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  1. #1
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    What Should I Try Next?

    So during my first trip to to Bourbon Trail last week I bought my first bottle of Rye, Willet 4 yr to be exact. The only other Rye I had tasted before this Rittenhouse and I really enjoyed it. However, this Willet is another beast all together and I absolutely love it. So, for a Rye rookie what should I try/buy next?

  2. #2
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    Re: What Should I Try Next?

    Crowes rye whiskys fall into two broad categories, those made by the distillery on the label and those sourced from LDI/MGPI. Willet is sourced as are a number of other (most?) rye brands on the market so if you like the Willet you may like the others as well and find them at a lower cost than Willet. That's not to say they all taste the same, they don't, but they are consistent within the family. Producers may treat the sourced rye differently, barrel proof, single barrel, vatting a number of barrels together, simply bottling it as it comes in bulk or in the case of Dickel running it through a deep vat of charcoal.

    There are distillerys who make their own, Heaven Hill makes Rittenhouse and Pikesville, Beam has several, Wild Turkey's 101 (growing scarce on the shelves, I would buy that one first) and micros such as Finger Lakes Distilling. There're really a lot of choices from the Micros.

    If you like ryes you may also consider a Bourbon using a high rye formula such as Old Grand Dad.

  3. #3
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    Re: What Should I Try Next?

    Quote Originally Posted by squire View Post
    Crowes rye whiskys fall into two broad categories, those made by the distillery on the label and those sourced from LDI/MGPI. Willet is sourced as are a number of other (most?) rye brands on the market so if you like the Willet you may like the others as well and find them at a lower cost than Willet. That's not to say they all taste the same, they don't, but they are consistent within the family. Producers may treat the sourced rye differently, barrel proof, single barrel, vatting a number of barrels together, simply bottling it as it comes in bulk or in the case of Dickel running it through a deep vat of charcoal.

    There are distillerys who make their own, Heaven Hill makes Rittenhouse and Pikesville, Beam has several, Wild Turkey's 101 (growing scarce on the shelves, I would buy that one first) and micros such as Finger Lakes Distilling. There're really a lot of choices from the Micros.

    If you like ryes you may also consider a Bourbon using a high rye formula such as Old Grand Dad.
    Thanks for the info Squire, that's very helpful. This particular Willet is a single barrel. I knew through some research here that they probably source from LDI/MGPI, but obviously not well versed enough in different brands that may source from them as well, if there are going to be similarities in flavor profiles. For instance, I thought I had read that Bulleit Rye would be similar since it's sourced from LDI as well. Only one way to find out lol.

    I actually lean towards bourbons that are lower rye, or wheated usually. I've had several bottles of OGD, and while I like it well enough, the flavor profiles are no where near what this Willet is bringing to the table. Not that I am expecting or hoping to find other brands that taste just like the Willet mind you, it just happens to be where my starting point is. Exploring is all the fun, so off I go.

  4. #4
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    Re: What Should I Try Next?

    Quote Originally Posted by Crowes View Post
    Thanks for the info Squire, that's very helpful. This particular Willet is a single barrel. I knew through some research here that they probably source from LDI/MGPI, but obviously not well versed enough in different brands that may source from them as well, if there are going to be similarities in flavor profiles. For instance, I thought I had read that Bulleit Rye would be similar since it's sourced from LDI as well. Only one way to find out lol.
    The Willett bottles that are sourced from LDI/MGPI should say distilled in Indiana on the back. I bought a couple Willett 6-yr ryes at the KBD gift shop last summer that say distilled in KY, so they're obviously sourcing from others as well.

  5. #5
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    Re: What Should I Try Next?

    Quote Originally Posted by Crowes View Post
    ... I had read that Bulleit Rye would be similar since it's sourced from LDI as well. Only one way to find out lol.
    You may be surprised by how different they are. Bulleit is watered down to 90 proof and chill-filtered. To me, it tastes quite different from any of the Willett Ryes I've tried. Bulleit is still very tasty, but (perhaps obviously) much thinner, with more of a herbal/minty/lavender character and less of the rich sweetness of Willett.

    For me, the Rye flavor spectrum has the LDI ryes at one end and Rittenhouse at the opposite end. I find Ritt very bourbony, with perhaps even less Rye character than some high-rye bourbons.

    Sazerac sits right in the middle, with a nice balance of sweetness and Rye spice. You might consider that for your next purchase.
    trying to walk a straight line,
    on sour mash and cheap wine

  6. #6
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    Re: What Should I Try Next?

    Quote Originally Posted by Smithford View Post
    You may be surprised by how different they are. Bulleit is watered down to 90 proof and chill-filtered. To me, it tastes quite different from any of the Willett Ryes I've tried. Bulleit is still very tasty, but (perhaps obviously) much thinner, with more of a herbal/minty/lavender character and less of the rich sweetness of Willett.

    For me, the Rye flavor spectrum has the LDI ryes at one end and Rittenhouse at the opposite end. I find Ritt very bourbony, with perhaps even less Rye character than some high-rye bourbons.

    Sazerac sits right in the middle, with a nice balance of sweetness and Rye spice. You might consider that for your next purchase.
    Yeah, Sazerac is near the top of my list of next Rye purchases. It's tough to find in Michigan so I have some hunting to do. I thought I remember seeing a few bottles floating around before but maybe I am mistaken. But again, great info as far as where the flavor profiles fit in, thank you.

    The balance of the rich sweetness with the more herbacious/pine characteristics of the Willet is really nice to me. This is way simplified I know but in describing the taste to my friend I mentioned it was like eating salted caramels while walking through a pine forest lol.

  7. #7
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    Re: What Should I Try Next?

    Getting any pickle/dill or mint in the Willett?

  8. #8
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    Re: What Should I Try Next?

    I think you have to join a Board like this to realize, by joining in the experience of others, the World of Bourbon and rye whiskys is very diverse in the different styles and taste profiles. Something for all and everybody's choice is correct.

  9. #9
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    Re: What Should I Try Next?

    Quote Originally Posted by amftx View Post
    Getting any pickle/dill or mint in the Willett?
    I definitely get some light, fresh mint towards the mid-back end of the palate. Haven't noticed any pickle/dill but I have only had a few tastes and it was so different from what I'm used to with bourbons that I still haven't scratched the surface of all the different flavor profiles I am getting. I also haven't spent a lot of time with it yet during my tastings. The first try was just a quick one, along with four other bottles of various bourbons I brought back from KY with me. The second taste as with a friend after we were already buzzed up from other pours. This weekend I plan to spend some quality time with a generous pour and make some tasting notes.

  10. #10
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    Re: What Should I Try Next?

    I'll throw a vote at HW Rendezvous! but it's costlier than most if not all of the other suggestions. May want to wait a bit on that one.

 

 

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