some wonderful expressions of the art. You only live once and you can't take it with you. Enjoy the good stuff.

wadewood
08-07-2007, 17:27
Rittenhouse BIB is $13 a bottle here.

Chuck - If you can still buy it for $13, I would suggest stashing a few. I was down in CA a few weeks back at they seem to be bumping the price up closer to $20 there.

HipFlask
08-07-2007, 20:58
I just paid 10.99 today for a bottle Rittenhouse BIB. Last bottle on the shelf though so I might be in for a surpise next time. Haven't seen the 21 year move at all I cannot remember what the going rate was on that one but it was just crazy.

TNbourbon
08-07-2007, 21:08
I'm with Dave. Nothing in that price range can be justified by its quality. Rittenhouse BIB is $13 a bottle here. Is the 21-year-old eleven times better than the BIB? Of course not. But it does have a unique flavor, one you won't taste in any other product at any price. What's that worth? I would say that if you have ever paid $140 for a bottle of whiskey (hell, a bottle of anything), this is as much "worth it" as that was.

I do think HH may have overreached with the Rittenhouse 21, which is still sitting on store shelves more than a year after its release. That is not what you want from a super premium limited release. You want them to sell out and leave the people clamouring for more. But, this is how you learn. Heaven Hill is debutting a new limited edition bourbon soon. We'll see how they handle that.

I'm with Chuck -- and Dave. That said, I wish they had left it a barrel-proof for that price. That one-time experience IS worth the money!

"...clamouring...", Chuck? You drinkin' Scotch?!:skep: :lol:

sku
08-07-2007, 21:46
Chuck - If you can still buy it for $13, I would suggest stashing a few. I was down in CA a few weeks back at they seem to be bumping the price up closer to $20 there.

Yes. Price in the LA area is around $20, which I still consider a good price.

TNbourbon
08-07-2007, 21:54
Yes. Price in the LA area is around $20, which I still consider a good price.

It is. For whatever reason (ownership by Heaven Hill, a non-public company, chief among them), it has always been priced below value. Still is, even at c. $20.

Vange
08-08-2007, 05:39
From a taste perspective I think the RR21 is VERY VERY good.
Add cost and it gets iffy. I guess it depends on how much $140 means to each individual.

barturtle
08-08-2007, 06:06
The world of high end luxury goods is a world of diminishing returns. Is a $3000 piece of custom made furniture that much more comfortable than a $300 piece, or a $5000 bicycle that much easier to ride than a $500 one (and the point of easier exercise is?)

cowdery
08-09-2007, 01:13
I'm with Chuck -- and Dave. That said, I wish they had left it a barrel-proof for that price. That one-time experience IS worth the money!

"...clamouring...", Chuck? You drinkin' Scotch?!:skep: :lol:

I write for WHISKY and read The Economist, so it's a natural mistake. America and England, two countries divided by a common tongue.

chasking
08-14-2007, 17:20
I bought a bottle of the Rittenhouse 21 and I don't regret it. First of all, it's an amazing whiskey. Measures like "ten times as good as BIB" don't really mean anything. Nobody's buying this, or any other superpremium, as a daily pour. It's an unusual, special occasion dram. Now, when it came out, there had never been anything like it released. (There were some older ryes from independent bottlers but nothing a distillery had put together.) I've always been partial to rye, and, perhaps most importantly, I got to taste some of it before it was released at a pre-Whiskeyfest event, so I knew it was great. I won't defend the wisdom of it, but I've paid that much or nearly that much for bottles of booze that I didn't like as well, so when it hit the market, I got myself a bottle, and I don't regret it, and I enjoy it very much on those occasions when it gets pulled out.

One of the big reasons I like having it is to demonstrate to people, who are not familiar with whiskey, the range of what rye whiskey can be. As far as rye goes, I don't think it can be beat.

kbuzbee
08-17-2007, 07:47
Another concurance for the earlier posts. Anything is "worth" what you are willing to pay for it. That depends on the "thing" and your circumstances. For me, $140 is a lot of money. It's not something I will generally do for a bottle of anything. There are just too many great sips out there that are more reasonably priced (read - to ME).


Nobody's buying this, or any other superpremium, as a daily pour...

Actually, I am SURE there ARE people out there for whom a $140 bottle IS a daily pour. I wish I were one of those people, but I'm not.

The great thing about Rye and Bourbon is there are some really great choices in the lower cost range. I mean, Wild Turkey Rye is great and much, MUCH less expensive. It's really everything I look for in a Rye.

For eveything you buy, only you can decide where in the price range you find the right level of enjoyment at the right level of price.

It is good to hear that this is a great pour, though. If it's in your price range, sounds like a winner. I doubt I'll ever find this out, personally.

Ken

bluesbassdad
08-17-2007, 17:44
[quote=kbuzbee;94441][snip]
Actually, I am SURE there ARE people out there for whom a $140 bottle IS a daily pour. I wish I were one of those people, ... [snip]

Be careful what you wish for. Can you imagine a life in which nothing tangible is special? Without something to strive for, what's the point of living? :confused:

OTOH, one shouldn't put off enjoying what's available for no reason. I think it's time for a sip of Saz rye this evening.

Yours truly,
Dave Morefield

kbuzbee
08-17-2007, 18:00
Be careful what you wish for. Can you imagine a life in which nothing tangible is special? Without something to strive for, what's the point of living? :confused:


Actually Dave, there's always "stuff" at whatever level you happen to be at. We choose whether to drink Saz, Bookers or KS. Donald Trump chooses Lear or Cesna..... It's all relative. There are plenty of tangible things that are still special to someone whose daily pour is $140. Maybe you could buy Wild Turkey and bring Jimmy out of retirement to make you something special, eh??

Ken - I'll keep wishin:grin:

Grain Brain
08-19-2007, 19:06
I bought a case when it first came into the Dallas market for fairly cheap. I think Goody Goody had it for $125 or so, and buying the case got me a 10% discount. I don't know if the whiskey is 'worth' that price, but it is an incredibly good rye. For a rye, I like it better than the BTAC Sazerac, because it has an ample offering of the rye spiciness while still being smooth as silk, whereas the Sazerac has all the smoothness, but subdued spice.

When I want a terrific whiskey, I'll go with Saz 18.
When I want a terrific rye, I'll go with Rittenhouse 21.

ACDetroit
08-22-2007, 19:28
I just found 2 of the RR 21yr's for $130 each and the store owner told me he added 15% finders fee to the bottles. I should have them in a week or two. I am excited to give a new bottle a try.