I've been on a serious rye kick lately and have been pulling out lots of different bottles over the course of the last week. I should say up front that I love rye as much as bourbon (and sometimes more), so I can find something to appreciate in almost any bottle I sample. There seem to be fewer dogs in the rye stable, and about the only crime I ever come across is that one may be a bit too refined and therefore lacking in the spiciness that I crave.
The latest kick started off with an evening of Russell's Reserve Rye last weekend while watching football. Very good stuff and better than I had remembered it to be. The next night it was RRR and WT Rye, the latter providing even more "zing" and a great value at $20. I wouldn't say one was better than the other. They're both great but in different ways. The following night it was Rittenhouse BIB and Michter's US*1 Single Barrel Straight Rye. I love Rittenhouse, so it was hard to make the switch to the Michter's without the latter coming off a tad too smooth. Having said that, the Michter's US*1 is excellent stuff, despite getting very little ink around here.
After a night off, I did a Michter's US*1 and Michter's 10 Year Old Single Barrel side by side. The 10 year old tastes much bolder and seems like it's been in the barrel much longer than 10 years. (I think it's been established that it is actually much older juice, but I can't remember how old.) And last night it was a Michter's 10 and Saz 18 evening. Again, I loved them both for different reasons, so would be hesitant to say one was better than the other. Tonight though come my favorites of all: Thomas Handy Sazerac and Van Winkle Family Reserve. And I've got a dusty bottle of Rittenhouse Rye (80 proof) from the late seventies lined up for this Sunday's football games. Should be fun! (I think my brother made off with my Baby Saz because I can't find that little bugger anywhere. )