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  1. #11
    Guru
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    Sep 2004
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    Jackson, MS
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    Re: Rittenhouse BIB question

    Now that's a beautiful thing. I've had some Overholt from the 60s but never a vintage Rittenhouse.

  2. #12
    Guru
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    Sep 2008
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    Chicago
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    Re: Rittenhouse BIB question

    Quote Originally Posted by T Comp View Post
    At our Binny's get together back in November 2011 (the "last fling" say goodbye to Joe party...who thankfully never left) Tommyboy shared his 1955 Rittenhouse. It was superb and nothing similar to the current. Spicy and thick is what I remember...not bourbon like or mint rye like. Among other valued '50 and 60's dusties that evening it was a standout.


    Attachment 15406
    Totally agree with Thad. Never tasted anything like it before, or after.

  3. #13
    Connoisseur
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    Oct 2011
    Location
    downtown DC
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    762

    Re: Rittenhouse BIB question

    Has anyone had any Ritt from the '80s? I have a 375 of Pikesville rye from that period but I'm reserving it for a rye dusty tasting at some point in the future, i.e. when I have more than a couple of rye dusties!

  4. #14
    Connoisseur
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    Aug 2009
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    Manheim, PA 17545
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    775

    Re: Rittenhouse BIB question

    Keep in mind too there are several different styles of rye that came from Pennsylvania. The Monongahela ryes of the western portion of the state contained a significant amount of rye and were quite potent. The eastern ryes, like what Rittenhouse was, were often no more than 65% rye grain and were a little easier to drink. I can say that Michter's/Pennco in Schaefferstown used either 51% or 65% rye grain depending on what product was to be distilled. I would assume Rittenhouse was the same.
    If you have anything Michter's or Pennco and would like to sell it or share it with me, please let me know.

  5. #15
    Connoisseur
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    Suburbs of Houston, Texas
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    503

    Re: Rittenhouse BIB question

    Quote Originally Posted by T Comp View Post
    At our Binny's get together back in November 2011 (the "last fling" say goodbye to Joe party...who thankfully never left) Tommyboy shared his 1955 Rittenhouse. It was superb and nothing similar to the current. Spicy and thick is what I remember...not bourbon like or mint rye like. Among other valued '50 and 60's dusties that evening it was a standout.


    Attachment 15406
    Oh wow sure would be nice if that one could be duplicated although I am sure it can't sounds amazing

  6. #16
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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    Sep 1999
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    Chicago
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    12,636

    Re: Rittenhouse BIB question

    Ethan gave a good summary of about all we really know about the different styles of Pennsylvania rye. There are even some reasons to believe that what was being produced in the East was largely compound whiskey, what today we would call blended, that wouldn't even meet modern definitions of straight rye. That is something I learned from EllenJ.

    It's worth noting that under Publicker, the whiskey sold as Rittenhouse was sourced from different distilleries (including Michter's) and as such wasn't necessarily consistent. When they closed their own distilleries and ran out of sources in Pennsylvania, they contracted with Heaven Hill to make it. The 21-25 year old Rittenhouse expressions that Heaven Hill sold a few years ago were from a stock at HH that the successor company still owned. When Heaven Hill determined that it had probably peaked, they offered to buy it back from that company and they company complied.

    Although I'm not 100% certain of this, I believe Heaven Hill was making rye before they got the Rittenhouse contract, but I am 100% certain that Heaven Hill has only ever made one rye recipe. Since it probably originated with Earl Beam (Parker's father), I assume it owed a lot to the Jim Beam rye recipe he made when he worked at Beam with his father and brother.

    Kentucky rye, to the extent it's a style, tends to be more bourbony than any of the eastern styles, but again that kind of very general statement is about all we can say with confidence.

 

 

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