Normal is an illusion. What is normal to the spider, is chaos for the fly.
Bulliet Rye is still a no show in my area but we have the bourbon. I really want to try it so I guess I am going to have to order it or drive 110 miles one way to Lubbock, Texas to find it. My town sucks for any type of selection.
Southeast New Mexico
I bought a bottle of this when I was in Illinois last month (at Friar Tuck's in Tolono, near Champaign-Urbana). Like Chuck says, it's atypical. It's got a very high rye mash bill (95%, or something if I remember right), and I see where the comments about 'minty' are coming from. The high rye content makes it very spicy, even smoky (and w/ the mint, maybe a menthol [KOOL?]), but without the corn in there, it seems to lack substance, too light, too dry (and I like dry) like a cooking a roast with a bunch of gourmet spices, but you forgot the beef. "Where's the beef?" ... (My favorite rye is Rittenhouse BIB, plenty of meat there. But I can't find RR anywhere anymore, not IL, not Japan.) ...
... that said, it grew on me, and I don't really dislike it at all. But it didn't fit my preconceived notion of "rye" ala JB, WT, Russell's Reserve (another nice one IMO), Rittenhouse. Maybe Bulliet is closest to Old Overholt, but dryer and much pricier.
Peace, ... and Hippy Love.
Meatless, huh? In comparison to Bourbon, I see what you're saying, but I am a big fan of Rye. In fact, I don't find your tasting descriptions of "light and dry" to be negative. It's a very different animal from Bourbon.
That said, I find Ritt BIB to be the most Bourbon-like of any Rye on the market, so it does not surprise me that it's your fav. I'll be really interested to to try actual HH Rye from Bernheim, to see if it actually tastes like Rye.
I cracked open a bottle this weekend. I really like it!
I talked to Larry Ebersol (not sure about spelling) at KBF. Larry is the former Master Distiller at LDI and he gave me some of the history of the 95% rye. It began as a standard 51% rye, then became 80/20, with the 20 being rye malt. When rye malt became too expensive they went to 95/5, still rye malt, then for cost switched the malt to barley. Seagrams liked the result so much they tried to make it in Gimli, Manitoba, but a crucial strain of bacteria, native to Indiana, wouldn't survive there.
Col. Charles K. "Crotchety" Cowdery
"Whiskey Don't Keep."
The switch to 95/5 shows the amazing ability of malted grain to saccharify a much larger amount of raw grain once the latter is made soluble. Malted grains vary in their enzymatic power, possibly a type was selected that was higher than when 20% was used, or maybe just 5% did the job. Quite extraordinary. Interesting too that economic factors only were mentioned, nothing related to palate except perhaps when the switch was made to barley, but that seems a lucky stroke (if palate is what they liked from the barley) since economics appear to have motivated this and the various changes.
What is old is new again, M'Harry in 1809 constantly refers to economics in discussing whiskey mashbills, e.g., that slops based on corn made better feed for livestock - therefore fetched more return - than if rye-based. Economic factors change over time of course..
Last edited by Gillman; 09-21-2011 at 11:12.