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  1. #1
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    Six Rye Shootout!

    Yesterday Bob and I performed the 'daunting' and perilous task of performing a 6 Rye Shootout between Jim Beam Rye, Old Overholt, Wild Turkey Rye, Van Winkle Family Reserve 13yo Rye, Sazerac 18yo Rye (2003 Release) and The Classic Cask 21yo Rye bottled in 2003. Here's what we noted as we drank each cut and pasted from our MS Word tasting notes... Enjoy!


    Beam Rye –No age statement and 80 proof. Light in color, a little harsh in the nose, very young tasting in that it doesn’t taste very well balanced or ‘mature’ in flavor. Still seems to have a bit of distillate smell in the nose.

    Old Overholt – 4yo and 80 proof. A bit darker than the Beam rye and a bit more smoother. It seems to have more balance to it than the beam rye.

    Wild Turkey Rye – No age but 101 proof. More flavor (spicy) and better balanced than the beam. Where the Old Overholt seemed one dimensional this one really shows more character.

    Van Winkle fr rye 13yo – 95.6 proof 13yo though we heard thru the grapevine that it may be as old as 19 years. Bottle # D6028. Totally different nose than the previous 3. Very pleasant aroma of oak and the sweetness of warmed caramel. Unlike the others or most ryes, the spiciness is not as apparent. It is replaced with wonderful wood/oak flavors and a it o’ sweetness with a smooth finish.

    Sazerac 18yo Rye 90 proof – lighter aroma than the van winkle. Bob got honey and citrus in the nose as do I with floral accents as well almost like walking thru a flower garden. Also in the taste we both get that very light citrus and floral taste with not a bit of burn and ultra ‘silky’smooth from start to finish.

    Classic Cask 21yo(!) 90 proof – Buttery aroma with a very very pleasing taste of sweet and spicy blended most perfectly. This one really coats the mouth and tongue completely. It is very full bodied and surprisingly not overaged in either of our opinions. We both agree that the newer 22yo may even impart better characteristics and think that it could possibly stand being bottled up to 25yo! No burn at the end at all, just beautiful flavor!

    In a summary, and we both agreed on this, here’s in order our favorites (from least to most): Beam Rye, Old Overholt, Turkey Rye, Van Winkle and a draw between the Sazerac and Classic Cask. Although Van Winkle is coming out in the middle it is a great rye. Also, for those on a budget, the Turkey is a wonderful alternative and deserves an honorable mention. Both of us personally would never really give the JB rye another go on a repeat purchase.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
    Mr. Anal Retentive Bourbon Drinker
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    Jul 2003
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    Houston, TX
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    Re: Six Rye Shootout!

    I purchased a bottle of the Classic Cask Rye. It was distilled in 1981, bottled in 2004, aged 22 years. I'm bringing this bottle to the Gazebo to open.

  3. #3

    Re: Six Rye Shootout!

    How come there is so little of the Sazerac and (apparently) Van Winkles left? Couldn't finish the bottle, guys?

  4. #4
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    Re: Six Rye Shootout!

    Trust me, if I didn't have to get up for work less than 8 hours after we were doing this tasting I may have! Actually th Sazerac and VWFRR were bottles that the both of us have had open for some time now. Oh and the pic was taken before we drank any, all the bottles a quite a bit lower now than they are in the pics. It was just yesterday that we finally got around to doing what we have spoken about doing for quite some time now. I hope next year they go up yet another year and do a 23yo rye from Classic Cask. We both agreed that that is one that seems like it would have only gotten better with age... To a point of course!

  5. #5
    Enthusiast
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    Re: Six Rye Shootout!

    This was a great experience, trying such a wide range of ryes. The first rye I bought was the JB rye, and initially I thought that it was very good. I bought Old Overholt then Wild Turkey, and thought they were good as well, especially the WT. But then, along came VW Rye, and I thought the hell with those other ones, this is super. I still think very highly of this rye. Sazerac is another great rye, and it edges out the VW as slightly better. Trying the 2 together has enabled me to taste the differences. For those of you that enjoy ryes, I have to say the Classic Cask was quite a suprise. Mark & I thought that it would be influenced to much by the wood, and that would detract from our enjoyment of it. But, we were wrong. That's a damn good rye, and as Mark noted, I would try it at an even older age. I think it could easily handle a few more years in the barrel.

    The one rye that I wish we had available to try during this tasting would have been Michter's 10 Year Old Rye. I've only had this once, but I recall it to be a very good rye as well. So, in some way, the rye shootout is not yet complete! We will have to do it again, minus the JB and Old Overholt, but add on the Michters and the current 22 year old Classic Cask. More fun to look forward to!

    Bob

  6. #6
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    Re: Six Rye Shootout!

    And perhaps throw in a bottle of the 12yo Old Rip Van Winkle Old Time Rye for good measure Bob!

  7. #7
    Connoisseur
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    May 2003
    Location
    Virginia
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    621

    Re: Six Rye Shootout!

    Wow! Thanks for the awesome shootout/notes! In the rye 'spectrum' I've always thought there was a huge taste gap right in between the WT Rye and the Van Winkle (ie. that's where you make a huge jump from mediocre to outstanding).

    You've convinced me to seek out the Classic Cask! Thanks again to the NY tasting crew!

  8. #8

    Re: Six Rye Shootout!

    Interesting to note not a single reference from either you or Mark to Old Potrero. I'm aware Maytag is a maverick and something of a dreamer -- but is his whiskey a contender, or just expensive?

  9. #9
    Enthusiast
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    495

    Re: Six Rye Shootout!

    Yes indeed. Thanks for reminding me.

  10. #10
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    Re: Six Rye Shootout!

    Tim,

    I've had Old Potero on 2 occasions at NYC WhiskyFest. I wouldn't buy that stuff if it was $20. But, it sells for at least $80! Go figure. I don't like the taste of it at all, so price is really not the issue. I just don't like it!

    Bob

 

 

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