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  1. #41
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
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    Re: Is there more than one style of straight rye??

    Chuck, with your spirits marketing background, do you think rye can be positioned to really take off, say the way coolers did, or Corona, etc.?

    Gary

  2. #42
    Bourbonian of the Year 2003 and Super Moderator
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    Re: Is there more than one style of straight rye??

    When Greg, Jo, BettyeJo , Amelia and Myself visited Heaven Hill in Late October or November,2003. Larry hosted us and among other things( 1994 EWSB Barrel One, unforgettable!) We had some Rittenhouse Bonded Rye that was 10 years old. It was a special order for a customer in Europe. To have access to that, truly it is what dreams are made of.

  3. #43
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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    Re: Is there more than one style of straight rye??

    The best strategy seems to be what Jim Beam did with Small Batch. Their attitude from the beginning was to introduce and promote the group of four with no favoritism to any one, but if one or more of the four broke out on its own and started to look like a real brand, then they would support it as such. That is what happened with Knob Creek.

    On the other hand, that strategy derived from some very traditional brand management thinking. Buffalo Trace seems to be going in a different direction and part of that is catering to the enthusiast market (i.e., us), which is very small but which can make a small but premium-priced and hence profitable brand like Stagg successful.

    The next step for Heaven Hill probably would be to introduce a luxury rye, maybe a 10-year-old version of the Rittenhouse, to market alongside its other high end whiskies such as EWSBV, HMSB and ECSB.

    Part of the problem is that Jim Beam and Heaven Hill, in particular, have invested so much in promoting bourbon as the be-all and end-all, as a way of competing with Jack Daniel's (for all the good it has done them) that it might be tough for them to switch gears and say, "Oh, by the way, here's this other type of American Straight Whiskey that is also quite good."

  4. #44
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
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    Re: Is there more than one style of straight rye??

    Hmm, interesting. I like that idea about a 10 year old Rittenhouse. 10 years has a feeling of solidity, certainly long enough for a prime American brand. Say they created a division called, Rittenhouse Square Brands with an address in Philadelphia, something like that. I'd redo the bottle too, introduce a 30's-style bottle, give it a retro high end tone. Maybe the Old-Fashioned would be a better cocktail than rye and ginger to support the brand. I think the high end approach, selling as you say less but with good margins, would make more sense than trying to create a counter to Jim Beam or Jack. They are well-established and their markets likely would not cotton to rye, not broadly anyway. Whereas rye still has associations to sophisticated urban living, these are attenuated but there is a folk memory I think about rye being "the" drink for cocktails on the Eastern Seaboard, and it is enough to allow it to come back, maybe.

    Gary

  5. #45
    Connoisseur
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    Re: Is there more than one style of straight rye??

    just remember in the much repeated song...

    "...them good old boys were drinkin' whiskey and rye... singin' this will be the day that I die"


  6. #46
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    Re: Is there more than one style of straight rye??

    How did the 10yo bonded rye compare to VW13 or Saz18?

  7. #47
    Bourbonian of the Year 2003 and Super Moderator
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    Re: Is there more than one style of straight rye??

    For some reason my VWFR 13 year rye is staying sealed at the moment but I do have 12 year VanWinkle and Sazerac to compare to. The Rittenhouse has a little bite but in a robust way rather than a drinking the dregs sort. To me it would be a welcome addition to have available and I would have it on hand , Always! The VanWinkle 12 year seems delicate compared to Rittenhouse. I didn't think to ask for the percentage of Rye in the Rittenhouse.

    Certainly it would get to personal taste rather quickly,I think that the Rittenhouse would be a great contender, in the Rye Whiskey catagory.

    Perhaps "bite" Isn't the best word here. The Rittenhouse Rye has a presence and catches your attention and all available taste buds. It really smooths out at mid point and the finish is superb.

  8. #48
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    Re: Is there more than one style of straight rye??

    There probably is some old Maryland rye still around.
    I seem to remember somebody on SB.com saying they had a bottle. I am also attempting to get one of those last bottlings of old Maryland Straight Rye.


    Well, I found a few bottles of Pikesville Maryland Straight Rye Whiskey. One is an unopened 750 bottle, one of the last off the line. One is an opened liter bottle. Another is an opened quart bottle which probably dates to the early 1970's. Very little consumed in the opened bottles. I will post pictures and taste notes soon.

 

 

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