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Thread: (ri) 1 Anyone?

  1. #11
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    Re: (ri) 1 Anyone?

    Darylld, Not a bad suggestion. I've tried the Jefferson's and it didn't go to waste But for me the oak overpowered the other flavor notes. It was a little too woody and had a slightly bitter saw dust note that hurt the finish. That being said, I may try another bottle some time, as there can be variations. It had some great menthol, cinnamon, ginger and bready notes; some floral and nice touch of char. I found myself thinking if only this were a couple years younger, the wood might be toned down a bit and it could be a great whiskey.

  2. #12
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    Re: (ri) 1 Anyone?

    Hey Cowdery, I'm glad you brought Knob Creek Rye up. I've tried that one and it seems a bit of a mystery, and not in a real good way, either. But I must say it makes a great Manhattan and Nor'Easter, if you've ever had that cocktail. Let me tell you what I mean by this whiskey being mysterious.

    Starting with the label and presentation, which in this case I think is pretty significant: Beam calls their Knob Creek line super premium, so I think we should have reasonably high expectations. If you look at the label, not only is there no age statement, but there is also no indication of what the rye % is in the recipe. Fair enough. Not every distiller gives us that info on the label, though they should. So how about help from the web site? The only thing it says there is that Beam uses quality rye- again, no age statement or % of rye. But what's worse is that if you look carefully at the label, it does not specify "straight" rye. As you probably know, that is an important designation that is used for good American whiskey. Among other things, it means there can't be any color or flavoring added to the product. Its interesting that Beam specifies the "Straight Rye" designation on its entry level Jim Beam and Old Overholt labels, but not on the rye it considers to be in its "premium" line. I wish distillers would realize that consumers appreciate transparency if they want us to plunk down a good chunk of change for a bottle of spirits.

    I tried Knob Creek Rye because it was recommended by a couple of folks that I often agree with on whiskey choices. Won't go into the details on notes, but lets just say that the mystery continues, or maybe Knob Creek Rye has a kind of identity crisis. To me it just tastes like a big Beam bourbon- a high rye bourbon, but bourbon nonetheless. Nothing wrong with that except that its supposed to be a bottle of rye. So how much rye? Well, all we can say is that by law it has to be at least 51%. It does have that distinctive Jim Beam note to it- probably from their particular yeast and barrels- that is so distinct, and which I happen to like. But I just don't see what this one has to offer over and above Knob Creek Bourbon, or even my favorite standard "house" pour: Jim Beam Black, at a much lower price.

  3. #13
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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    Re: (ri) 1 Anyone?

    The Beam rye mash bill is 51% rye, the legal minimum for a straight rye. So are all of the other major distillery (Heaven Hill, Wild Turkey, BT) ryes, the exception being the straight ryes from MGP Indiana (95%) and Canada (100%). Most micro-distillery ryes are more than 51% as well. Why the 'barely legal' 51%? Three reasons. One, rye is so flavorful that most distillers think 51% is all the rye flavor you need. Second, as you can taste in something like Bulleit Rye, rye is flavorful but thin. Corn gives it much needed body. Three, rye costs about twice as much as corn.

  4. #14
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    Re: (ri) 1 Anyone?

    Quote Originally Posted by cowdery View Post
    The Beam rye mash bill is 51% rye, the legal minimum for a straight rye. So are all of the other major distillery (Heaven Hill, Wild Turkey, BT) ryes, the exception being the straight ryes from MGP Indiana (95%) and Canada (100%). Most micro-distillery ryes are more than 51% as well. Why the 'barely legal' 51%? Three reasons. One, rye is so flavorful that most distillers think 51% is all the rye flavor you need. Second, as you can taste in something like Bulleit Rye, rye is flavorful but thin. Corn gives it much needed body. Three, rye costs about twice as much as corn.
    An exception being the CEHT Rye from BT which may have been a one off. Still see it on a lot of shelves. Would probably move better at closer to $40 than $70. At least it would at my house!
    That yella whiskey runnin' down my throat like honey dew vine water and I took another slash…

    Nullum Gratuitum Prandium
    Ne Illegitimi Carborundum

  5. #15
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    Re: (ri) 1 Anyone?

    Yes, I must say the lower % ryes have a more satisfying mouth feel with the higher % of corn in the mash. Even the basic JB yellow label is pretty good in this respect. Would like to try try the Wild Turkey or Russell's Reserve Rye. Not available in New Hampshire Liquor stores right now but next time I'm out of state plan to pick up a bottle of each of them.

    In any case, you bring up a good point about the contradiction of rye: lots of flavor but thin mouth feel. I've approached it from distillers having the right amount of age and oak to add some body, but the corn content surely helps too. Rye seems a much more finicky whiskey to get right than bourbon is. Another thing I've noticed about it is that once the bottle is open, rye seems to be more affected by "air time" than bourbon is. Sometimes this is good as it can "open up', the flavor a bit, and other times it seems to loose a bit.
    Last edited by Merrymash Monk; 07-14-2013 at 18:09.

  6. #16
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    Re: (ri) 1 Anyone?

    I'm thinking about giving the ri1 a try. I've noticed the price dropped down to $26 locally, which makes it a little more than Baby Saz, but cheaper than Jefferson's rye.

  7. #17
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    (ri) 1 Anyone?

    Quote Originally Posted by Trey Manthey View Post
    I'm thinking about giving the ri1 a try. I've noticed the price dropped down to $26 locally, which makes it a little more than Baby Saz, but cheaper than Jefferson's rye.
    Please don't do it. It'll only break your heart.
    "On a long enough timeline, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero"
    T. Durden

  8. #18
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    Re: (ri) 1 Anyone?

    Trey are you using cheap as a monetary or descriptive term.

  9. #19
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    (ri) 1 Anyone?

    Monetary only, as the Jefferson's is usually above $30.

  10. #20
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    Re: (ri) 1 Anyone?

    The Col E. H. Taylor rye is going to be an annual release, so they're making it at least once a year. It's not a one-off like the CEHT sour mash was. How much they're making and whether or not it might show up as something else is unknown, but with BT anything is possible. The mash bill is just rye and malt, like MGP Indiana, but they're not saying what the proportions are. 95/5? 90/10? 85/15? No way to know for sure unless they tell us. Like the age, they're not saying.

 

 

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