With all due respect, I find it quite pertinent, when you consider the original thread. Here we will certainly see what real difference DSP makes, since it's the same yeast and mashbill. HH was aging Ritt DSP-354, correct? I can't wait to sit down with RittBIB DSP-354 vs. DSP-1, as that's what MauiSon's thread drift is really all about.
Yeah, comparing late DSP-354 with early DSP-1 should be the best 'head to head' we can get - hope I can score a pair!
I know the difference in the mellow corn is huge. HH is much more flavorful. There will have to be a flavor difference. If I am not mistaken, Early Times thumps their whiskey, and HH doubles. In my opinion, thumping makes for a more flavorful product.
The point I was trying to convey is that there will be no rye whiskey made at DSP-354 using the Rittenhouse recipe and yeast sold as anything else except, obviously, Pikesville or some other HH rye. Brown-Forman was making it for Heaven Hill. As I clearly stated, when HH stopped buying it, BF stopped making it. I don't recall the exact date of the switchover, but it was close to four years ago.
That is not to say BF has made no other rye whiskey at the Shively distillery. It's just to answer the speculation about whether or not they continued to make the Rittenhouse recipe for their own portfolio. A corollary is that all of the Rittenhouse they made over the years went to HH. Brown-Forman didn't make any extra for itself.
I have had conversations about this with both the Heaven Hill people and the Brown-Forman people and their stories match up.
The reason this switchover is interesting is because Rittenhouse Rye BIB is a bond. Therefore, it can only be the product of a single distillery, so HH has to go from bottling DSP-354 Rittenhouse to bottling DSP-1 Rittenhouse. There is no way for them to smooth the transition by mixing barrels from both for some period of time. As a bond, they are also required to identify the place of distillation on the label, so we won't have to guess when the DSP-1 stuff has hit the market.
In no sense does this suggest the distillery is more important than cooperage and aging or anything else. It was a pretty broad leap to that conclusion anyway. Because Rittenhouse is a relatively small brand, and a BIB, this will a rare opportunity to taste a whiskey where the only variable is where distilled.
Rare, but not unique, as we had a similar opportunity with EWSB's 'wilderness' editions ('97-'99), but that was a little different because there is some variation in a single barrel anyway.
Anyone who has a bottle of DSP-31 Rittenhouse BIB can compare it from the other end.
This is also interesting because, in some ways, DSP-354 Rittenhouse has been the posterchild for the rye whiskey rennaissance. It's become very popular with mixologists as well as consumers, and has been in short supply for the last several years. As further evidence of its popularity, its price has just about doubled in the last ten years without slowing it down.
For all these reasons, Rittenhouse BIB a very important brand for HH and they are anxious for this transition to go well. There is every reason that it should because there shouldn't be a huge difference. In addition to the factors already mentioned, the two distilleries are similar in design and geographically close together, which reduces some of the possible variables.
Perhaps I can feel the conspiracy theorists winding themselves up. I hope I'm wrong about that, but there's certainly nothing I can do to stop it.
I don't see any conspiracy theories being floated on this one, Chuck. Just excitement to be able to taste same the mashbill/yeast/aging, but from 2 different DSPs. I'm simply looking forward to the side-by-side, as I'm sure most others are.
I picked up a bunch of DSPKY354 the other day - just in case there's any "problems" with the DSPKY1 (relative to my preferences). Worst case I've got some interesting tastings to compare them in the future, or I could vat them together to "smooth the transition" myself...
In reality, I'm pretty hopeful that DSPKY1 will be an IMPROVEMENT on the existing product, and also open up HH to allow for single-barrel selection programs, older/special editions, etc. By producing this in-house, it should afford them much more flexibility in experimenting, and also (hopefully) help to keep the price flattish.
When I used to buy 354 and 31 Ritt BiB, I think it was around 8 bucks a bottle. I have bunkered a bunch of each to compare with the DSP 1 when it gets here.
I wish I had bought more when it was $11.99, but I probably would have just drunk it all.