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  1. #21
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    Re: Quintessential Inexpensive Rye

    I know when mixing a cocktail I prefer my rye to be bold and not watered down to 80 proof. For me Ritt BIB and WT rye do the job nicely.

  2. #22
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    Re: Quintessential Inexpensive Rye

    I'd respectfully disagree. Neither are particularly good, nor great examples of Rye.

    The Ri1 in some markets is still around $40 a bottle, while in others it's $20 (and still overpriced, IMHO). Honestly, can't tell too much difference between JB Rye & Ri1 - other than the super sexy vodka-like bottle that Ri1 is in.

    I find them both thin, watery, and lowest common denominators of what Rye can be. In fact, I'd say they are the "rye for people who don't like rye but want to say they drink/mix with it." Ultimately both are best left as mixers, if used at all, rather than archetypes of the flavor.

    Some fans of Rye typically avoid both of those expressions (I do).

    Just my $.02 - no disrespect intended if you enjoy them.
    No offense taken at all. I wasn't talking about what I liked or enjoy drinking but trying to answer his original question about what might give him a notion of what to expect from Rye. To that end I was trying to point him to some mainstream Rye offerings. Not knowing where he is located or what he will find available locally I thought it best to mention two that he might find in a bar and could sample.

  3. #23
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    Re: Quintessential Inexpensive Rye

    Quote Originally Posted by cowdery View Post
    My favorite is Rittenhouse BIB. Around here, most bartenders swear by Wild Turkey Rye. By far the best selling rye is Jim Beam Rye.
    By far the best selling American hamburgers come from McDonald's. I'm just saying.

  4. #24
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    Re: Quintessential Inexpensive Rye

    Quote Originally Posted by White Dog View Post
    By far the best selling American hamburgers come from McDonald's. I'm just saying.
    Jim Beam Rye & McDonalds hamburgers - two things you will never find in my mouth. I'd prefer my foot there over either of those two...

    And, yes, it's there more often than either of the above.

    I could mix water + rye bread + vanilla extract and get better flavor and more oomph. I'm just sayin...

  5. #25
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    Re: Quintessential Inexpensive Rye

    I enjoy JB rye even though I don't care for most other JB offerings.
    I consider this to be the quitessential cheap rye along with RRBIB but the RR keeps getting more and more expensive. My last JB rye was $13 and I saw a RR for $23 a few days ago.
    "Brownest of the brown liquors..so tempting. What's that? You want me to drink you? But I'm in the middle of a trial!" L. Hutz

  6. #26
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    Re: Quintessential Inexpensive Rye

    Quote Originally Posted by Zanaspus View Post
    As I mentioned in my intro, I'm not a real vet of bourbon, and a total rye virgin as it were. I know I like bourbon, and will taste many over my remaining days. Do I like Rye? I dunno.

    Quote Originally Posted by timd View Post
    That said, there are some 95%-100% Rye offerings out there (the above are probably "barely legal" - and only around 51%-60% Rye).
    Quote Originally Posted by cowdery View Post
    My favorite is Rittenhouse BIB. Around here, most bartenders swear by Wild Turkey Rye. By far the best selling rye is Jim Beam Rye.

    As others have said, it boils down to:

    Wild Turkey Rye
    Rittenhouse Rye
    Sazerac Rye
    Jim Beam Rye

    I would immediately toss the 95%ers out the window as "ryes." Why? because they were never meant to be enjoyed straight- they were always flavoring whiskeys. If rye whiskeys that have near the minimum requirement of rye are considered barely legal, and not really ryes, then what do we consider the bourbons that have the minimum requirement of corn? Four roses has a mash that is 60% corn, AH Hirsch sits right at the minimum, and there are plenty of others that use near 60% corn. Very rarely do you hear people talking about how they are barely legal (excepting maybe the AH Hirsch), but often times you hear people refer to them as "high rye."

    I think the norm for a rye whiskey probably should be right about 60% rye, 30-35% corn, and 5-10% malted barley (enough to work with). Ryes with approximately those mash perimeters will give you a good idea of what a classic rye is all about. Many of them are probably 51%ers, Certainly The Van Winkles claim that their Family Reserve is.

