Welcome to the Straightbourbon.com Forums.
Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12
Results 11 to 19 of 19
  1. #11
    Guru
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Eastern Pennsylvania
    Posts
    2,745

    Re: Los Angeles Times Article: Rye Whiskey Is Back

    can anyone verify that about Beam being MD style?

    Bob
    I recently, thanks to John Lipman, had the opportunity to taste an old (40's) Maryland Rye. Believe me, it had no resemblance, whatever, to Jim Beam Rye. It was several orders of magnitude better than Beam.
    Joe

  2. #12
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Toronto, Canada
    Posts
    8,982

    Re: Los Angeles Times Article: Rye Whiskey Is Back

    That should be 1810, not 1910, in fact 1809. Thanks Jeff Renner for pointing this out to me.

    Gary

  3. #13
    Enthusiast
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Ann Arbor, Michigan
    Posts
    479

    Two minor ryes

    I got interested in spirits, including rye whiskey, I figured I was not alone
    That was my entree into interesting spirits as well. I began homebrewing 30+ years ago because there were very few commercial beers of the style that I liked. I always kept a few bottles of spirits - gin (for G&T), rum, Glen Fiddich, Old Forrester, but they would last years.

    Then about 7-8 years ago a friend brought a bottle of Knob Creek as a hostess gift, and I was off to the races. I got a few books, and Jim Murray impressed me most of the various authors. He has championed straight rye and is, IMO, in part responsible for the revival of its popularity. And I agree with his high opinion of Jim Beam Rye, though it is not broadly shared here.

    Hopefully, somebody at Barton will realize that rye is a hot product, and expand distribution of Fleishmann's.
    I agree with you on Fleishmann's. Rather similar in style to Jim Beam rye.

    Every summer we visit my sister and her family in central Wisconsin, and I always bring back a number of bottles of whiskey. The prices up there are incredible - at least in the city supermarkets. Wisconsinites evidently drink a lot of spirits, as well as beer. Along with Minnesota, a lot of it is brandy, but rye is common, too, at least based on what I see in the supermarkets and bars. Even a little country bar that might have only three American whiskies will have JB, JD and JB rye. You can't miss that yellow label, even in a dark, smoky bar.

    Every year I've looked at two ryes and passed them up - Fleishmann's (Barton) and Stephen Foster (HH). Finally, this year, I decided to get a bottle of each, especially after Murray's high score (93) for the Fleishmann's in his '05 Bible.

    I got a 1.75 L of the Fleishmann's since it was only $16.48, but only a liter of the Foster (I wasn't expecting much) for $9.98.

    The Fleishmann's is excellent. It's the wrong time of day to do a tasting, but it is in the style of Beam - not a lot of wood, lots of rye fruit, sufficiently aged but not so much that the original spirit is lost.

    The Foster is also in this general style, but it lacks the smoothness and complexity of the other. It is rather hot and rough (this from a month old memory). It will be interesting to try these two blind with Beam.

    As rough as the Foster is, it appears to be headed downhill. The bottle I bought had no age stated, so it is presumably four years old, but some bottles had "Fully matured at thirty-six months" on the back label.

    Two very different ryes from two different distilleries, both apparently attempting to appeal to the same market, Beam drinkers, at a lower cost. One hits the mark, the other falls far short.

    I'll post two photos of the different labels. If I can't figure out how to put two on the same post (one seems to be the norm), I'll post the second separately.

    Jeff
    Attached Images Attached Images

  4. #14
    Enthusiast
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Ann Arbor, Michigan
    Posts
    479

    Re: Two minor ryes

    Here's the back label of the 36 month old Foster rye.

    Jeff
    Attached Images Attached Images

  5. #15
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Toronto, Canada
    Posts
    8,982

    Re: Two minor ryes

    Good notes, Jeff. I am a long-time beer fan, too. You should get together with Jeff Yeast!

    Do you recall what Jackson said about that Prohibition rye?

    Before Murray there was Jackson. I have much respect for Jim but Michael Jackson kickstarted the revival of rye whiskey in his 1988 World Guide To Whiskey. Before that book, there was no text I am aware of that lauded rye whiskey or described it the way Jackson did with his classification of Maryland and Pennsylvania, and so forth.

