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Thread: A New Rye

  1. #1
    Advanced Taster
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
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    Pittsburgh, PA
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    168

    A New Rye

    Well, I thought I'd sampled the gamut of rye with my recent tastings at Whiskyfest - I've had the Sazerac, the VW 13, Old Potrero and Anchor's charred oak rye, as well as Beam, Old Overholt, Wild Turkey, and, of course, my holy grail, Sam Thompson. The only ones I've missed (I thought) were the Hirsch and VW 12-year-old premium ryes and Pikesville and Stephen Foster (?) low-priced ryes.

    So, I walk into the Shadyside specialty LCB store in Pittsburgh last night, and see this squat, black-waxed bottle with a simple buff label featuring a line-drawing of a keg, and announcing that this was "The Classic Cask hand crafted Single Batch Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey - Aged 15 years". Written in pen was "Batch #: RW-102, Distilled: 1984, Bottled: 1999, Bottle #: 106/263", and further down, "90 proof, 45% Alc. by Vol., Distilled and Bottled in Kentucky". On a small back label we have "bottled by the Classic Cask Co., Bardstown, KY, Spirit Imports, Inc., sole distributors". This little item went for $50 the bottle - there were three on the shelf. I bought one.

    On getting it home and chewing away at the black wax, I note a cork that's fresh and clean-smelling, not an old or abused bottle. The whiskey is a relatively dark mahogany brown. In my little snifter the body is extraordinarily thick and viscous, with legs that would slowly dwindle to fine threads. The nose is open and accessible - leathery rye with elements of roasting peanuts and warm springtime soil (I imagined green rye sprouts). Mouthfeel is thick and coating - I could actually chew the film on my tongue - with flavors of oak, rye-spice, blackstrap molasses and copper. The finish was medium-long, softening as it went, with a clear apple taste just as I was ready for another sip, and a final whiff of butter. This was a complex, highly mature whiskey with very clear flavor layers - to my beginner's palate, a world-class spirit.

    What is this stuff? I've never heard of it before, and the age narrows the possibilities. If it's either Ken or Julian's whiskey I might better understand the quality - whoever made this should take a bow, and tell us a little about "The Classic Cask".

    Ralph Wilps


  2. #2
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
    Join Date
    Sep 1999
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    Chicago
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    12,656

    Re: A New Rye

    Neither Ken nor Julian would be labeling their products "Bardstown." The likely culprit is Heaven Hill but the grandiosity of it all suggests Even Kulsveen. I hope someone knows for sure. I don't.

    --Chuck Cowdery

  3. #3
    Bourbonian of the Year 2004 and Guru
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    Jul 2000
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    Nelson County, Kentucky
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    Re: A New Rye

    It's not Heaven Hill.

    boone


  4. #4
    **DONOTDELETE**
    Guest

    Re: A New Rye

    Even is responsible for Johnny Drum 15, which has many of those qualities, but I didn't know he did a straight rye. Ralph's description reads a lot like the way I taste Julian's wonderful 12yr old, but like you said, it wouldn't have "Bardstown" on the label if it were Old Rip. Unless Even buys his rye from wherever Julian gets his? Remember, Julian doesn't distill directly, he has his product produced to order -- and I don't think he's ever said by whom. Perhaps he's not their only customer. I have a lot of respect for Even Kulsveen (especially now that I can spell his name correctly), and I wouldn't be at all surprised to learn of a new quality product from him. He's about at the top of my "I have to meet this individual" list right now, you know.

    =John=
    http://w3.one.net/~jeffelle/whiskey

  5. #5
    Connoisseur
    Join Date
    Feb 2000
    Location
    Florida
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    516

    Re: A New Rye

    Ralph,

    I'd bet it's a Sazerac rye. Classic Cask also bottles a 17-YO straight bourbon which matches your packaging description (limited to 600 bottles) and it tastes very much like the new 17 Eagle Rare.

    If you see another 15 YO bottle and it doesn't say rye, grab it. Chances are it's the 15-yr export-only Eagle. Good stuff.

    Omar


  6. #6
    Enthusiast
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Location
    Frankfort, KY
    Posts
    499

    Re: A New Rye

    We sold two barrels of whiskey a few years ago that we should not have done. I do not know if it was the rye or not. I honestly don't know who the father of this brand is.

    Ken


  7. #7
    **DONOTDELETE**
    Guest

    Re: A New Rye

    Dammit Man! I want some of that rye! Flavors of "...blackstrap molassas and copper." With a clear apple finish! Heaven. I'll tell you true Ralph when you've got molasses and apples working in your whiskey for you then you've got something special! Buy as many bottles as you can. Please bring one to Bardsatown, as I'd like to share a taste with you.

    Linn Spencer

    Have Shotglass. Will Travel.

  8. #8
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
    Join Date
    Sep 1999
    Location
    Chicago
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    12,656

    Re: A New Rye

    The other possibility is always Barton. I haven't heard about them making any rye whiskey in the recent or distant past, but there is no reason they couldn't. There has to be someone who at least bottled the product in Bardstown if it says Bardstown on the label. The only producers who use Bardstown on their labels are Heaven Hill, Barton and Willett.

    --Chuck Cowdery

  9. #9
    Enthusiast
    Join Date
    Oct 1999
    Location
    Louisville, KY
    Posts
    265

    Re: A New Rye

    When are you guys & girl going to learn:
    Anything "Bottled" in Bardstown is Even's Whiskey. Anything "distilled" is Barton or HH. I would imagine it is Heaven Hill whiskey-as most of his is.
    If you see a "bottled by" location, like "Classic Cask Co", go to the KY Secretary of State's web site & look under "trademarks" to find out who bottles what. All trade names bottled in KY have to registered with this office.
    Julian


  10. #10
    **DONOTDELETE**
    Guest

    Re: A New Rye

    OH.. MY.. GOODNESS!!!
    Julian, why have you watched us writhe in agony (not to mention ignorance) so long before offering this? What an incredible (whoops, I guess that's not really the right word, is it?) resource. See ya, folks. I may be stuck inside that website for awhile before checking back.
    THANK YOU!!

    =John=
    http://w3.one.net/~jeffelle/whiskey

 

 

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