i do think doing a SBS neat is worth doing as well as a cocktail taste off!
I have been drinking the DSP 1 Rittenhouse BIB for a while now. I just bought a case of it and love it. What are you all paying for a bottle? I am paying 19.99 per at a military base.
State minimum price in MI is $22.99 for 750mL, up from $21.96 not long ago.
Atlanta prices range from $18.99 to $22.99.
I have a bottle of each and have tried them blind. I can tell a difference but my GF wont tell me which is which. I asked her not to in order for me to try to tell the differences. I can pick "a" or "b" but cannot reliably call the 354 vs the 1.
Just for reference, I am a rookie.
I could tell them apart but found the difference to be minimal. Since it usually ends up in a cocktail where I could tell no difference the DSP 1 works fine for me.
I haven't had a chance to try a head to head, but after getting halfway through a bottle of the DSP 1 think I prefer 354. The new seems to be lacking the potpourri aromas I enjoyed in the old one.
I admittedly haven't tried the DSP 1, as I keep buying the 354 when I see it. But the 354 still very much hits the right spot for me. I've got enough 354 bunkered to last quite a while.
I did a SBS with these two ryes a while back and took notes. I also had two of my friends try them SBS, and I made the tasting blind for them. My notes are below.
Nose: earthy, cinnamon, peaches
Palate: roasted corn, oranges, noticeable heat but not overpowering, even neat
Finish: really nice. same flavors from palate slowly fade, eventually slightly tannic but delicious
Nose: matcha green tea, honey
Palate: really strong matcha, floral, brown sugar
Finish: floral, no tannins, long and clean
I thought that these were drastically different SBS. I get lots of fruity flavors from the DSP354, and just a lot of strong matcha and floral flavors from the DSP1. The 354 has more heat, but not in a bad way. Overall, I strongly prefer the 354 to the 1. Since I now have both bottles open on my bar and the bottles are identical, I've been challenging my initial impressions by randomly grabbing one, pouring a little, and then trying to guess which one it is by taste. It has been easy to do so. I really think that these are very different tasting whiskeys.
Interestingly, my two friends also thought that these were very different tasting, but both preferred the DSP1. Both are scotch drinkers rather than bourbon drinkers though, so it's possible that their preferences are much different than mine.
I encourage those who have access to both to do a side by side. It was pretty eye opening.