    If Jim Murray wrote about rye before Michael (I know you didn't say he did) I'd be interested to know the details.

    I have done my little part to promote rye but most of what I know, and the impetus, came from Michael Jackson.

    Does he still show up at those conventions? When is the next one?

    You are one of the few to have spotted those two ryes, especially the Fleischmann's. Even during my Barton tour recently no one seemed to know much about it. It probably has a regional market in the areas you mentioned.

    Gary

  6. #16
    Bourbonian of the Year 2010 and Guru
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Kentucky!
    Posts
    4,745

    Re: Two minor ryes

    I always wondered where these two were actually sold. I've seen them listed as available products, but never seen anyplace that carried them (or had even heard of them). Just their scarcity would make them an excellent Gazebo choice (or trade goods)...I would surely be interested to get my hands (and tastebuds) on some.

  7. #17
    Enthusiast
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Ann Arbor, Michigan
    Posts
    479

    Re: Two minor ryes

    Good notes, Jeff. I am a long-time beer fan, too. You should get together with Jeff Yeast!
    Thanks. I have, after a fashion, at this SB thread on how to start homebrewing.

    Do you recall what Jackson said about that Prohibition rye?
    Sadly, no, not in detail after more than two years. For that matter, I probably didn't remember in detail after two hours. There were a lot more whiskeys that evening. I might see if I can get an email to him (indirectly - I don't have direct access) and see if he could share his notes.

    I do remember having a discussion with him about new oak aging, because it didn't seem all that woody. He posited that it might have been partially aged in used oak, as it was his understanding that before the 1964(?) law defining bourbon that new, charred oak was not a requirement. He said that it was pressure from US Representative Wilbur Mills (of the Tidal Basin and stripper scandal), from the major oak-producing state of Arkansas, that got this requirement into law. (This is an interesting topic for further investigation. I've never been able to dig anything up on it. Perhaps one of the SB industry folks could shed some light on it.)

    My recollection of it was that it was, first of all, very different from any whiskey I'd ever had before. Very firm, powerful and intense, aromatic with fruit and tight grained wood (not that the wood itself was necessarily tight, but the impression was of that).

    I have an inch left of it, and will taste it again and report.

    Before Murray there was Jackson. I have much respect for Jim but Michael Jackson kickstarted the revival of rye whiskey in his 1988 World Guide To Whiskey. Before that book, there was no text I am aware of that lauded rye whiskey or described it the way Jackson did with his classification of Maryland and Pennsylvania, and so forth.
    I was first familiar with MJ as a beer expert from his 1977 World Guide to Beer. Somehow, despite having a number of his other books, I have missed his World Guide to Whisky. I will have to remedy that.

    His first whisky book that I got was the third edition (1994) of his Complete Guide to Single Malt Scotch, which I probably got in '96 or so.

    If Jim Murray wrote about rye before Michael (I know you didn't say he did) I'd be interested to know the details.
    Murray certainly does not predate Jackson's 1988 book, AFAIK. When I first "got into" American whiskeys, Murray's then new 1998 Classic Bourbon, Tennessee & Rye Whiskey was one of my first acquisitions. In it, he has a separate chapter on rye. The first sentence is, "If any whiskey style in the world needs, or is more deserving, of a revival than straight rye then I have yet to find it."

    He also wrote that it was "what I regard as probably my favourite whiskey style of all." And on that, I agree.

    He has also written at least one article in Malt Advocate on rye that I can remember, and writes about it in his general whisky books. I know that I read another early piece by him, which I can't seem to lay my hands on, in which he refers to Bogart's Phillip Marlowe in one of my favorite films, The Big Sleep, saying to an attractive but bookish bookstore clerk, "You know, I just happen to have a bottle of pretty good rye in my pocket," at which point she pulls down the "Closed" shade on the shop door, turns the lock, takes off her glasses and lets down her hair. Bogey says, "Well, hellooo," and the scene fades. Great movie, great scene.

    In general, I find that my tastes most often agree with Murray's among the major reviewers, including Jackson.

