The conversation in the Knob Creek Rye thread got me to thinking about my thoughts on Rye Whiskey, or what I think my thoughts are on Rye Whiskey.


Ryes have me a bit confused at the moment. When people ask me what the difference is between rye and bourbon, part of my answer always brings up the taste profile in relation to bourbon. Usually, it goes along the lines of rye being "bolder", "sharper", "spicier", etc. In reality, however, I'm hard pressed to find those attributes in many ryes at all! As I stated in the KCR thread, OO and JBR are dull, flat, watery and boring. The Ri1 is definitely soft as WhiteDog experienced in trying to get a good cocktail out of it...though I do enjoy it. Barton ryes are soft on my palate. 354 Ritt 100 tastes like bourbon. The 1 Ritt is similar, though better IMO. I adore Handy and Saz Jr. But, for their unique taste profile, not necessarily for what I would call spicy boldness. Though, they do possess a baking spice quality. The LDI ryes are interestingly tasty, but not a slobberknockerey spicy kick. Just interestingly different. As I got to thinking, I determined that most ryes just seem muted to me. Really, only the WTR 101, and to a lesser degree the KC Rye are what I would term "bold, sharp, and Spicy".

Is this just a total miss of the mark, on my part? Was/am I expecting the wrong things in rye whiskies? Or, is my spice-o-meter just funked up?