    The 95% and 100% rye whiskeys that have appeared on the market are only here because a market for rye whiskey has come back at all. Rye whiskey is relatively unavailable, as someone pointed out, compared to bourbon. Many distilleries don't do more than one or two days worth of rye distilling per year- And that means that rectifiers like KBD and High West will have to purchase their ryes from somewhere other than the big boys- they don't have enough rye as it is! Means that the huge (but dwindling) stocks at LDI have a big share of the market right now. Buillet, Jeffersons, and many others come from this stock. Dave from High West has done a much better job, in my opinion, by mixing ryes from different sources, or even with bourbons, to get things closer in mash to a "true rye." As an ingredient, Whistlepig is an excellent rye, but I'm not such a fan of it neat. how many of you enjoy corn whiskey to the point that you'd have it every day? Some might.

    Now all of that being said- I don't despise the 95%ers, I just feel they need to be thought of as somewhat different. They aren't straight ryes so much as full ryes, or something else. Everyone here might think a bourbon at 95% corn a bit odd, I feel those ryes should be likewise thought of as somewhat different.


    Of the ryes listed:

    Sazerac is relatively thin, and too dry, for my liking. I've tried it at 6, 7 from a single barrel, and NAS. the single barrel offering was better, but not by enough that it's something I'd want to spend 30 bucks on... which is unfortunately what it runs.

    Wild Turkey Rye is a good one to start with. To me it has a very distinct spice, or heat, that I have to be in the right mood for.

    Rittenhouse is an easy to pour and drink whiskey. Yes, it's more bourbon-like than WTR101 or Saz, but it's also a better made whiskey (currently). It's a very good example of how good a rye can be.

    Jim Beam rye is a solid example of rye, but the conditioner here is that you like Beam's very unique yeast profile. If you can't stomach that, steer clear. I'll tell you that if nothing else, it's great in Barq's rootbeer for a quick cocktail.
    Quote Originally Posted by SMOWK View Post
    I like to save up the charred bits in the bottom of the unfiltered stuff. When I have enough, I pour milk on it and eat it.

  7. #27
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    Re: Quintessential Inexpensive Rye

    Quote Originally Posted by ErichPryde View Post
    Means that the huge (but dwindling) stocks at LDI have a big share of the market right now. Buillet, Jeffersons, and many others come from this stock.
    Jefferson's, Whistlepig, and another I'm drawing a blank on all come from the same place... They are Canadian, not LDI.

    Not sure I agree with your logic - as Bourbon is *intended* to be an amalgamation of the various grains - specifically a blend of the various influences be they wheat, barley or rye - with a corn backbone.

    Corn, Wheat & Rye whiskeys are all meant to showcase those specific grain's flavors and benefits. Corn, being the exception and requiring a higher percentage of corn to the mix, and also not using charred oak, but new - or no - oak, in order to prevent it from being confused with bourbon.

    I don't discount the 95%ers at all from this lineup - they are an integral part of the rye spectrum - just as wheat, corn & rye based bourbon covers a broad spectrum. 51%-100% is what Rye covers. And the LDI, Van Winkle, Vintage 21, Sazeracs, Whistlepig/Jefferson, Old Potrero, and other "oddballs" have as much a place as JB, WT, Baby Saz & Ritt.

    You wouldn't leave wheaters out of an overview/quintessential discussion about Bourbon, right?

  8. #28
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    Re: Quintessential Inexpensive Rye

    I just found a bottle of Rittenhouse BIB for about $19. I gave away my last bottle as it just had some weird flavors I wasn't liking, like pickles or something off-putting. But I had to try again, and this new bottle has none of that. This is a killer sipping whiskey, a great rye.

    STLb

  9. #29
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    Re: Quintessential Inexpensive Rye

    Who said rye can't be about an amalgamation of grains? The rye whiskey from 50 or 100 years ago was not 95% rye. And apologies- I didn't realize that jeffersons was also canadian. Thanks for the info.


    the rittenhouse of the last 2 years seems you be much better than it was.
    Quote Originally Posted by SMOWK View Post
    I like to save up the charred bits in the bottom of the unfiltered stuff. When I have enough, I pour milk on it and eat it.

  10. #30
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    Re: Quintessential Inexpensive Rye

    Quote Originally Posted by STLbourbon View Post
    like pickles or something off-putting.
    STLb
    Funny - I get a "dill flavor" from many rye-heavy whiskies that very few others seems to experience - may be some genetic thing with taste buds?

    Anyhow, I don't find it off-putting in most cases, just part of the flavor profile that appears to me from time to time (I find it far more often in Rye heavy bourbon, vs. straight rye)

 

 

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