    I have done my little part to promote rye but most of what I know, and the impetus, came from Michael Jackson.
    I have done as well, if inspired by Murray rather than Jackson (who may well have inspired Murray - who knows?). Over the last five years or so, I have given probably five nice antique (post-pro) liquor decanter sets - with one decanter each of rye and scotch, with a bottle of JB rye and some decent blended scotch to fill them, as wedding presents.

    (I think it is instructive that on eBay, these fine old decanters show up most often in rye and scotch, either separately or as sets. Gin is less common, and bourbon even less so. Vodka never until the later styles of the 50's or 60's, which I don't collect. I have perhaps two complete sets of all four in different patterns from different manufacturers, and a number of other two whiskey sets in other patterns. Clearly, in post-pro America, these were the two spirits that were kept in households that were well enough off to have decanters.)

    Does he still show up at those conventions? When is the next one?
    No, the 2003 one in Chicago was unusual. The organizing committee got the Goose Island Brewery to sponsor his trip over from London to speak at their brewery the next day. He is an emeritus member of the American Homebrewers Association's Governing Committee, which I sit on. He is no longer very active on the committee. This was the only annual GC meeting that he has attended in recent years. It was very nice to meet with him in an informal setting. His keynote speech was classic, rambling, entertaining MJ, but it was impossible to visit with him in that setting of 500 clamoring fans.

    His position is, IMO, unequalled in influencing the beer revival in the world, at least among authors. He and Charlie Papazian, founder of the AHA in 1979 (I joined in 1980), became friends in the 80's at the Great British Beer Festival GBBF), when Michael encouraged Charlie to hold a similar festival. The umteent Great American Beer Festival is being held in Denver as I type these words, with 1,669 beers on tap.

    Below is a photo of me (not my best angle) opening the 1933 Old Overholt with a corkscrew (the top of the cork was gone) with Michael Jackson writing notes about the label and tax strip, which are in the plastic envelope between us (they had come off). Behind us is longtime beer and homebrew writer and guru Fred Eckhardt of Portland, OR. Fred is also an emeritus member of the AHA GC, and is still active on it. He is a wonderful, vigorous octogenerian who always has a twinkle in his eye.

    Jeff
    Attached Images Attached Images

  8. #18
    Enthusiast
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    295

    Re: Two minor ryes

    I got a few books, and Jim Murray impressed me most of the various authors.
    That's pretty much how it happened for me, too: my wife works for a book publisher that put out an edition of Murray's Complete Guide to World Whiskey (or something like that). One day I was hanging around at her office waiting for her to finish something up and I grabbed a copy off a shelf to pass the time---I was intrigued by the chapter on rye because I had always heard of it but rarely saw it and nobody I knew drank it. Murray's effusive praise of rye inspired me to pick up a bottle of the Beam yellow label.

    Regarding Fleishmann's, I had a chance to talk to the master distiller from Barton at a pre-Whiskeyfest event earlier this year (his name eludes me right now but somebody will probably fill it in, or I'm sure it's on the board somewhere), and he mentioned that when they do a batch of bourbon after a batch of rye, using the rye backset, it produces a particularly fine bourbon. Although it's not his decision, I certainly told him I wished we could get Fleishmann's here.

    So they have it up in Wisconsin? I'm going up there next week; I'll have to keep my eyes open.

  9. #19
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
    Join Date
    Sep 1999
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    12,375

    I recommend Rittenhouse

    If you can get it, the rye to get is Heaven Hill's Rittenhouse bottled-in-bond. Great whiskey, great value. And if Larry Kass has his way, there will be a 20-year-old special edition of it coming out soon.

 

 

Similar Threads

  1. Article of Interest from the LA Times
    By bluesbassdad in forum Other American Whiskey
    Replies: 16
    Last Post: 12-02-2004, 17:15
  2. Interesting on-line article about Whiskey
    By sysrick in forum General Bourbon Discussion
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 04-14-2004, 16:12
  3. NY Times Article
    By cas in forum General Bourbon Discussion
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 03-26-2004, 08:33
  4. NY Times on Scotch whiskey
    By bourbonmed in forum Foreign Whiskey
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 07-19-2003, 06:07
  5. Article on Rye
    By texascarl in forum American Rye Whiskey
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 04-16-2002, 12:27

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Back to top