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  1. #1
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    High West, Rittenhouse, & Bulleit Ryes

    After weeks of delving heavily into wheaterland with the Pappy 15, the ORVW/10/107, and the various Wellers, it was high time to bring some rye back into the picture. So I had an interesting evening with Ryes last night. The three I was enjoying are Rittenhouse BIB 100, High West Rendezvous Rye, and Bulleit Rye.

    The Rittenhouse is just great stuff, great all around sipper, but not a straight rye as I understand it. It was to me like a very rye heavy bourbon, excellent stuff, great flavor, balanced, excellent value at $20.

    Then was the High West Rendezvous Rye. Wow. It's so very intensely rye tasting and in a completely wonderful way with a nice and interesting complexity and long finish. Great nose. Very balanced, nothing off, killer... Just superb stuff.

    Then I went to the Bulliet, which I have enjoyed in the past. But coming off of the Rittenhouse and then the amazing Rendezvous, the Bulleit had a strange, almost metallic flavor. In its own context, I do enjoy the Bulleit Rye, but following the High West, it just failed in comparison. I was instantly back to the High West.

    So I'm finding that the Rittenhouse BIB is about the best deal in rye whiskey there is. Very hard to compete with that stuff. And the High West Rendezvous Rye is an excellent treat and a full on, blissful rye experience. I feel it's worth the $42 I paid for it. And the Bulleit isn't bad. I can get it for $22 around here, so it's there as a decent backup. But I'll definitely go for the Rittenhouse as a trusty and affordable pour, and the High West for the more special occasion.

    STLb

  2. #2
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    Re: High West, Rittenhouse, & Bulleit Ryes

    STLbourbon - as a fellow rye lover, I have been intrigued by High West with the amount of rye in the mashbill and would like your opinion. As I cannot get it here in my state, do you think it is a whiskey worth taking the effort to chase down and the added expense? I am leaning towards yes as it sounds like a really unique product.
    Last edited by LostBottle; 01-02-2012 at 13:39.

  3. #3
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    Re: High West, Rittenhouse, & Bulleit Ryes

    I'm no rye expert, but I must say that it's as enjoyable of a rye as I've ever tasted. Haven't had the pleasure of trying the Van Winkle Family Reserve Rye yet, so this is currently a top favorite of mine. I think that it exalts the rye flavor in quite an impressive way. So yeah, track one down. I'd say it's worth it for sure.


    STLb

  4. #4
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    Re: High West, Rittenhouse, & Bulleit Ryes

    Rittenhouse is indeed a straight rye, though it is near the low end of the legal rye content and this makes it more bourbon like.

    The 6 yo 95 percent rye component of the Rendezvous is from the same distillery (LDI) the Bulleit so they share a common ancestry. I dont recall where the 16 yo 80 percent rye came from but I think it is also from LDI.

    Also, this should be moved into the Rye Whiskey forum since it doesnt meet the minimum corn content for a Bourbon thread.
    Last edited by callmeox; 01-02-2012 at 19:04.
    My name is Joel Goodson. I deal in human fulfillment.
    I grossed over eight thousand dollars in one night. Time of your life, huh kid?

  5. #5
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    Re: High West, Rittenhouse, & Bulleit Ryes

    Quote Originally Posted by callmeox View Post
    The 6 yo 95 percent rye component of the Rendezvous is from the same distillery (LDI) the Bulleit so they share a common ancestry. I dont recall where the 16 yo 80 percent rye came from but I think it is also from LDI.
    The 16 year 80% is Barton rye.

  6. #6
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    Re: High West, Rittenhouse, & Bulleit Ryes

    Ah yes, I should have started this thread under the Rye forum. If the moderator would like to move it over there, fine by me.

    And it's interesting that the Bulleit may be related on some level because there is a commonality in the rye flavor itself that reminds me of the Bulleit, but it was this other color or flavor in the Bulleit that was just a tad off-putting that I just didn't get at all in the High West. And again, I do enjoy the Bulleit Rye quite a bit.

    STLb
    Last edited by STLbourbon; 01-02-2012 at 23:35.

  7. #7
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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    Re: High West, Rittenhouse, & Bulleit Ryes

    The 6-year-old rye component of Rendezvous is essentially the same whiskey as the initial release of Templeton. Templeton is likely a bit younger than that now. That was all LDI rye, but it came from stocks owned by Pernod from the time when it owned LDI. Everything coming from LDI now, except Bulleit Rye, is much younger. The Bulleit is made under contract so it's probably in that 6-year-old neighborhood and is at least 4-years-old.

