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Thread: Rittenhouse Rye

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  1. #1
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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    Rittenhouse Rye

    I have raved all over this board about Rittenhouse Rye Bottled in Bond, so when I went to Binny's last week to stock up, I was disappointed that they were out. But, lo and behold, they did have Rittenhouse Rye 80 proof, which I had never seen or, at least, had not seen for many years.

    At $9.99 it certainly was worth a try so I bought a bottle, and I'm very glad that I did.

    While I still prefer the BIB, the 80 is terrific too, and a very different whiskey; light, spicy, peppery. Comparing it to the BIB, the BIB tastes more like a bourbon, the 80 more like a straight rye.

    The 80's color is much lighter, which would figure since it has more water in it, but I suspect it's also younger.

    Curiously, the back label says "distilled by D.S.P. KY 31." The preposition is significant. It says "by" not "at." D.S.P. KY 31 is the Heaven Hill plant that burned down in 1996. I certainly doubt this is 10-year-old whiskey. I guess HH can "use" the 31 even if the whiskey actually was distilled at D.S.P. KY 1, which is Bernheim in Louisville.

    Maybe our authority on all things Heaven Hill can explain this anomaly.

    Anyway, very good whiskey and a great value, highly recommended. Them Heaven Hill folks sure do make them some good straight rye whiskey. Yum yum.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by cowdery
    Curiously, the back label says "distilled by D.S.P. KY 31."...
    Chuck,
    This was also discussed in posts 50-55 of this thread . It finishes with a reply by Larry Kass.

    I'm told they've changed the label so that it no longer calls out DSP KY 31, but I haven't seen one.

    Roger
    Last edited by Rughi; 07-26-2006 at 21:18.

  3. #3
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    Thanks. That explains it. It also explains...sort of...why the bottle of Rittenhouse BIB that I got at Sam's doesn't have a back label. I'm also surprised Binny's has such old stock. They had rather a lot of it too.

    I do like it though, the 80 proof. I'm drinking it right now.

  4. #4
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    Well, to add to the confusion, I just picked up 6 bottles of Rittenhouse BIB (that were special order not regularly carried by OLCC so I assume they ordered it directly from HH) that say "Distilled by D.S.P. KY 354...." Isn't this the Early Times distillery in Shively?

    Chuck, I haven't tried the 80, but I've fallen hard for the BIB since first trying it a few months ago. I'm a little hesitant to try the 80 (given that I think both Old Overholt and Beam Rye would be better at a higher proof), but your positive comments might sway me.

    I'm trying to stock up a bit on the BIB, because I can't help but think that the combination of recent great press and accolades for the BIB PLUS the release of a superpremium rye under the Rittenhouse label will almost certainly mean higher prices and higher demand in the near future.

    Jeff

  5. #5
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    Good catch, first appearance of evidence where some of the whiskey was made between the fire ('96) and the deployment of Bernheim some years later.

    The BIB is 6 years old and the 80 proof 4 years old (Bettye Jo confirmed this a couple of months ago).

    The extra quality of the BIB is therefore down not just to proof but also to age.

    Still, the 80 proofer is very nice and if I saw any I'd buy it. I'd find many uses for it: neat sampling, in cocktails and for blending.

    Gary
    Last edited by Gillman; 07-27-2006 at 15:34.

  6. #6
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    I have a bottle of Rittenhouse Rye 100 proof BIB.
    It has no back label, and it does not have the U.S.Govenment warning about the ill effects of alcohol. But it does have the Universal Price Code bar and number.
    It states that it was, "Bottled by Continental Distilling Co., Bardstown, KY"
    Followed by, in small print, RW16679.

    Is this an old bottle not bottled by Heaven Hill?
    Was it intened for export? Hence no Govt. warning?
    I got it at Sam's Wines in Chicago this past winter.

  7. #7
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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    Quote Originally Posted by OscarV
    I have a bottle of Rittenhouse Rye 100 proof BIB.
    It has no back label, and it does not have the U.S.Govenment warning about the ill effects of alcohol. But it does have the Universal Price Code bar and number.
    It states that it was, "Bottled by Continental Distilling Co., Bardstown, KY"
    Followed by, in small print, RW16679.

    Is this an old bottle not bottled by Heaven Hill?
    Was it intened for export? Hence no Govt. warning?
    I got it at Sam's Wines in Chicago this past winter.
    That's exactly what I have. Heaven Hill suspects the labels fell off. At any rate, the label was supposed to be there, though it's not something someone will go to jail for.

    A bond has to have a DSP number on the label, so its absense is an error. Ditto the warning.

    I'm glad to see Heaven Hill is sticking with "bottled in bond" and the requirements inherent in that designation, even when it means disclosing that some of their whiskey was made at a competitor's distillery.

    I can tell you, however, that Parker and Craig Beam supervised the production at Shively, using their yeast and other specifications.

  8. #8
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    Just ordered two bottles of the BIB from Binnys the other day. I have never tired it but I'm really looking forward to it. I didn't really care for Old Overholt too much and my Sazerac Jr. is about to run out. I'm hoping this will be a fantastic replacement.
    --Mark

    When I drink whiskey, I drink whiskey; and when I drink water, I drink water.

  9. #9
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    Why doesn't Beam do a 100, or barrel, proof Overholt? In comparison to the other companies Beam seems less willing to try "new things" like this. I mean, just do it.

    Gary

  10. #10
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    The 100 proof is what made me enjoy WT Rye. I'd try a Beam Rye at 100 proof for sure.
    --Mark

    When I drink whiskey, I drink whiskey; and when I drink water, I drink water.

 

 

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