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  1. #71
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    Re: WT Rye 81 proof?!

    I bought 4 bottles of WT101 rye on closeout at 17.00 each. It was a special order item here so you don't see much of it around here!

    Thomas

  2. #72
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    Re: WT Rye 81 proof?!

    Quote Originally Posted by StraightBoston View Post
    Bad news, kids: according to Eddie Russell (technically a Campari spokesperson, but with perhaps a bit more authority) the WT101 rye is going away to be replaced by 81 proof -- and he is in on the change. Jimmy was standing next to him as he told us at Julio's in MA last night.

    He acknowledged that it would be unpopular but asked us to taste it before complaining.

    My take on the rationale is similar to their explanation for the WT81: they believe that they need a lower-proof offering -- primarily for bars and "younger generation" switchers from lighter spirits -- but they are using older whiskey than the four-years-and-a-day of the WT80 bourbon and today's WT101 rye.
    Thank you.

    I'm sad to hear this. There's nothing like taking a reasonably affordable, steady, long running product, and watering it down in hopes of catching some of the Grey Goose/pseudo-tini/fancy bottle and label market.

    Luckily, I can pick up a few bottles of WTR101 as there's some in the stores around the Boston area.

    I'll compare it with the new WTR81 to see the changes, but I'm fairly sure I'll end up preferring the 101, as it makes a great Manhattan.

  3. #73
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    Re: WT Rye 81 proof?!

    Quote Originally Posted by StraightBoston View Post
    My take on the rationale is similar to their explanation for the WT81: they believe that they need a lower-proof offering -- primarily for bars and "younger generation" switchers from lighter spirits -- but they are using older whiskey than the four-years-and-a-day of the WT80 bourbon and today's WT101 rye.
    There is something about this that has been bothering me for a while. We know that the supply of the 101 rye was tight, and they didn't make a ton of it. Presumably the majority of their rye production was dumped and bottled at 4 years and a day; the rest was set aside to age 2 more years for Russell's Reserve. But if I'm understanding this right, they are claiming that the 81 will have some older stock mingled in? Where is it coming from? Are they stealing from the Russell's Reserve stocks? (Maybe, that product never seems to disappear from the shelves.) I just find it a little suspect that considering the trouble they had keeping the 101 rye on the shelf, that they all of a sudden have enough older barrels lying around to change the profile appreciably.

    My guess is that even though the proof drop would allow them to bottle a lot more whiskey without increasing production, that they won't. Assuming they're telling the truth about using some older stock in the 81, my guess is that the surplus they gain from the proof reduction is going to get set aside for further aging.

    I don't understand what WT is doing. Kentucky Spirit seems to be getting younger and younger. Rare Breed is still good but the older batches blow the new out of the water. Likewise the 101 is good relative to the competition but it doesn't compare to the 8 year old. Then they left us scratching our heads with the proof reduction on Russell's Reserve... and now the rye (which I don't think has been all that good lately anyway). I'm not typically a sour grapes type of person but I'm perplexed. I'll try the 81 when it comes out but it's going to have to be a lot better than the 101 was to get me to buy more than one bottle.

    By the way, thanks for the response, Scott and Kevin, on the syrup. Once my basement bar is up and running I need to start experimenting with cocktails again and I prefer syrup to cubes generally.

  4. #74
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    Re: WT Rye 81 proof?!

    I'm not a huge WT fan, but the 101 rye is a mighty fine whiskey. I don't understand the desire to cater to a different market when the market for rye is very small anyway. I hope the 81 is good, but still think losing 101 is a bad idea.
    -Brian-

    "A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky, dangerous animals and you know it."
    -Agent Kay

  5. #75
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    Re: WT Rye 81 proof?!

    Quote Originally Posted by mosugoji64 View Post
    I'm not a huge WT fan, but the 101 rye is a mighty fine whiskey.
    To parallel the fate of WT101, WT101 WAS a mighty fine whiskey. The last bottle I had of WT101 with the new label was young and hot. WT101 used to have 4-6-8 year old stock. (that what was listed on the old web site.) Now the "old" stock that has been set aside for Eddie's WT81. I suspect they are following the same game plan with WTR-101. Today, they are dumping the WTR81 with the "older stock" of rye that use to be used in WTR101. Eventually down the road, both WT81 and WTR81 will be made up almost exclusively of young whiskey, in the 4 year old range. They won't get rid of WT101 but it will be made up mostly of young whiskey. I have little faith in Eddie.
    Last edited by The Boozer; 03-03-2012 at 09:50.

  6. #76
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    Re: WT Rye 81 proof?!