    I sure wish someone had bottled the 16-year-old Barton rye straight up, but perhaps it was too woody, or there was too little of it, to make that work.

    Most straight ryes are 51% rye. That includes Sazerac, Wild Turkey, Rittenhouse, Jim Beam and Old Overholt. The 80 to 100 percent ryes were never intended to be released as they are. They were made as flavoring whiskey for blends.

    It's possible that some straight ryes in an earlier era had a higher rye content but perhaps not, since rye is always more expensive and rye is so flavorful that a little goes a long way. In other words, you don't necessarily get more rye flavor in the final product by going from 51% to, say, 60%, but you make the product more costly to produce.
    Last edited by cowdery; 01-03-2012 at 12:35.

  8. #8
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    Re: High West, Rittenhouse, & Bulleit Ryes

    Quote Originally Posted by cowdery View Post
    I sure wish someone had bottled the 16-year-old Barton rye straight up, but perhaps it was too woody, or there was too little of it, to make that work.
    High West actually did bottle the Barton straight (err, meaning "on its own" as opposed to "straight" in whiskey terms, though it was that too). Their 16 year old Rye is made of the same Barton that goes into Rendezvous. They aren't releasing any more, but there seem to be plenty of bottles still out there. I like it a lot, very nice balance of rye spice and wood.

  9. #9
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    Re: High West, Rittenhouse, & Bulleit Ryes

    Quote Originally Posted by cowdery View Post
    The 6-year-old rye component of Rendezvous is essentially the same whiskey as the initial release of Templeton. Templeton is likely a bit younger than that now. That was all LDI rye, but it came from stocks owned by Pernod from the time when it owned LDI. Everything coming from LDI now, except Bulleit Rye, is much younger. The Bulleit is made under contract so it's probably in that 6-year-old neighborhood and is at least 4-years-old.

    I sure wish someone had bottled the 16-year-old Barton rye straight up, but perhaps it was too woody, or there was too little of it, to make that work.

    Most straight ryes are 51% rye. That includes Sazerac, Wild Turkey, Rittenhouse, Jim Beam and Old Overholt. The 80 to 100 percent ryes were never intended to be released as they are. They were made as flavoring whiskey for blends.

    It's possible that some straight ryes in an earlier era had a higher rye content but perhaps not, since rye is always more expensive and rye is so flavorful that a little goes a long way. In other words, you don't necessarily get more rye flavor in the final product by going from 51% to, say, 60%, but you make the product more costly to produce.
    The Colonel raises an interesting point about the higher production cost of increasing the rye content. How is it that HH can produce an outstanding product like Rittenhouse Rye for such an exceptionally attractive price? Of course, HH does an all-around good job of providing value, IMO, but Rittenhouse exceeds expectations even so. Baby Saz and WTR 101 are other exemplars of great rye value. Why don't they cost more? (By the way, you distillers, this is not a suggestion. )
    If God made anything better than bourbon he must have kept it for Hisself.

  10. #10
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    Re: High West, Rittenhouse, & Bulleit Ryes

    Quote Originally Posted by cowdery View Post
    The 6-year-old rye component of Rendezvous is essentially the same whiskey as the initial release of Templeton. Templeton is likely a bit younger than that now. That was all LDI rye, but it came from stocks owned by Pernod from the time when it owned LDI. Everything coming from LDI now, except Bulleit Rye, is much younger. The Bulleit is made under contract so it's probably in that 6-year-old neighborhood and is at least 4-years-old.

    I sure wish someone had bottled the 16-year-old Barton rye straight up, but perhaps it was too woody, or there was too little of it, to make that work.

    Most straight ryes are 51% rye. That includes Sazerac, Wild Turkey, Rittenhouse, Jim Beam and Old Overholt. The 80 to 100 percent ryes were never intended to be released as they are. They were made as flavoring whiskey for blends.

    It's possible that some straight ryes in an earlier era had a higher rye content but perhaps not, since rye is always more expensive and rye is so flavorful that a little goes a long way. In other words, you don't necessarily get more rye flavor in the final product by going from 51% to, say, 60%, but you make the product more costly to produce.
    The Colonel raises an interesting point about the higher production cost of increasing the rye content. How is it that HH can produce an outstanding product like Rittenhouse Rye for such an exceptionally attractive price? Of course, HH does an all-around good job of providing value, IMO, but Rittenhouse is even more so.
    If God made anything better than bourbon he must have kept it for Hisself.

 

 

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