After a lackluster search through Rhode Island and Connecticut liquor stores in terms of older interesting bottles, I found on the shelf a row of this now defunct rye, it was at Tanza Wines and Liquors in a strip mall in Fall River (on the south side for anyone who knows the area). Only $25, too. What a fabulous bottle, this is the best modern straight whiskey I think I've had this year or maybe ever. It reminds me of the ORVW 13 year old rye when issued in its earlier years (the later bottlings seem older-tasting and less well-balanced). Oddly, when both the 12 and 13 year olds came out I didn't like the 12 as much as the 13, it seemed a little rougher and less complete. Well, maybe sitting 5 years or more in damp New England has improved it and anyway now it is sensational. The bottle was properly sealed in that I had as usual to detach the plastic cap from the lower plastic rim but I noticed that the cap "spun around" as I twisted it open. It was a loose fit as sometimes happens with such closures and I'm glad of it because I think maybe some air got in and softened it down. It is sweet, rich and somewhat (but not overly) oaky, with haunting rye tangs that lend great complexity. Just amazing and I am sorry now I didn't buy the row of them. I know some gents on the board have bottles in their bunker. Try them, you may find they are better than ever. E.g., I got a slight fruity note in this bottle which I hadn't noticed in the bottles I bought a few years ago.
I don't know the whys and wherefores but to me this bottle spells whiskey heaven.