    I'm not going to disagree with my esteemed collagues about the present state of WT's Bourbon and Rye, but I think it is worth remembering that WT has just completed a big expanision of its distilleryand is in the process of expanding its warehouse capacity as well. So maybe a few years down the line, the age of what is going into their bottles will get back up to what it once was.
    bibamus, moriendum est
    Sipology Blog

  7. #77
    Irreverent One
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    Re: WT Rye 81 proof?!

    Quote Originally Posted by Brisko View Post
    By the way, thanks for the response, Scott and Kevin, on the syrup. Once my basement bar is up and running I need to start experimenting with cocktails again and I prefer syrup to cubes generally.
    I had to move up from 1:1 because of the way I make Mojitos, which is with 2oz rum rather than 1.25. If you use the normal 1 tbs of sugar (the amount of sugar in 1 fluid oz of 1:1 syrup) then they come out too dry.

    I tried going to 2:1 with the syrup but because the ambient temp in our house is usually below 70 degrees, sugar precipitates out.

    Another thing I do when making syrup destined for Mojitos is to toss in a handful of crushed mint leaves after stirring in the sugar and killing the heat. I let them steep for 20-30 minutes.
    Scott

    "Remember that your sense of humor is inversely proportional to your level of intolerance."
    - Serge Storms

  8. #78
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    Re: WT Rye 81 proof?!

    Quote Originally Posted by Josh View Post
    I'm not going to disagree with my esteemed collagues about the present state of WT's Bourbon and Rye, but I think it is worth remembering that WT has just completed a big expanision of its distilleryand is in the process of expanding its warehouse capacity as well. So maybe a few years down the line, the age of what is going into their bottles will get back up to what it once was.
    Let's hope so. But it sure seems like they're going about it all wrong. It's not like there haven't been plenty of industry examples in recent history that they could look to. For instance, the Knob Creek "shortage" a couple years ago. Beam could have gone NAS, or to 80 proof, or even allocated it, but instead they decided to just wait till the next batch was ready, and to boot, create an ad campaign around it. Seems like the KC brand is doing okay. On the other side of the coin I think a lot of us are still pissed off about Eagle Rare, and more recently the younger Wellers. Now I realize that the enthusiast segment doesn't drive the market as a whole, but consider this: scarcity has never hurt a brand in the long run.

    Let that sink in again. Scarcity whether through shortage or allocation, doesn't hurt a brand's image. If managed properly, it does the opposite. Think of all the brands that we go nuts over on these boards. How many of them are limited editions or hard to find? And it's not just the Staggs and Van Winkles. Look at Maker's, they're the textbook example of how to build a brand with limited production.

    The most apt example is Rittenhouse. The supply is extremely limited, and like WT, Heaven Hill has just ramped up production back in-house. But rather than replace the BiB completely, they managed through the shortages, even making the 80 proof version 3 years old. I don't think that hurt them much because the BiB was always their flagship rye. And scarcity certainly hasn't hurt it's popularity. I think I can probably find a 3 or 4 editions of the Parker's Heritage easier than I can find Ritt BiB.

    That's what's so baffling about what WT is doing here. They have a chance to build up the brand through scarcity and instead they're diluting it (literally).

    But good luck to them. I hope they do better with the cocktail crowd than Beam did.

  9. #79
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    Re: WT Rye 81 proof?!

    I'm not the biggest rye fan, but VWFRR & Vintage 21 rye have begun to sway me. I bought a bottle of Ritt BIB for my son after reading all of the glowing reviews. We had a pour on his birthday and I have to say, I'm not a big fan. After reading this thread, I found myself looking at the WT today at my local store. Two bottles of WT rye 101 on the shelf for $17. I took a chance and bought both. I have to say that I enjoy this rye immensely. To me, there is no comparison to the Ritt. Going to have to find some more now!

  10. #80

    Re: WT Rye 81 proof?!

    Quote Originally Posted by clingman71 View Post
    I'm not the biggest rye fan, but VWFRR & Vintage 21 rye have begun to sway me. I bought a bottle of Ritt BIB for my son after reading all of the glowing reviews. We had a pour on his birthday and I have to say, I'm not a big fan. After reading this thread, I found myself looking at the WT today at my local store. Two bottles of WT rye 101 on the shelf for $17. I took a chance and bought both. I have to say that I enjoy this rye immensely. To me, there is no comparison to the Ritt. Going to have to find some more now!
    My thoughts exactly. Love Vintage 21, VWFRR, (and Saz 18). Like WT 101. Not so fond of my bottle of Ritt BIB. I have learned that the Ritt can be variable though (like most whiskey I suppose, but this was drastically different). I tried a slightly older (in terms of production date) bottle of Ritt at a friends place that was very, very good. What I'm asking myself now is do I like WT 101 rye enough to go buy a case....Probably not...

 

 

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